A key US lawmaker has cautioned that Islamabad's move to release A Q Khan, the scientist accused of nuclear proliferation, could have an adverse impact on American aid to Pakistan.
"Congress will take this into account as we review and create legislation on US-Pakistan relations and the
circumstances under which US assistance is provided to Islamabad," Congressman Howard Berman said after a Pakistani court ordered the release of Khan from house arrest.
Berman is Chairman of House Committee of Foreign Relations, the powerful Congressional committee that plays a
key role in shaping US foreign policy.
In coming weeks, the House of Representatives and the Senate are likely to take up a legislation, which proposes to triple the non-military aid to Pakistan - amounting to $1.5 billion per annum for the next ten years.
He alleged that US officials have been prevented from interviewing Khan to try to determine the extent of the damage he has done to the world stability.
"It is very alarming that A Q Khan, the worst proliferators of nuclear weapons technology in history, has been freed," Berman said in a statement.
"It is unclear whether the illicit smuggling network he created was fully dismantled even after he was placed under
nominal 'house' arrest," he said.