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N-proliferation: New revelation on anvil

world Updated: May 02, 2007 18:16 IST

DPA
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Pakistani authorities prepared a report on Wednesday to address potentially damaging new details on the black market sale of sensitive technology by the former head of the country's nuclear programme, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Due for release during the day by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, the document titled "Nuclear black markets: Pakistan, AQ Khan and the rise of proliferation networks: A new assessment?" elaborates on the disgraced scientist's dealings over the years with Iran, North Korea and Libya.

But while carrying Khan's picture on the cover, the dossier was expected to also establish that he was not the only nuclear arms merchant and that Pakistan was not the only country involved in the black market for nuclear technology and material.

Ministries in Islamabad reportedly obtained a copy of the report prior to its publication to prepare them for any uncomfortable new facts and allegations that might emerge.

Left practically unsupervised to run Pakistan's nuclear programme, Khan over the years supplied centrifuges and other restricted material to North Korea, Iran and Libya.

His activities were made known to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf by the US Central Intelligence Agency in late 2003. Because of his hero status at home for developing a nuclear deterrent against India, Khan was pardoned by the president after making a televised apology to the nation. He remains under virtual house arrest in the capital.

In a possible move to deflect criticism stemming from the report, Pakistan on Monday set up a new body to tighten controls over nuclear and missile technology exports.