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Pakistan defends AQ Khan's release

As international apprehensions grew over the release of rouge atomic scientist AQ Khan, Pakistan today defended setting him free, saying his clandestine nuclear proliferation network had been "dismantled."

world Updated: Feb 08, 2009 06:29 IST

As international apprehensions grew over the release of rouge atomic scientist AQ Khan, Pakistan on Saturday defended setting him free, saying his clandestine nuclear proliferation network had been "dismantled."

"AQ Khan is history," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, claiming that authorities had broken his nuclear smuggling network and extracted all the informations from him.

"He (Khan) has no say or access to any of the sensitive areas of Pakistan," he said in remarks broadcast by Dawn television.

Khan, who once confessed to passing nuclear know how to Iran, Libya and North Korea was set free from five years of house arrest after a court declared him a "free citizen" following a secret agreement with the government.

The move has alarmed New Delhi, Washington, London, Paris and other major powers.