Pakistan possesses about 60 to 100 nuclear bombs and has denied US access to A Q Khan despite billions of dollars in aid, a prominent American lawmaker has said, insisting that any further aid should be linked to non-proliferation and action against the nuclear scientist.
"Pakistan has 60 to 100 nukes. It also harbours A Q Khan, a Pakistani hero but an international outlaw, who, at least according to the Dutch stole European technology to give Pakistan the bomb... and created a network which supplied --we know this -- Iran, North Korea and was going to supply Libya," Congresswoman Jane Harman said.
A Democratic lawmaker from California, Harman along with Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, authored the bill that imposes strict restrictions on Pakistan in lieu of US aid. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives last week.
"As for my bill... it says that in order for Pakistan to get non-military aid and military aid in 2010, our President has to certify that efforts are being taken by the Pakistani government to stop proliferation," Harman told MSNBC.
It is therefore very important that Pakistan cracks down on Khan and makes sure its nuclear arsenal is safe "if we're going to give them additional billions," she said.
"And the House agrees with me. Senate so far does not. But I want to insist on non-proliferation as one of the goals of our continued aid to Pakistan," she said.