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AQ Khan chapter not yet closed: US

US says the whole story of the disgraced nuclear scientist's proliferation network is not yet out and there are many aspects to it.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2006 19:02 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The US has said the whole story of disgraced nuclear scientist AQ Khan's proliferation network was "not yet out" and there were "many aspects" to it in the face of ongoing proliferation in North Korea and Iran.

However, Islamabad insisted that the chapter was closed and conveyed its stand during a meeting between Secretary, National Security Council, Tariq Aziz and US Ambassador Ryan C Crocker on Tuesday.

"We have thoroughly interrogated the matter and there is nothing more to report about Dr Khan's activities regarding nuclear proliferation," an official was quoted as saying by The Nation.

"If the US has any specific information I this regard Pakistan will consider it," Aziz told Crocker.

Pakistan's reported communication to the US that chapter on Khan has been closed came after Crocker in a press briefing to the Pakistan media yesterday said the international community wants to know more about Khan's activities.

"That is important for Pakistan to know that is important for us and the international community to know as we face the ongoing proliferation in North Korea and Iran," he said.

Crocker said the whole story of Khan was not yet out.

"I do not think that any of us have the whole story. Not the international community and not Pakistan. These are the steps for Pakistan to take. Pakistan government has made clear that it wants to get to the bottom of this affair as much from more than anyone else," he said adding Khan's story has many aspects.

"We have full confidence that there has been a complete stop to that sort of proliferation," he said.

Another newspaper The Post said Aziz and Crocker have decided to meet every week in order to review the implementation status of the decisions taken during President Musharraf's recent visit to the US.

The issues that figured in Aziz-Crocker meeting included Musharraf's efforts to patch up with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, stringent clauses relating to sale of F-16s which the two countries signed recently and the crackdown on Taliban and Al-Qaeda, it said.

The two have decided in principle to hold a meeting every week, so as to discuss the coordinated efforts that the two governments are making in the areas of mutual interest

The two officials also discussed the status of negotiations with exiled leadership of Pakistan People's Party.

Aziz briefed the US ambassador on the latest contacts with Bhutto and the conditions put forwarded by the two sides to broker a deal, it said adding Aziz assured Crocker that the government would try its best to provide a level playing field to the PPP in the next general election in 2007, provided Bhutto withdrew her demand of a third term as prime minister.

Crocker was also informed about the status of cases pending in Swiss courts against Benazir and her spouse Asif Ali Zardari.

First Published: Oct 04, 2006 18:46 IST