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AQ Khan's life in danger, says elder brother

Pakistani scientist's brother has said if A.Q. Khan died all those involved in the scam would be saved, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2004 12:39 IST

The disgraced Pak scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's elder brother, Rauf Khan, 80, fears for Dr Khan's life. He said if his brother, who has been maligned to please the western world, died all those involved in the nuclear scam would be saved.

"They (authorities) all know that Dr Khan is a linchpin and if he dies, all the officials involved in the scam could be saved." According to a report in the Sunday Telegraph, severe security restrictions were imposed on Dr Khan when it was discovered that his daughter Dina took audio-cassettes and other important documents from the Khan Laboratory out of the country.

The material she has smuggled out is believed to show that senior army officers, including General Musharraf, knew about Dr Khan's nuclear activities. The family now says they fear for his life.

"He has been in touch with the family throughout and had been calling at least once or twice a week, but we have not heard from him in the last two weeks," said Rauf.

It was only in the beginning of the month that Dr Khan had called Rauf and told him things "are settling down" and asked him to pray for him. "I have left my case to God." But after that Rauf said all communication has been cut off.

"They have changed all his telephone numbers," said Rauf. "When I sent my younger son to find out about his (Dr Khan's) health, he was not allowed to meet him." The elder brother insisted that Dr Khan had been made a scapegoat to save Generals.

The personal psychiatrist of Dr Khan has also told the Sunday paper that he suffered from work stress. Although the report that he suffered a heart attack has been denied by the Government, it is alleged that his interrogators panicked when he said he had pain in his left arm. He was rushed to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi and was being treated by Brig Iftikhar Ahmed, the head of the Institute.

First Published: Feb 22, 2004 18:45 IST