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'Musharraf provides aid to sponsors of terrorists'

Musharraf's shielding of AQ Khan makes the Pak president an accomplice to the very terrorism he professes to oppose.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2006 20:47 IST

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf "provides aid and comfort to state sponsors of terrorists" who target the US by not allowing access to AQ Khan, a former analyst with Defence Department has said, while claiming that American officials knew about the disgraced top scientist's nuclear weapons activities "for three decades."

Noting that Musharraf pardoned Khan in 2004 "in effect with US support," F Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in Defence Secretary's Office, said, "yet, the US reportedly cannot debrief Khan to do a threat assessment on the nuclear technologies and capabilities he provided to North Korea and Iran."

"By refusing access to Khan, Musharraf provides aid and comfort to state sponsors of terrorists targeting the US. Now North Korea threatens the US with nuclear war. Musharraf's shielding of Khan makes the Pakistani President an accomplice to the very terrorism he professes to oppose," he wrote in Tuesday's edition of The Washington Times daily.

He claimed US officials knew of Khan's "clandestine nuclear weapons activities for some three decades."

"Yet officials want the world to think his activities weren't confirmed until October 2003 when Italian authorities seized a German ship carrying 1,000 centrifuges destined for Libya."

The reasons for US giving Musharraf "a pass" on access to Khan despite the apparent damage he had done could be Washington's plans to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan as also because CIA had worked with Pakistan intelligence agency ISI to recruit fighters in Balkans, which in effect made America an ally with Osama bin Laden and Iran, he claimed.