Pak nuke proliferation network broken: US
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Pak nuke proliferation network broken: US

White House spokesman McClellan stressed that the black market nuclear proliferation network run by AQ Khan has been "broken up".

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 12:45 IST

The US claims to have "broken up" the nuclear proliferation network of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qader Khan, terming this a "great success story", a media report on Friday said.

The report quoted a White House spokesman as saying in Washington that the US worked "very closely" with Pakistan and would "continue to do so when it comes to intelligence matters".

Addressing the White House weekly press briefing, Scott McClellan stressed that the black market nuclear proliferation network run by the disgraced Khan had been "broken up".

"We worked with the international community and made some significant progress in stopping the proliferation of nuclear programmes and weapons of mass destruction," the Daily Times quoted McClellan as saying.

"That was a great success story of the intelligence community that we're talking about now - working with others," the spokesman said.

There was no immediate comment from the Pakistan government.

Security experts here, however, point out the US had all along had known of Khan's activities while he was working with a Dutch laboratory and that the CIA told the Dutch government to lay off.

The US, they say, took a dim view of Khan only after 9/11, when it suspected that the know-how could have reached Al-Qaeda.

This was long after Khan had completed his nuclear transfers to North Korea, Libya and Iran.

Confronted by the US, the Pakistan government claimed that it was unaware of Khan's activities.

Khan was placed under house arrest, which is where he remains, while some of his deputies who, allegedly, met Osama bin Laden at Khan's instance, were detained and interrogated.

The US spokesman noted that the "strategic decision" made by Libya to dismantle its weapons programme came in the wake of combined international pressure. He said the move had sent a message to other rogue states that they could establish better relations with the international community if they pursued the same path.

First Published: Apr 14, 2006 12:45 IST