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Pak, US plotting to murder Khan: Scientists' kin

Family members of detained nuke scientists have alleged Musharraf regime is out to murder Dr AQ Khan, with US backing.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2004 16:11 IST

Family members of Pakistan's detained nuclear scientists and other officials of the Kahuta-based Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) have alleged that the Musharraf regime is out to murder Dr AQ Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, with the backing of the US.

"The health condition of Dr Khan has deteriorated while government is not allowing his medical check up. This situation is very alarming and shows that government is hatching a conspiracy to kill him at the behest of US," Online News quoted some of them, as saying at a joint news conference.

Ehsam ul Haq, the brother of Major (Retired) Islam ul Haq, Dr Shafiq ur Rehman, the son of Brigadier (Retired) Sajawal, Usman Nazir, the son of Dr Nazir, and Aasim Farooq, the son of Dr Farooq, addressed the media.

Ehsam ul Haq charged the government with not allowing anyone to meet Khan after February 4. He said that it was very sad to note the government's apathy towards Khan, who was a patient of high blood pressure.

Dr Shafiq ur Rehman appealed to the government to provide medical facilities to other scientists and to facilitate their shift back home. He also announced the launching of a mass contact campaign for the release of the scientists from Karachi to Khyber.

Usman Nazir said that the West was more afraid of Dr Khan than Pakistan, as he alone, had the capability of producing the atomic bomb.

However, Pakistan's Information and Broadcasting Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had claimed on Monday that Khan was "fit and healthy". He termed the media reports about Khan having suffered a heart attack as baseless. Foreign Office Spokesman Masood Khan also endorsed this view.

Talking to Online, a military spokesman said that Khan is completely healthy and his medical check up was a routine matter.

A close relative of Khan also confirmed that he had not suffered a heart attack. "Dr Khan is a high blood pressure patient and his medical check up is continuing for the last ten years regularly," he said.

First Published: Feb 17, 2004 11:16 IST