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Pak won't surrender AQ Khan to US: Kasuri

Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said in unequivocal terms that Pakistan won't surrender the scientist to US for questioning.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 20:00 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Pakistan on Friday ruled out handing over disgraced nuclear scientist AQ Khan to the US for questioning over his links with the nuclear programmes of Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya.

"We will share information with IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) but we have certain bottom lines," Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri told Senate during a debate on Pakistan's foreign policy here.

Kasuri said in "unequivocal terms" that Pakistan "will not surrender him (Khan) to the United States," the state-run APP news agency reported.

Describing Pakistan's foreign policy as the balanced one, which was based on protection of national interests, he said "we value our relationship with the US but will never give in where our national interests are concerned."

Khan has been under house arrest for the past two years after he admitted proliferating nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

He was subsequently forgiven by President Pervez Musharraf. Also almost all of Khan's colleagues who were taken into custody for investigations have been released.

Recent reports said Khan's security has been tightened and the government has withdrawn permission to his daughter to meet him.

Khan was in the news recently after a report by the US Congress said that he also aided Syrian nuclear programme.

Reacting to the allegation, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told media here early this week that Pakistan has already probed it.

First Published: May 19, 2006 19:36 IST