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UN sleuths certain that Pak top brass knew of Khan's network

UN investigators increasingly certain that Pakistani leaders were aware that the top scientist supplied to n-black market.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2004 13:38 IST

UN investigators are increasingly certain Pakistan government leaders knew the country's top atomic scientist was supplying nuclear technology and designs to other nations, particularly North Korea, according to diplomats familiar with a probe of the world's nuclear black market.

While rogue nations were the main customers of the black market, sales of enriched uranium and warhead drawings have fed international fears that terrorists also could have bought weapons technology or material, the diplomats told The Associated Press in a series of interviews.

The investigation has widened beyond Iran, Libya and North Korea - the identified customers of the network headed by Abdul Qadeer Khan - the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The diplomats' assessment comes about half way through the probe by the International Atomic Energy Agency and Western intelligence services into the Khan network, whose tentacles extended from Pakistan to Dubai, Malaysia, South Korea, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Britain, the Netherlands and beyond with potential ties to Syria, Turkey and Spain.

Investigators told the AP they expect to complete the probe by June, eight months after U.S. Officials confronted the Pakistani government with suspicions about Khan, setting into motion events that led the father of Islamabad's nuclear program to confess last month.

First Published: Mar 08, 2004 13:38 IST