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'CIA warned Musharraf on Khan network'

'Pakistan President was confronted by the then CIA chief with evidence of AQ Khan's nuclear proliferation network.'

world Updated: May 05, 2007 13:27 IST

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was confronted by the then CIA chief George Tenet with evidence of A Q Khan's nuclear proliferation network, warning him of the "devastating" consequences if Islamabad's nuclear knowhow reaches Libya, Iran or even Al Qaeda.

"If a country like Libya or Iran or god forbid an organisation like the Al Qaeda gets a working nuclear device and the world learns that it came from your country, I'm afraid the consequences would be devastating," Tenet warned Musharraf during a September 24, 2003 meeting when the General visited New York for the United Nations session.

In his memoir 'At the Centre of The Storm: My Years with the CIA', the former director of the US spy agency described the probe into Khan's network as "among the closely held secrets within the Agency." "What we don't know is how many networks similar to Khan's may still be out there--operating undetected--and offering deadly advice and supplies to anyone with the cash to pay for them.

"In the current marketplace, if you have a hundred million dollars, you can be your own nuclear power," Tenet says.

Referring to the "Four Eyes" meeting with Musharraf with no handlers or note takers, Tenet said he told the General "A Q Khan is betraying your country. He has stolen some of your nation's most sensitive secrets and sold them to the highest bidders. Khan has stolen your nuclear weapons secrets. We know this because we stole them from him." "Thank you George,I will take care of this," was Musharraf's response according to Tenet.

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