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Khan's confession covered up for Musharraf: Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto said Abdul Qadeer Khan was "covering up" for President Pervez Musharraf by publicly confessing to transferring nuclear technology.

world Updated: Feb 23, 2004 03:21 IST

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said on Sunday the architect of the country's atomic bomb Abdul Qadeer Khan was "covering up" for President Pervez Musharraf by publicly confessing to transferring nuclear technology to other countries.

Bhutto, an arch-foe of Musharraf, suggested that Khan's life could be in danger "because he knows too much about the people who ordered him to export nuclear technology."

"We believe that he's covering up for Musharraf," Bhutto, the Pakistan People's Party leader, told BBC television's Breakfast with Frost current affairs programme.

"And we think that if Musharraf has endangered our nuclear assets and endangered our country's reputation by involving himself in the export of nuclear technology he has no business to remain in power.

"People in my country think that Mr Qadeer Khan is being made a scapegoat and they believe that he's being kept under arrest and he could even be killed to silence him forever because he knows too much about the people who ordered him to export nuclear technology," Bhutto claimed.

She added "I know Qadeer Khan and I found it very hard to believe that he could have exported nuclear technology on his own. One person could not do it because of the enormous security."

Musharraf on February 4 pardoned Khan, considered a national hero in Pakistan for guiding the programme which built the country's nuclear bomb, after the scientist confessed to giving nuclear information for groups working for Iran, Libya and North Korea.

First Published: Feb 23, 2004 03:06 IST