Pak govt reimposes restrictions on AQ Khan

Last Updated: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 23:46

Lahore: Disgraced Pakistani nuclear
scientist AQ Khan on Monday moved the Lahore High Court alleging
that the government has reimposed restrictions on his free
movement.

The High Court had last month lifted restrictions on
the 72-year-old Khan`s free movement.

However, the federal government did not "fully comply"
with the court`s order due to "immense pressure" from the US,
a source said to a news agency.

Khan`s counsel Syed Ali Zafar on Monday filed a fresh
petition in the Lahore High Court against the "re-imposition
of restrictions on the free movement" of his client.

Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry heard the petition.
Khan was put under house arrest in February 2004 after
he confessed on state-run PTV about running a proliferation
ring that supplied nuclear equipment and know-how to countries
like Libya and North Korea. Khan retracted the confession last
year, saying it was made under pressure.

Zafar argued that Khan had challenged "illegal
restraints" on his freedom of movement and liberty imposed by
the government under the garb of security.

He said the government is relying on an "illegal
document" to impose restrictions on Khan.

"Dr Khan is required to act on the advice of an
officer of the government in respect of his movements and such
terms violated Dr Khan’s fundamental rights," Zafar contended.

Zafar also explained that the former Attorney General
had given a commitment to a court that Khan`s movements would
not be restrained and that he would only be required to inform
security agencies half an hour prior to his movements within
Islamabad.

The lawyer claimed that as soon as the former
Attorney General resigned, the federal government began
re-imposing the security provisions.

"Col Arif, a security officer deputed at Dr Khan`s
residence, is insisting upon restraining Dr Khan’s movement
and freedom," he claimed.

In his petition, Khan has said that the government
cannot stop him from making any visits without its consent and
that any of the "onerous conditions" in the February 6, 2009
order of the defunct Islamabad High Court are not binding him.

Nazir Ahmed, a Deputy Secretary of the Interior
Ministry, told the court that the security protocol for Khan
would be implemented by the government.

Justice Chaudhry observed that Ahmed`s reply was not
on behalf of the government and the Interior Secretary should
personally file a reply.

The judge also directed that in case of any
complaints by Khan, the Attorney General should be informed so
that the scientist’s grievances can be redressed.

Appearing on behalf of the Attorney General, the
Deputy Attorney General assured the court that the Attorney
General would abide by the court’s directions.

The court subsequently adjourned the matter till May
21.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 23:46

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