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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