Pakistan’s Nuclear father, Abdul Qadeer Khan has told the top court in a handwritten note that he is being “kept prisoner” by government agencies and is not allowed to plead his case for freedom of movement.
In the handwritten note that the 83-year-old man submitted to the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday, Abdul Qadeer Khan said – “I had been kept as a prisoner having no free movement or meeting with anybody.”
Khan mentions he had does not have access to any friend, so much so that his daughter and her children living a few houses away could not meet him, adding that the restrictions were so unlawful that he could not even access the court.
“This act of security authorities is illegal since no such order has been conveyed to me warranting the treatment being meted out to me now”, writes Abdul Qadeer Khan.
In 2004, Abdul Qadeer Khan had confessed to selling nuclear secrets on TV. It was alleged that he supplied designs, hardware and materials to make enriched uranium for atomic bombs to other countries like Iran, Libya and North Korea.
A metallurgist by training, Khan was then accused of espionage by the nuclear fuel company that he had earlier worker for. The NBC News called him an “unapologetic patriot” and wrote that “it had taken a degree of patriotism that only one adjective could adequately describe: fanatical.”
The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC) chief reportedly said that Abdul Qadeer Khan could not have acted alone “without the awareness of the Pakistan Government”.
With the increasing focus on Pakistan government’s involvement, the pressure from global nuclear giants including the United States was soaring high. Pakistan had to detain the scientist who powered the nuclear program of the country that was ruled under General Pervez Musharraf at that time.
In 2009, Qadeer Khan was freed from his ‘house arrest’ that had lasted no less than 5 years. Khan’s lawyer Ali Zafar had said that “The Court has said as he was not involved in nuclear proliferation or criminal activity, there is no case against him, therefore he is a free citizen.”
Khan even told media the same day that “It’s a nice feeling, the worry is gone. I can lead a normal life now, as a normal citizen. It’s a fine feeling,”
However, his problems seem to see no end as his movements continued to be restricted as he lived in his heavily guarded posh Islamabad neighbourhood. In 2019, the Bhopal born scientist filed a petition that complained that “This act of the security authorities is illegal since no such order has been conveyed to me warranting the treatment being meted out to me now.”
He said that he was in a constant fear of “physical harm”, and could not move freely even though the court had allowed him the freedom of movement under some specific terms. In his handwritten note from Thursday, Qadeer Khan also mentioned that he was being forced to withdraw his petition to that court and take it to a lower court.