Islamabad ready to allow IAEA to inspect nuclear facilities

While addressing parliament on Tuesday, Pakistani Information Minister Rashid Ahmad said he did not see any problem with IAEA inspectors visiting Pakistani nuclear facilities.

According to Mr. Ahmad, the investigation of several Pakistani nuclear scientists, including Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the Islamic bomb, about the sale of nuclear technology has been completed. Several people, he noted, will probably appear before the court.

At the same time, it has been established that like the military and civil leaders of Pakistan, General Bek and General Karamat, had nothing to do with selling nuclear secrets, the minister said.

Mr. Ahmad said that to ensure that Pakistan's nuclear program and nuclear weapons would not be illegally used or sold, a special strategic military command was tightly guarding them.

Mr. Ahmad reiterated that Pakistan's nuclear program would continue to maintain the country's defense.

Dr. Khan, the former head of the Nuclear Research Center, admitted that he sold nuclear technology to Libya, North Korea and Iran. President Pervez Musharraf pardoned him after taking into consideration his services in ensuring Pakistan's security.

Local observers have pointed out that during U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit to Islamabad, the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology will be raised again. Before his trip to Pakistan, Mr. Powell said that new instances of transferring nuclear technology must be fully excluded.

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