Washington: Concerned about the release of a Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ khan, accused of leaking atomic secrets, the US doubts Pakistan’s commitment that “restrictions” had been imposed on disgraced nuclear scientist, media reports said.
“Pakistan has given us some initial commitments but we’re going to be following (the situation) very closely. The important thing is that they know we are still very serious about this individual,” a US official was quoted by The Washington Post.
Seventy-two year old Khan, who was put under house arrest in 2004 by then President Pervez Musharraf after the scientist conceded having passed nuclear know how to North Korea and Iran, was released by a Pakistani court on Friday.
“The proof is in the pudding,” the official said.
Washington would be watching carefully to determine whether the restrictions by Pakistan were real, it said.
“We’re very concerned,” said the unidentified US official.
Khan’s release had resulted in sharp reaction across the world with US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and the White House expressing “concern” over it and the State Department describing him as a “serious threat” to nuclear proliferation.
Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday at the Munich security conference that all necessary steps have been taken by his government to ensure that Khan is not able to resume the spread of nuclear secrets or technology.
While the US government welcomed it, the newspaper said that the United States remains skeptical of such a measure by Pakistan and would continue to be watchful about the activities of the Pakistani nuclear scientist.