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Khan built hotel in Timbuktu

PTI[ SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2004 03:49:22 PM ]

ISLAMABAD : The architect of Pakistan 's nuclear programme Abdul Qadeer Khan, who has been sacked as scientific advisor to the Prime Minister, had amassed properties at home and abroad besides building a "fabulous" hotel in an African nation where he transported furniture by an air force plane.

Hendrina Khan hotel, named after Dr Khan's Dutch wife, in the city of Timbuktu in the African state of Mali was one of the dozens of business undertakings of the nuclear scientist that were now being investigated by Pakistani intelligence officials to verify allegations by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the country's scientists collaborated with black marketeers of nuclear technology, The News daily said.

It said the probe revealed that not only did Dr Khan build a hotel in Timbuktu but used Pakistan Air Force's transport aircraft C-130 in early 2000 to ferry an exclusive range of carved wooden furniture from here to his hotel.

The aircraft landed at Tripoli airport in Libya and the cargo was then taken to Timbuktu by road as it could not land in Mali . Dr Khan himself accompanied the furniture from Islamabad .

The details of the trip were revealed by Dr Muhammad Farooq, a centrifuge expert at the country's premier nuclear installation, Khan Research Laboratory (KRL). Dr Farooq is one of the 13 scientists and officials of the KRL interrogated by the investigative agencies.

Quoting officials, the paper said Dr Farooq provided damning account of Dr Khan's "international activities".

"Farooq had the most specific information on transfer of knowledge and technology to Libya and Iran . He put Qadeer (Khan) in a very tight corner. At least one other KRL scientist confirmed Farooq's account independently," an official said.

"Don't be surprised. It is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of such business undertakings suspected to be linked to Dr Qadeer that are still being investigated," he said, adding that Dr Khan was involved in expensive London real estate, consisting of apartments in posh districts of the British capital.

The nuclear scientist has direct links with half a dozen houses there, having combined value exceeding Rs 150 million, the paper said.

Dr Khan himself conceded during the interrogation that he had helped his former son-in-law Noman Shah to secure several costly business contracts to supply materials to KRL.

"The KRL preferred Noman Shah in procurements worth tens of millions of dollars for its nuclear and missile programme," which included contract for the purchase of titanium aluminium from Shah's firm allegedly at an inflated price, the report said.

Dr Khan also helped his elder brother, a retired banker, to acquire business interests in KRL, it said.

Also the nuclear scientist was found to have given millions of rupees to set up educational institutions in the country, it said.


Prof. Abdul Qadeer Khan

After receiving his early education in Bhopal, Dr Abdul Quadeer Khan obtained the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1960 from the University of Karachi. He went on to study in Berlin , West Germany and achieved high competence through attending several courses in metallurgical engineering. He obtained the degree of Master of Science (Technology ) in 1967 from Delft Technological University of Leuven, Belgium. In 1976, he joined the Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL) in Pakistan and set up an uranium enrichment industrial plant. As a tribute to his services to Pakistan , during May 1981 , the then president of Pakistan, General Zia-ul-Haq renamed the Engineering Research Laboratories, Kahuta, as, Dr Abdul Quadeer Khan Research Laboratories (KRL).
The scientific contributions of Dr Khan have been recognized in several ways. As an active scientist and technologist, he has published more than 188 scientific research papers in international journals of high repute. He has been editor of a large number of books on metallurgy, advanced materials and phase transformation. His academic and scholastic activities have attracted the attention of number of western countries where he has delivered more than 100 lectures. His work on Industrial Uranium Enrichment Plant for peaceful application of nuclear technology has resulted in a breakthrough in the field of metallurgy and materials science. It is entirely due to his efforts that the process of enrichment of Uranium was successfully completed in Pakistan . This breakthrough ultimately resulted in the historic explosion of six nuclear bombs in May 1998 . Not only this but a significant development was also made with the successful test firing of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles, Ghauri 1 , in April 1998 and Ghauri II in April 1999. Dr Khan has received honorary degrees of Doctor of Science from the University of Karachi in 1993, Doctor of Science from Baqai Medical University on (1998), Doctor of Science from Hamdard University, Karachi (1999) and Doctor of Science from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore in December 2000. For his contributions in the field of science and technology, the President of Pakistan conferred upon Dr Khan the award of Nishan-I-Imtiaz 1996 and 1998. Dr Khan is the only Pakistani to have received the highest civil award of “Nishan-I-Imtiaz’’ twice. He is also a recipient of Hilal-I-Imtiaz.

Dr Khan is a Fellow of Kazakh National Academy of Sciences, the first Asian scientist with this honour, elected Fellow of the Islamic Academy of Sciences and Honorary Member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. He was elected unopposed to the post of President of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences in 1997-a position that he still occupies. He is a member of many national and international professional organizations including the Pakistan Institute of Metallurgical Engineers; Pakistan Institute of Engineers; and Institute of Central and West Asian Studies.He is a Member of the Institute of Materials, London; American Society of Metals (ASM); Canadian Institute of Metals (CIM) and Japan Institute of Metals (JIM). Prof. A Q Khan sits on the Boards of Governors of numerous universities and institutes. He is a Member of the Executive Committee, GIK Institute of Engineering and Technology; Member, Board of Governors, Hamdard University; Member, Board of Governors, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology; Member Syndicate, Quaidi-I-Azam university, Islamabad ; and Member, Board of Governors, International Islamic University, Islamabad.

Prof. Abdul Quadeer Khan Chairman, Dr. Reserch, Laboratories,P.O.Box 502, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Pak Cabinet recommends Musharraf to pardon Khan
Thursday, February 5 2004 16:10 Hrs (IST)

Islamabad: Pakistan Cabinet today (Feb 05, 2004) recommended President Pervez Musharraf to pardon the father of the country's nuclear bomb Abdul Qadeer Khan, who admitted transferring sensitive technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, recommended Musharraf to accept the scientist's mercy petition and forgive him, private Geo television reported.

Musharraf is likely to announce his decision after reviewing the Cabinet recommendation, it said.

Khan yesterday (Feb 04, 2004) met Musharraf and admitted his involvement in leaking nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya and sought pardon

Abdul Qadeer Khan under 'house arrest'(mastermind of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme)
| Jan 31,2004 | NA

Posted on 01/31/2004 1:59:18 PM PST by Dog

Abdul Qadeer Khan under 'house arrest'

STANDFIRST, Jan 31: Investigators have uncovered a sophisticated black market in components with Islamabad at its centre.While on a tour of eight Asian countries in the summer of 2002, Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, arrived in Islamabad with a special request.

Mr Powell asked President, General Pervez Musharraf, to arrest Abdul Qadeer Khan, the mastermind of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme and a hero in the country. He said Mr Khan needed to be questioned over the alleged secret trading of Pakistan's nuclear technology to North Korea and he had evidence.

An American spy satellite had recorded images of a Pakistani transport plane being loaded with missile parts in North Korea. It was, the US believed, part of a barter deal trading Pakistani nuclear know-how for missiles.

According to sources in Washington, Mr Powell offered Gen Musharraf assistance for an inquiry into Mr Khan's activities. The Guardian has learned that money, equipment and lie detectors for interrogations would be made available. Gen Musharraf rejected the overture but the case against Mr Khan has been building up inexorably since.

Yesterday, Mr Khan was under effective house arrest in Islamabad waiting to hear if he will face charges of treason.

The evidence being considered is embarrassing for Pakistan, whose scientists are accused of being at the centre of the illegal and dangerous trade in nuclear secrets. Astonishing details of their alleged involvement not only with North Korea but with Libya and Iran have emerged in the last two months after the UN's demand that Iran provide its investigators with a comprehensive record of its 20-year-old nuclear effort. The UN's nuclear detectives, acting on names and contacts supplied by Tehran plus information gleaned in Iran, found evidence which pointed to Pakistan as the source for Iran's uranium enrichment technology. But in an interview with a Pakistani satellite channel last month Mr Khan denied any involvement with Iran. "I am being accused for nothing, I never visited Iran, I don't know any Iranian, nor do I know any Iranian scientist.I will be targeted naturally because I made the nuclear bomb, I made the missile," he said.

When Libya's leader, Colonel Muammar Gadafy, volunteered last month to scrap his covert nuclear bomb project, MI6, the CIA and UN inspectors from Vienna got a glimpse of Libya's equipment and concluded that Pakistan and Mr Khan were again the source, directly or indirectly, of the bomb-making equipment.

Gary Milhollin, head of the Wilson Project, a counter- proliferation group, said: "In all three places (North Korea, Iran and Libya), it's the same designs and technology. It was pilfered by A Q Khan. It's old but it works. The Pakistanis used it to make 30 bombs."

The result is that almost two years after Gen Musharraf rebuffed Mr Powell and almost 30 after Mr Khan absconded from the Netherlands with top secret blueprints on how to enrich uranium, the scientist feted in Pakistan may be about to face trial.

The signals from Islamabad, this week, are that at least two men, apparently Mr Khan and Mr Farooq, will face trial for selling Pakistani nuclear secrets abroad.

Faisal Saleh Hayat, Pakistan's interior minister, said on Monday: "No patriotic Pakistani should even think of selling out Pakistan. "There was a time when they used to call themselves heroes of Pakistan. But now the real face of some of these heroes is being exposed. We will take legal action against them."

The network being revealed by investigations in Pakistan, Iran, and Libya has alarmed seasoned inspectors and intelligence services by its scale, its sophistication and the ease with which it has operated unimpeded for almost two decades.

According to this week's issue of Der Spiegel, a German weekly, a German intelligence report found in the mid-1990s that "there is said to be cooperation between Iran's atomic energy organisation and Pakistan's Khan laboratories".

Almost ten years later, the threads in the dense web of the nuclear black market stretching from the far east to the Middle East and Europe are being unravelled.

Pakistan and its nuclear laboratories named after Dr Khan, at Kahuta, south of Islamabad, are the common factor in tracing equipment found in Libya and Iran, and believed to be in North Korea. But the networks which appear to have been set up in the mid-80s may now have grown so extensive as to have acquired a life of their own, independent of the original Pakistani sponsors.

According to diplomats tracking the investigations, Tehran named some six individuals and several firms as being involved in the black market trade.This led to the questioning of Mr Khan and his associates, but investigators suspect this is the tip of an iceberg.

"This is globalisation at work," said one well-informed source."So many fingers are pointing at Pakistan. There are only a handful of people who can pull together systems like this. But there are a large number of firms who can do gadgets and gizmos for centrifuges." Another diplomatic source agreed Pakistan was the main suspect. "But there's a whole bunch of other suspects and sources. There has been a very active market in this stuff and this thing is widening." Those suspected of involvement include an unnamed British businessman in Dubai and middlemen in Sri Lanka and the Middle East.

A planeload of nuclear equipment impounded by the Americans from Libya will provide details on the provenance of the machinery, as will a shipload of centrifuge components manufactured in Malaysia and seized aboard a German boat en route to Libya in October.

Mr Milhollin said Col Gadafy's programme, going back a decade, involved a deal with the Pakistani scientists "to outsource" the manufacturing and supplies of parts. But the main focus of the investigation is the trade in parts for gas centrifuges, the key machines required to establish a home-based nuclear weapons effort. The centrifuges found in Libya and Iran are all of the same fundamental design, by the German engineer Gernot Zippe. The design dates from the late 1960s for what was to become the Anglo/German/Dutch consortium, Urenco. At the same time as Zippe was working on his design, Mr Khan was studying in Germany and Belgium.

In 1975 he absconded with the Zippe centrifuge blueprints. Back home and given carte blanche to lead Pakistan's race to match India's nuclear bomb, he and his experts improved the Zippe design, known as G-2, to what has become known in expert circles as Pak-2. A Dutch court sentenced Mr Khan to four years jail for industrial espionage in 1983, but the verdict was overturned on the grounds that he had never been served with the arrest warrant.

It remains unclear how tainted Gen Musharraf's government is. The political imperative for both Islamabad and Washington is to maintain that Pakistan's role was limited to that of a few rogue scientists acting without state authorisation and that in any case the nuclear deals preceded Gen Musharraf's takeover in 1999 and have been suppressed since then.

The latter claim is called into question by the alleged sighting of the Pakistani plane in North Korea in 2002 and by some of the supplies to Libya which have taken place since 1999. Because of the Pakistani leader's importance to the Americans in the war on terror, "there is," says one of the diplomats, "a high need to protect Musharraf. That's politics. Musharraf may not have wanted to know what was going on for reasons of plausible deniability".

But even if the Pakistani channels are being closed down and Gen Musharraf escapes international censure and survives the domestic fallout, the damage may well already be done.

Jon Wolfsthal, a nuclear analyst at the Carnegie Endowment said: "There's concern that this thing has spread beyond their (Pakistan's) control. Once you let the chickens loose, you can't get them back into the coop." COPYRIGHT: GUARDIAN NEWSPAPERS LIMITED 2004

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