MABAD - The country's top nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan Thursday told Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the former dictator (Pervez Musharraf) had forced him to take the responsibility of nuclear proliferation on state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) on the name of national interest.
In a six-page letter presented in the court of Chief Justice IHC, Justice Sardar Muhammad Aslam through Dr Khan's lawyer, Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffery, Dr A Q Khan has retracted a confessional statement that he gave on PTV in custody in January 2004.
"I made the statement on PTV for the sake of the country", he clarified. "A military dictator, while making false promises of national security, forced me to make confessional statement on PTV. The dictator had assured me that I would be a hero in any case," the national hero further stated in his letter partially written in Urdu with most of its content in English.
"I was told that we are doing this only to show to the Americans only and I would be free after three to four months," he further wrote, adding, "The four-month promise prolonged up to four and a half years".
He also accused former President Pervez Musharraf of using official media and paid press to indulge in his (Dr Khan's) character assassination".
Dr Khan, who has been under house arrest since 2004, regretted that despite the statement on PTV, Musharraf kept him under house arrest whereas the Europeans had been actually responsible for transfer of nuclear technology.
Dr Khan also complained before Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the present regime for blocking his freedom of movement despite a court ruling that gives him the right.
He further complained that he wanted to meet people but the government agencies are keeping him in illegal confinement.
"The present situation has put me under house arrest for life time and all this was done by a military dictator".
"Now his (dictator's) stooges in SPD/ISI are still subjecting my life into illegal house arrest", He further stated, adding, "I request full freedom of movement, meeting people, going out with my family, visiting various educational; and welfare institution which I have set up in various parts of the country".
Dr Khan also dispelled the impression as if he has given any statement in media against the national interest.
Earlier, the single-member bench of Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Aslam heard arguments of Barrister M Javed Iqbal Jafferi on a review appeal challenging the detention of Dr. Khan.
The review appeal arose out of an IHC ruling that barred Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan from speaking on the nuclear proliferation issue but allowed him to meet relatives and travel inside the country after security clearance.
Deputy Attorney General Shahid Iqbal Qureshi argued that the review was not maintainable and the court had no jurisdiction to hear review in such cases.
Counsel for Dr A Q Khan pleaded that the IHC was fully competent to hear review petition in connection with habeas corpus of his client under sub clause 2-A of clause 128.
After hearing the arguments from both sides, Chief Justice Islamabad High Court (IHC) Sardar Muhammad Aslam has reserved the judgment on review appeal before putting off the hearing for a date to be announced later.
Later, talking to media outside the courtroom, Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey stated that the letter written by Dr A Q Khan to the Chief Justice had been presented in the court and hi client was seeking just and expeditious justice.