The national press recently referred to a news item in The Washington Post wherein the contents of a letter shared by the former British journalist were published. The letter, as alleged, was written to the renowned Pakistani nuclear scientist, Dr A.Q. Khan, by a N. Korean official during 1998. It communicated the amounts supposedly paid to two Pakistani officials for the favour of nuclear secrets to be transferred to N. Korea. For at least six reasons, the news item centring upon the letter and the written statements by Dr. Khan appear to be a falsification of facts. (1) As claimed by the British journalist, the copy of the letter was shared with him by Dr Khan during 1998, who for some unknown reason decided to pass it on to the US newspaper only now. (2) The news item quoted part of the contents of the letter, . . . the 3 million dollars have already been paid . . . and half a million dollar and some jewellery had been given to two high-ranking Pakistan military officials, respectively. On the contrary, apparently oblivious to the contents of the letter, the Post carried frivolous details of the delivery of money. It is a serious lacuna. Even if it is assumed that money exchanged hands through Dr Khan, there seems no explanation for him to divulge the trite information to the British journalist about himself delivering the cash in a canvas bag & cartons, including the one with fruits in its upper layer. It is not without interest, this burlesque detail was provided to the journalist in written statements. (3) The Post professed its inability to independently verify the account related to the delivery of cash money and modalities adopted by the nuclear scientist in person. (4) Serious effort appears to have been made to link the high ranking Pak military officials with the nuclear proliferation during these peculiar times, bringing the Pak army into international disrepute and stamping Pakistan with the epithet of terrorist state appear to be the diaphanous motivations prompting this effort. (5) The journalists decision to share this information with the Post at this time, after thirteen years, cannot fail to arouse suspicion. And, (6) the Post was unable to independently verify the account of the N. Korean letter. In the final analysis, aside from bringing Pak army and state into disrepute, an eminent daily has brought infamy on itself and Dr Khan is legally entitled to seek recompense for defamation. In such cases it is for the states and not others to defend their legitimate rights. Attempts have been made by the U.S. to posit Pakistan at the focus of nuclear proliferation since the end of 90s. As a fundamental truth in this regard, Islamabad due to Indian nuclear explosion in 1974 had no other alternative for its national security but to develop an indigenous programme to build nuclear devices. The US secretary of state Henry Kissingers famous statement to premier Z. A. Bhutto in 1976 that the US would make a horrible example of him in case he did not discontinue the nuclear programme, offers far-reaching inferences. For instance, instead taking India to task for exploding a nuclear device, with is foreseeable ramifications, the US was virulently opposed to Pakistans predictable national security response. Two corollaries arise from this conclusion: The US was interested in a weak national security defence of Pakistan, and for this purpose might have also encouraged India to acquire nuclear weapon capability, notwithstanding Washingtons public posture in this respect. This impression is strengthened by the US role during the East Pakistan crisis. During 1962, the US Ambassador in Pakistan attempted to persuade Khawaja Nazimuddin, a onetime Governor General and premier of Pakistan, to work for the separation of eastern region. During 1998, President Clinton repeatedly contacted Premier Nawaz Sharif for the cancellation of the planned nuclear tests, with the promise of large economic aid package, while India had already exploded nuclear devices. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) adopted by the UN is the most universal arms control instrument; however, Pakistan, India, Israel, & lately N. Korea (it withdrew from the treaty) are still outside the regime. The treaty was originally meant for three principal objectives: To prevents the spread of nuclear weapons; to foster nuclear disarmament; and to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses to nuclear energy. Now Pakistan, being a non-signatory of the NPT, has not violated this vital international agreement, and even then Islamabads international dealings have remained within the ambit of NPT. If it is assumed that some indiscretion in the form of information related to nuclear device has taken place, it should be viewed as an expression of unsavoury financial ambitions of some individuals, not to be malevolently interpreted as a matter of state policy to promote terrorism. For an undue insistence upon the latter allegation will serve to disclose the source that constructed the nuclear subterfuge against Islamabad, by not disclosing the nuclear network purportedly associated with Dr Khan in due time. During early 2004, President Bush stated that US Intelligence was aware of the network in the past. With the preceding facts in perspective, the report in the Post is a part of conspiracy to malign as well as coerce Islamabad to secure a desirable US exit plan. From among the recent spate of steps towards this end, a clandestine raid at Abbottabad on 2 May; US Adm Mullen accusing the Pakistan government of involvement in a journalists assassination; and the recently appointed US secretary of defence Leon Panettas statement regarding Dr Al-Zawahris likely presence in the FATA can be cited. The US exit plan from Afghanistan is reminiscent of a famous Churchillian observation that the US does things right but only after first trying all other options. And the US laying the blame of indulging in terrorism on Pakistan is like availing another option before doing the right thing complete withdrawal from Afghanistan. During the interim, the US maneuvers at cleaving public support from Pak Army and to label Pakistan as a terrorist state. A strategic step in this response will be to divulge the information collected from a host of CIA informants arrested during May, involved in ObL mission, possibly for years aware of ObL residing in the northwestern city. For it will reverse the allegation of terrorism and posit it where it rightly belongs, namely, the US. n The writer is Chairman, Pakistan Ideological Forum. Email: