THE government's decision to soften the restrictions imposed on Dr A.Q. Khan is welcome. It should be an occasion for happiness for the people to see him move around the town, visiting the Academy of Sciences and meeting his friends. It is good to see the elected leadership give due regard to a man who is considered a national hero. Unfortunately the treatment meted out to him by the past regime was deplorable. The people have been expressing their concern for his well-being, especially since he was diagnosed with a serious illness. His detention had also generated a lot of public anger. Considering the role Dr Khan had played in enabling the country to develop a nuclear weapons programme, no one has been happy seeing him treated in such a manner. The present elected leadership has certainly taken a right step. However, other issues, like Dr Khan's security, are also of fundamental importance as there are many foreign elements, which view the country's nuclear assets as a manifestation of an Islamic bomb. They might like to get hold of him and use him to discredit Pakistan, with the ultimate aim of trying to cap its nuclear weapons programme. Also, the government must summarily reject the Western demands for his being handed over for any kind of interrogation.