Islamabad: Dr Khan ready for a deal — or death

By Hamid Mir

ISLAMABAD: Nuclear scientist Dr AQ Khan is ready to make a gentleman’s deal with the government but in case the deal is not struck, he is also ready to die fighting for his rights.

In talks with PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Dr Khan has given the assurance that if the government allows him to live a normal life, then he will not make any statements to the media and would not even indulge in politics.

He conveyed this message to the quarters concerned through Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who spoke to him late Saturday night by telephone.Confirming to The News his telephonic conversation with Shujaat, Dr Khan revealed he also had a one-on-one meeting with Shujaat recently.

Dr Khan claimed that Chaudhry Shujaat “started weeping when he saw my condition. He was feeling guilty. He was the one who requested me in 2004 to make a confession in the national interest. I was assured by Musharraf that I will be allowed to live a normal life but I was betrayed”.

The scientist said: “Shujaat felt sorry for me with tears in his eyes and I gave him a tissue paper to dry his eyes.” Dr Khan revealed he also had a meeting with Lt-Gen (retd) Khalid Kidwai on June 4 at his residence. “I requested him for some relaxations. I told him that I have not offered a single Friday prayer in any mosque in the last four years. I was not allowed to offer any Eid prayer in any mosque. My health is very bad, my wife is not well and I think that I don’t deserve this kind of treatment.”

Gen Kidwai, he said, agreed that I had shown unprecedented patience but now he was making statements against me. When asked about some alleged threats to his life, Dr Khan said: “I assure you that I will not make any visit to the mountains of Murree at 12 in the night. Nobody can kidnap me from my Islamabad residence and they must not make my security an issue.”

During a long conversation with this scribe, Dr Qadeer was in a fighting and defiant mood. He repeatedly said: “I may die because of my illness but I will die fighting with this government responsible for all my pains.”

The scientist said he will not stop using his mobile phone. “If the government blocks my number, I will use another one. They have to treat me like a normal Pakistani citizen. Nobody can blackmail me and nobody can pressurise me because I am ready to die.”

Highly-placed government sources claimed Dr Qadeer had struck a deal a few weeks back as well and he was given the assurance that he would be facilitated slowly and gradually. He was allowed to use a cell phone but he was misusing the facility. It was learnt that concerned quarters will start their dialogue with Dr AQ Khan on Monday to find a solution to issues created by his recent suffering and statements.
The News, 7/7/2008

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