STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

A Q Khan Release and Non-Proliferation

Rajiv Nayan is Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
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  • July 2009
    Volume: 
    33
    Issue: 
    4
    Commentaries

    On February 6, 2009, the Pakistani judiciary acquitted Abdul Qadeer (AQ) Khan, the symbol of Pakistani involvement in clandestine nuclear commerce. Since 2004, he had been under house arrest after the proliferation network, linking several countries, including Pakistan, was uncovered. Though he has been put under ‘unspecified security measures’, yet the release of AQ Khan – dubbed by the United States State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid as a ‘serious proliferation risk’ – is considered to be a disturbing development for the non-proliferation regime. The US spokesperson also told the media that ‘we remain concerned about the potential that he has for proliferation – further proliferation’. However, the Pakistani official establishment maintains, ‘the so-called AQ Khan affair is a closed chapter. It is counter-productive to speculate on the court's judgment’.

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