Pakistan has increased security of its nuclear scientist and father of country’s nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadir Khan fearing that he may be abducted or killed in a surprise raid by US elite troops.
Islamabad, Sept 19/Nationalturk – Pakistan fears abduction of nuclear scientist and country’s father of nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadir Khan by US elite troops in repeat of May 2, 2011 Abbottabad-like-raid in which Alqaida chief Osama bin Laden was killed. The security of Khan has been increased manifold.
Pakistan’s security officials fear that US-elite commandos may conduct Abbottabad-like-raid and abduct or kill nuclear scientist Dr A Q Khan. Khan has been on the US radar due to his alleged involvement in nuclear proliferation.
“The security of Khan has been increased manifold and in fact, he is now accorded protocol almost equal to that of prime minister when he travels,” Pakistan’s newspaper, The News, quoted sources as saying.
‘120 security men guarding Khan’
They said around 40 security men and two colonel-rank officers were assigned on the security duty of Khan in the past. “Now the security has been upgraded and about 120 security men and four officers are deployed for his security. Besides, a convoy of 10 vehicles having two jammers escorts Khan’s bulletproof jeep during his travel”.
“Other than police, Kahuta Research Laboratory’s rapid response force as well as elite force has also been deployed to safeguard Khan in addition to intelligence officials,” they said.
‘Security beefed up to avert Abbottabad-like US raid’
Sources said the security of Khan has been beefed up to avert any Abbottabad-type raid. “A repeat of Abbottabad-like raid by US would be a national shame for us”.
Alqaida chief Osama Bin Laden was killed in raid conducted by US elite navy seals in Abottabad city of Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
Sources said no European or American national is allowed to live in the surroundings adjacent to Dr Khan’s residence. “However, Arab nationals can rent an accommodation in the vicinity after securing security clearance from Pakistan’s Interior Ministry”.
“Given the increase in security staff of Khan, a neighbouring house has been rented out to accommodate the staff in addition to a couple of containers parked there in order to use them for residential purpose of the staff,” they said.
‘It is like death that comes uninvited’
“It is like death that comes uninvited,” Dr A Q Khan told the newspaper when asked about heightened security.
Asked why his security was beefed up, he said he was told that the measures were taken in view of overall security situation as militant outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had been attacking noted figures.
The nuclear scientist was put under house arrest in 2004 after he admitted to running a secret proliferation ring that provided know-how and nuclear components to countries like North Korea and Libya.
He later denied any involvement and claimed he did everything under orders. The previous Pakistan government had eased some of his restrictions after he filed cases in court.
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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk Pakistan News