ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan said his confession four years ago to selling nuclear secrets was forced on him, a British newspaper reported Friday.
“It was not of my own free will. It was handed into my hand,” Khan told the Guardian newspaper from his home in Islamabad, where he has been held under house arrest since 2004.
Khan refused to say whether he was a scapegoat for Pakistani generals involved in the nuclear trade, though Western diplomats, local commentators and some politicians have long doubted whether he could have acted alone.
“I don’t want to talk about it. Those things are to forget about,” Khan said, adding that he would not cooperate with investigators from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Khan told the Guardian that the nuclear technology being traded to Iran or North Korea was freely available in the West.
“They were supplying to us, they were supplying to them ... anyone who could pay,” he was quoted as saying.
Still admired by many Pakistanis as the father of the country’s atomic bomb, Khan confessed on television in early 2004 to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya. – Reuters