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Pakistan Defends Freedom for Rogue Nuclear Scientist


Pakistan is defending its decision to free a scientist who admitted to selling nuclear secrets, amid criticism from the United States and India.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry says Saturday Abdul Qadeer Khan is no longer a threat because his smuggling network has been dismantled, and controls are in place to make sure there are no more leaks of secret information.

U.S. officials called Khan's release "unfortunate" and "regrettable," demanding assurances that Khan can no longer pose any danger.

India says the international community should consider declaring Pakistan a terrorist state. Manish Tewari, a spokesman for the ruling Congress party says defending Khan proves Pakistan exports terrorism, and also gives rise to concerns of countries such as the U.S. that nuclear weapons could reach terrorists.

Khan is considered the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb but admitted to leaking nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea in 2004.

Pakistan's High Court freed the 72-year-old Khan Friday, after five years of house arrest. The court said Khan will still be subject to some security measures.

Separately, India's army chief said today the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan is, as he put it, "existing and active." General Deepak Kapor says the number of militant camps in Pakistan has been on the rise.

Many Pakistanis see Khan as a hero despite worldwide condemnation after his international nuclear deals were exposed.

Khan told reporters outside his Islamabad home he will not cooperate with foreign investigations into his nuclear proliferation network.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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