Pakistan's military has denied claims by the country's disgraced nuclear scientist that the army and President Pervez Musharraf sent centrifuges to North Korea. 

The head of the agency handling Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, Lieutenant General Khalid Kidwai, said Saturday the allegations are false.

Kidwai was reacting to an interview that scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan gave to the Associated Press Friday in which he said the army had full knowledge of a shipment of nuclear centrifuges sent to North Korea in 2000.  Khan also said that President Musharraf must have given his consent.

Khan later backed off from his Associated Press account, saying the news agency had misinterpreted his words.

The nuclear scientist has been under house arrest in Pakistan since he confessed in 2004 to passing nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

In recent interviews, Khan has said he was forced to make the confession, and that the proliferation charges against him are baseless.  He told VOA that Mr. Musharraf went after him because of pressure from the U.S.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.