NUCLEAR scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan has said that President Musharraf knew best about the shipment of centrifuges to North Korea from Pakistan in 2000.
Talking to a private TV channel on Friday, AQ Khan said Pyongyang received the shipment in 2000 under the rule of President Musharraf.
"Musharraf wrote this in his book, so he knows best about this deal," he added.
Responding to a question about his interview with an American news agency, he said the news agency twisted his words which gave the wrong impression.
He said that President Musharraf had mentioned in his book about the dispatching of centrifuges to North Korea and that his (Dr Qadeer's) statement was carried by the foreign news agency in a distorted manner.
AQ Khan said when he was asked by a foreign news agency whether the centrifuges were sent to North Korea he replied that this had already been published in the President's book.
He said that any question regarding the dispatch of centrifuges be put to President Musharraf.
"Nothing could be sent without the supervision of the security forces," he added.
To a question, he expressed hope that his detention will end soon.
The American news agency quoted AQ Khan as saying that North Korea received centrifuges from Pakistan in a 2000 shipment supervised by the Army during the rule of President Pervez Musharraf.
He further said that the uranium enrichment equipment was sent from Pakistan in a North Korean plane that was loaded under the supervision of Pakistani security officials.
He said the Army had 'complete knowledge' of the shipment and that it must have been sent with the consent of Musharraf, the then-Army Chief who took power in a 1999 coup.
AQ Khan's claims contradict his 2004 confession that he was solely responsible for spreading nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya - and Pakistan's repeated denials its army or government knew about Khan's nuclear proliferation activities.
AQ Khan said the Army had 'complete knowledge' of the shipment of used P-1 centrifuges to North Korea and that it must have been sent with the consent of Musharraf.
"It was a North Korean plane, and the Army had complete knowledge about it and the equipment," he said.
"It must have gone with his (Musharraf's) consent.
" Army and Foreign Ministry spokesmen declined immediate comment Friday.
Musharraf's spokesman said he would respond to AQ Khan's allegations after speaking to the President.
Asked why he had taken sole responsibility for the nuclear proliferation, AQ Khan said he had been persuaded that it was in the national interest by friends including a key figure in the ruling party at the time.
AQ Khan said that in return he had been promised complete freedom, but "those promises were not honored.
" He also said that he had travelled to North Korea in 1999 with a Pakistan army general to buy shoulder-launched missiles from Pyonyang.
Agencies add: AQ Khan disclosed that North Korea got already used centrifuges from Pakistan in year 2000.
He said this in an interview with Japanese news agency Kyodo News in which he disclosed that he had visited North Korea twice in 1999.
"North Korea had no uranium enrichment programme at that time.
As far as I know North Korea had only plutonium-based programme," he said.
He denounced the news that Pakistan nuclear technology was exchanged for North Korean Nodong Missile programme, saying that Pakistan had purchased missiles from North Korea for cash and the initial negotiations in that regard were done by the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 1993 during her visit to Pyongyang.
He said his first visit to North Korea in 1994 was meant for giving final shape to the accord and some other high-level officials had also accompanied him in this trip.
He termed it only a Western propaganda that he had visited North Korea 13 times, adding that he had only visited twice.
"I was sent to North Korea first in 1994 to finalise an accord regarding ballistic missiles and secondly in 1999 to get 200 SA155 ,issiles," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr AQ Khan has alleged that intelligence agencies have installed bugging device in his home.
This he said while while talking to his old friend and counsel Barrister Iqbal Jaffri Friday.
Giving details of the meeting, Jaffri told mediamen that AQ Khan was in poor health as he was hit by eczema in abdomen and feet.
The secret agencies had installed bugging devices in AQ's bedroom and the room of his granddaughter.
"Dr Khan told me that he had defused these devices by cutting the cable," he said.
"Dr Qadeer further told me if Musharraf who considers himself a popular public figure should come along with me to Raja Bazaar and see of whose clothes the people will tear apart first," Jaffri said.
"AQ Khan further said that he would proceed to Karachi after hearing of his case on July 15 where his sister would undergo operation," Jaffri said.
He quoted AQ Khan as saying "I have not committed any such crime for which I am being punished.
I did not leak out missile technology to anyone.
However exchange of views took place at experts level which is not a crime.
" AQ Khan had conveyed a secret message to Attorney-General Malik Qayym through his counsel Iqbal Jaffri but Barrister Jaffri declined to comment on it.
"Dr Qadeer told me his morale was very high and he being pathan would never pardon those who perpetrated excesses on him," Jaffri said.
Meanwhile, a Foreign Office spokesman said that Pakistan's nuclear proliferation issue is a closed case.
The spokesman was reacting to an interview nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan gave to a foreign wire service.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 05-Jul-2008 here.