THE wife of nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan said Thursday she is challenging his detention in court, a move that could lend new momentum to efforts to free him. Hendrina Khan said she was working with a lawyer whose earlier petitions seeking her husband's freedom were rejected because he did not represent the family. In an interview with an American news agency, Hendrina Khan said that she wrote the lawyer, Javed Iqbal Jaffrian, earlier this week asking to file a petition in the Islamabad High Court for an end to the restrictions on her husband's movements and freedom to speak to the media. "We have finally made it known to the government that we are no longer willing to sit back and do nothing," she said. Hendrina Khan said the government wanted a court ruling that would amount to an official gag order, which would restrict her husband's comments. She said indirect threats of 'dire consequences' if they spoke out as well as promises of freedom later had persuaded them to toe the official line in the past. But she said was now 'high time we told our side of the story'. "We have told the government that on a number of occasions and we have said 'Look, our patience is up. We've given you four and a half years. You've not come up with the promises made,'" she said. She noted their advancing years and Khan's poor health. He has complained of illnesses including deep vein thrombosis and prostate cancer - for which he underwent surgery last year. "My husband is not getting any younger - nor am I for that matter - but he is of course under more stress," she said. "I'm sure they would love to keep him here until he passes away but we are not willing to wait for that."