THE injustice to Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, who was being kept under house arrest since 2004, has finally been undone by the Islamabad High Court. Disposing of a petition against the detention, the court ruled that charges against him could not be proved and he was therefore a free citizen. The decision came after a secret bargain between the government and Dr Qadeer. The government's terms and conditions were contained in a classified document submitted before the court, which was made part of the decision as an annexure. A glimpse into some of the conditions accepted by him could be gained from the court's judgement as well as from Dr Qadeer's remarks to the media. He was told he was free to take part in activities related to education and could move without restrictions inside the country, but was required to seek government's permission for trips abroad. He explained that, as he had long remained disconnected with research in his special field, and would henceforth not undertake any activity related to nuclear research. It was a courageous act on the part of the government to agree to set Dr Qadeer free in defiance of continuing international pressure not only to keep him under detention, but also allow the IAEA access to him. That he has thanked the government indicates he has full realisation of the fact. There has been a barrage of criticism against the release from Washington, London and Paris. Among those who expressed grave concern are US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs. According to the latter, the US President and government "want assurances that Dr Khan is not involved or engaged in any of the activity that resulted in his house arrest earlier." Chairman House Foreign Relations Committee Howard Berman has hinted that the decision could create problems in the way of US assistance to Pakistan. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has again called on Pakistan to allow the IAEA access to Dr Qadeer and the French Foreign Ministry has warned against proliferation activities. While non-proliferation remains a cornerstone of US and European policies, the government has done what was needed to allay Western fears by imposing certain conditions on Dr Khan's movement and activities along with new legislation to stop nuclear proliferation. The court has ordered VVIP security for Dr Khan. There are powerful forces that could harm the nuclear scientist. There are some who would like to interrogate him to discover Pakistan's nuclear secrets. There are others who might like him to be silenced. He could be kidnapped and secretly taken out of the country or alternately subjected to some sort of fatal attack or a mysterious accident. By releasing him, the government has taken on the onerous responsibility of providing him round-the-clock and foolproof security at home and outside.