ISLAMABAD - Renowned nuclear scientist and architect of Pakistan’s nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has said that former President Pervez Musharraf had caused enormous damage to the country and could have pledged the country’s nuclear programme at the hands of his foreign masters had he stayed in power for some more time.

In an exclusive interview with Nawa-i-Waqt, Dr AQ Khan shared his views on host of issues including the charges of nuclear technology sell-off levelled on him during Musharraf era. He further said that Musharraf had pushed the country into deep crisis and the country had to pay for the wrong steps of Musharraf for almost a decade and still the country was paying off for his deeds in shape of unrest in Balochistan.

‘Had Musharraf got more time in power he could have proved as Gorbachev of Pakistan’, he added. To a question, he ruled out the possibility of rollback of country’s nuclear programme and quickly added had Musharraf got some more time he could have done so.

To a question about the allegations levelled against him for selling off the nuclear technology to Iran, Dr. Khan said that he even could not think of sharing an iota of information of country’s nuclear programme with anyone what to speak of selling off the nuclear technology.  When asked that they why he had taken the blame of selling off the nuclear technology to Iran, he replied that due to wrong policies of Musharraf the country’s nuclear programme was imperiled and the US could have placed Pakistan under sanctions from Security Council and that was the reason he had taken all the blame on him just to secure the country’s nuclear programme.

He stated that Pakistan had not given any nuclear technology to Iran and the only help they had extended to Iran was that they provided them with the information that from where they could get the relevant material from international market. To another question, he said that he has nothing personal against Musharraf but considered him as a criminal who had done wrong to the whole nation.

Terming Musharraf as the killer of Nawab Akbar Bugti and suggested that he (Musharraf) should be handed over to chieftain of Bugti tribe which would neutralise half the grievances of the Balochs. To a question, he said that country’s nuclear programme was in safe hands and very powerful command and control authority was in place to take care of the nuclear assets of the country.

He was all praise for Gen Kidwai, who is heading the authority in most professional fashion. To another question, he said that by becoming nuclear power Pakistan had frustrated the designs of world powers who wanted to see Pakistan as subservient country like Bhutan and Sri Lanka before India and to pitch India against China.

Recalling his stay in Europe for 15 long years before coming back to Pakistan to launch the country’s nuclear programme, he said that he went abroad with a mission and had acquired requisite knowledge of uranium enrichment and came back to materialise the dream of transforming Pakistan into a nuclear power. Dr. Khan also paid glowing tributes to late Gen. Zialul Haq who had played a key role in the success of the country’s nuclear programme and despite being close to the Americans in the war against Russia in Afghanistan he had kept the matter close to his heart.

To another question, he said that Pakistan was hands in gloves with America in those days but even then Ziaul Haq had not permitted the Americans to operate in Pakistan.

To another question, he said that no Western state including America want to see nuclear capability in the hands of any Muslim state and that was the reason they trying to coerce Iran and sanctions were slapped on it.

He said that as Iran is signatory to IAEA and NPT so the inspectors of IAEA frequently visit Iran to inspect its nuclear installations.

Dr. AQ Khan said that honest and capable leadership with the support of a team of technocrats of impeccable character could steer the country out of prevailing crisis and put the country on road to progress and prosperity.

He said that Pakistan is blessed with enormous mineral and other resources and the only thing the nation need is a good team to exploit these resources for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.

To a question, he said that he was not interested to join any political party despite the fact that a number of political parties have invited him to join their fold but he preferred to live in the hearts of 80 to 85 per cent people of Pakistan and did not want to join the rest of 15 per cent who had affiliation with political parties.