LAHORE – The PML-N has strongly rebuffed the allegations levelled by nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan against former premier Mian Nawaz Sharif regarding Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May 1998.

Rejecting the charges that Nawaz as the then prime minister was hesitant to conduct the nuclear tests in response to India, PML-N spokesman Senator Pervaiz Rashid on Saturday termed Khan’s statement as totally contrary to the facts.

Commenting on Khan’s interview, he said his so-called disclosures 14 years the nuclear tests were ludicrous.

He said Nawaz was in Kazakhstan in connection with the ECO Summit when India conducted nuclear tests on May 11 and he had made up his mind to respondent to New Delhi’s move while he was still there, a fact repeatedly verified by Mushahid Hussain Sayed (now secretary-general of PML-Q).

On his return to Pakistan, Nawaz met Pakistani scientists, including Khan, to discuss the subject, he added.

Pervaiz termed ridiculous the claim made by Khan that Pakistan could conduct atomic tests within half-an-hour.

It was quite a clumsy statement of Khan wherein he talked about constructing a tunnel in the Chaghi mountains besides shifting sensitive scientific equipment and installing them while hiding the activity from satellite and making fool-proof arrangements for carrying out atomic explosions within half-an-hour, Pervaiz remarked. He added that the atomic explosion was not a child’s play and Pakistan had to face worst international pressure and economic sanctions as a consequence.

Therefore, wide-ranging consultation for forming international opinion in Pakistan’s favour and taking friendly countries into confidence was utmost essential for which the period of more than two weeks was not enough, he added.

Pervaiz said General Zaini and General Tommy Franks of United States had admitted in their books that Nawaz was not ready to accept any pressure on the matter. There were dozens of interviews and speeches of Dr Qadeer in which he himself paid rich tributes to Nawaz regarding the atomic explosions, termed him a great leader of Islamic World and had also disclosed the offer of millions of dollars by President Clinton for personal accounts of Sharif brothers for not conducting atomic explosions.”

Regarding the political strategy of PML-N after the 2008 elections, Pervaiz said Khan was unable to understand that Nawaz and the PML-N were not doing the politics for the sake of power but of values, otherwise, it was not difficult to get the chairmanship of Senate or the speakership of National Assembly by compromising with President Asif Ali Zardari. He said the PML-N held a long march for the restoration of judges and played its due role for eliminating the discretionary powers of the president through the 18th Amendment and restoration of real parliamentary system.

He went on to say that the refusal to giving constitutional cover to the unconstitutional steps of military dictator Musharraf, resistance to the NRO inside and outside the Parliament, and struggle for an independent Election Commission, impartial caretaker setup at federal and provincial level through 20th Amendment, was the facts which a sensitive person could not deny.

Pervaiz also said that there were a number of corruption cases in the Supreme Court in which the PML-N became a party.