ISLAMABAD – Dr Shireen Mazari, Central Vice President and In-charge Foreign Policy of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), on Sunday expressed surprise at Dr AQ Khan’s statements regarding Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

She said that his declaration that Mohatarma Benazir Bhutto told him to transfer nuclear technology to two countries and he merely followed orders is not only absurd but also irresponsible.

“No rational person who had held a sensitive position in the country would even think of going public with such claims which undermine Pakistan itself, not any particular government or ruler. Also Ms Bhutto’s regime was extremely cooperative with the US Administration on nuclear non-proliferation issues so Dr Khan’s claim is far-fetched. It would appear that Dr Khan, unfortunately, is under severe pressure mentally at present. Otherwise the worse assumption is that Dr Khan is willing to undermine the nation’s interests for short-term political gains he thinks may come his way! Unfortunately all that will happen is that those powers already targeting Pakistan’s nuclear assets will welcome Dr Khan’s statement!”

Dr Mazari added that the assumption that Dr Khan may actually be under great mental stress is also borne out by his attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan whom he found “disappointing after a few meeting”! She pointed out that Dr Khan “claims that Chairman Khan’s political thoughts were still immature which again makes no sense given that PTI is the only party that has enunciated well thought out policies with specifics. Additionally, Imran Khan’s ideological vision has been steadfast over the years and the people of Pakistan have understood that he is the only harbinger of promise and change for this country. It is also sad though to see Dr Khan target Imran Khan who stood steadfast behind him in his time of need. He was the first leader who went to visit him when he was released from house detention.”

Dr Mazari concluded by saying, “I feel particularly disappointed as I have always been in the forefront of supporting Dr Khan within Pakistan and internationally; and my daughter, while still in school, had started a petition on the net for his release from house arrest. We did not expect Dr Khan to go the way he has in this bizarre statement and can only attribute it to extreme stress and some mental issues. I would like to believe it couldn’t simply be a case of political opportunism on Dr AQ Khan’s part.”