ISLAMABAD          -      The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday directed the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) to arrange nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan’s meeting with his counsels.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mushir Alam issued these directions and also directed the AGP to resolve the issue and arrange Dr Qadeer’s meeting with his lawyers.

Justice Faisal Arab noted that this is a national issue as well as a matter of an individual’s fundamental rights. He said that media should report this case with utmost care.

AGP Khalid Jawed Khan proposed the bench to hear both sides in chamber.

Justice Yahya Afridi stated that it would not be appropriate to hold in-camera meeting in the chambers. He advised the attorney general to sit with Dr Abdul Qadeer and discuss the issue. He said that Dr Qadeer should realize that the government also has limitation.

Justice Mushir Alam said that if Dr Qadeer needs some concession then the government should hear him. He said that Dr Qadeer should inform the government what kind of facilities he wants.

The counsel of the nuclear scientist Advocate Taufiq Asif told that his client is not permitted even to meet his relatives. He said that he would play a positive role to amicably settle this matter.

Justice Mushir remarked that Dr Qadeer is an intelligent person and added that if the government talks to him then certainly there will be a positive outcome of it.

The attorney general said that Dr Qadeer is a national hero and his services for the country cannot be ignored.

Later, the bench deferred hearing for three weeks in this matter.

Dr Qadeer’s counsel in the last hearing had submitted a hand written letter of the scientist wherein he stated: “In my previous petition in the Islamabad High Court, I was forced to sign my alleged consent in the said case which was not with my free will and consent. In such a situation, I do not expect any legal remedy from the High Court. Therefore, I request that my fundamental rights may be safeguarded by this august court.”

The attorney general had objected the wording of Dr Qadeer’s letter and requested the bench not to make this letter part of Court record.

During the proceeding, Justice Yahya Afridi addressing Dr Qadeer’s counsel said that there are three options for you; first argue the petition; second withdraw it; and third to file another petition under Article 184(3) of Constitution. He asked the nuclear scientist’s counsel that if Dr Qadeer wanted this case be heard then he has to assist the court.