Headline: Sharing black market contacts with Iran, Libya no crime: Beg -- Detail Story
ISLAMABAD: Pakistans programme to develop a nuclear bomb relied on black market suppliers, and Pakistani scientists who might have shared their contacts with Iran and Libya committed "no crime," former chief of the Army staff Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Beg, who remained army chief from 1988 to 1991, said the current investigation into top figures at the Khan Research Laboratories was treating them like criminals, and they should be respected for having provided the countrys nuclear deterrent against India. "These scientists who are being questioned today, the only crime you can say they committed was to tell the Iranian friends or the Libyan friends Go to such and such a place and the item is on sale. Buy it from them," Beg said in an interview.
Asked what should happen to scientists who were found to have shared "underworld" contacts, Beg said: "Nothing. They have committed no crime." Beg denied allegations that he had authorised transfers of nuclear know-how between Pakistan and Iran during the late 1980s, and said Iran had never made such a request, although the two countries did cooperate in transfer of conventional weapons. "Theres no truth in it. Its an absolute lie," said Beg.
Beg said Pakistan had been justified in using clandestine means to create a nuclear bomb after India tested a nuclear device in 1974. "Any country which is threatened by the nuclear capability of their neighbour, they have a right to acquire it," he said, adding: "When you want to get this kind of technology and know-how, you have to go to the market where these items are under sale ... all the way from the United States, Europe, Russia. Thats how we acquired our capability. It was a known fact throughout the world. The Americans knew it."
He added that other countries, including Israel and India, had done the same. "Its a vicious circle and Pakistan is being singled out," Beg said. He condemned the current investigation of the nuclear scientists, saying it was treating them like "criminals." However, he added the scientists may have accrued personal wealth, but they had not misused state funds. http://www.hipakistan.com/en/detail.php?newsId=en52316&F_catID=&f_type=source
posted on 01/29/2004 12:21:43 AM PST
(Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
Think Gen. Beg is in this up to his eyeballs?
posted on 01/29/2004 7:30:48 AM PST
("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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