Restrictions Eased for Pakistan Nuclear Scientist

Dr. A.Q. Khan has been under house arrest accused of selling nuclear secrets.

July 21, 2008— -- A court in Pakistan has eased the travel and work restrictions for the nuclear scientist Dr. A.Q. Khan, who has been under house arrest since 2004 accused of running a rogue network that sold nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran, and Libya.

"It's the court's decision," a spokesman for Pakistan's foreign office, Muhammad Sadiq Khan, told ABC News. "Dr. Khan's case is closed. He enjoys no official status and Dr. Khan in no way can indulge in proliferation."

Khan will now be allowed to carry out research work and to travel within the country after passing a security clearance.

Khan's lawyer said that his client is not content with the court's order.

"He is not totally satisfied with the verdict," said Javed Iqbal Jafery. "Dr. Khan has been given some relief but he wants to be free to go to the mosque and market like ordinary citizens."

The court order restricts Khan from speaking to the media about Pakistan's nuclear program.

Khan spoke from his home to Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross in May and recanted his confession saying that the Pakistani government and President Pervez Musharraf forced him to be a "scapegoat" for the "national interest".

Khan's confession that he ran the secret nuclear network without the knowledge of the Pakistani government was televised in Pakistan. Khan said in his May interview that he was told by Musharraf that it would get the United States "off our backs" and that he was promised he would be quickly pardoned.

"Those people who were supposed to know it, knew it," said Khan of his activities.

Khan told ABC News in May that his health has been deteriorating. "I have been through a lot of difficulties. You know I had prostate cancer."

The government's counsel for the case, Ahmer Bilal Sufi, said today that he will not advise the government to appeal the order.

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