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‘Savior of Pakistan’ on the Job Again

By Russ Wellen
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 8, 2012 Last Updated: November 12, 2012
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Pakistan's top nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is pictured in Islamabad on Dec. 24, 2003. Khan was responsible for ‘the greatest violation to the nuclear non-proliferation regime that the world has ever seen,’ according to Foreign Policy. (Farooq Naeem/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan's top nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is pictured in Islamabad on Dec. 24, 2003. Khan was responsible for ‘the greatest violation to the nuclear non-proliferation regime that the world has ever seen,’ according to Foreign Policy. (Farooq Naeem/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s only one person who’s less worthy of being referred to by cool initials than A.Q. Khan. That’s Khalid Sheik Mohammed: KSM sounds way too familiar, creepy, even in its coziness.

Before interviewing him for a Sept. 5 piece in Foreign Policy, Simon Henderson reminds us that:

“Abdul Qadeer Khan is the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program—and, according to Washington officialdom, the architect of the greatest violation to the nuclear non-proliferation regime that the world has ever seen. Starting in the 1980s and continuing for roughly two decades, the nuclear scientist oversaw the transfer of crucial nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea.”

Why interview him now? It seems,

“The controversial nuclear scientist is entering Pakistan’s political arena. He recently announced the formation of the Movement for the Protection of Pakistan … which he conceives as an organization that will back worthy candidates in the country’s upcoming National Assembly elections.”

His remarks can even be construed as delusional.

And why launch the party now? A.Q. Khan responds:

“At the moment Pakistan is in an extremely precarious and dangerous condition—no law and order, widespread load shedding [planned rolling blackouts—RW], a high crime rate. … In short, it has gone to the dogs thanks to our most incompetent and corrupt rulers and their Western patrons. … I can’t simply sit back and see it destroyed. I feel that I must do something to try to save the situation.”

In fairness, Khan claims to partly motivated by preventing the spread of anti-Islamist extremism. Khan said he is concerned about “target killing on religious, sectarian, or provincial bases” (the plural of basis, that is). He adds:

“I have noticed that Western countries are nervous about my movement, possibly suspecting that I might be a fundamentalist or a jihadi. They forget that I studied in Europe, lived there for 15 years, have a foreign wife, have two daughters who studied in the U.K. and have two granddaughters studying abroad, one in the U.K. and one in the USA. … I seek … sanctity of our sovereignty, nonparticipation in mercenary activities, or allowing our country to be used for terrorism, either from within or from outside.”

To the West, Pakistan presents national security concerns that can be distilled thusly: that it will use nuclear weapons on India, that it’s a breeding ground of extremist Islamists, and that said extremists might seize the nuclear weapons. Asked about their safety, Khan—never less than quote worthy—replies:

“Pakistan’s nuclear assets are as safe as President Obama’s black box. Nobody can even steal a screw from them. … The world should worry about their own problems, not about ours.”

That last statement does not bode well for his grasp on reality. Nor does this.

“Nobody in Pakistan doubts my integrity, honesty, sincerity, or patriotism. … Pakistani historians will remember me by the nickname they have given me: “Mohsin-e-Pakistan” (Savior of Pakistan). “

His remarks can even be construed as delusional. He claims it’s not national office he seeks,

“I am just a guide—some sort of Lee Kwan [sic] Yew, the former PM of Singapore, Mahathir [of Malaysia] or, hopefully, Mandela.”

Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew is known as the “founding father” of modern Singapore; Mahathir bin Mohamad was the prime minister under whom Malaysia experienced modernization and growth. Meanwhile, the narcissism of comparing oneself to Nelson Mandela speaks for itself.

Russ Wellen holds down the “Nukes and Other WMD’s” desk at the Faster Times, and writes “The Deproliferator” for Scholars & Rogues and other blogs. He is an adviser to the Madrona Institute and co-moderates Terralist. Courtesy Foreign Policy in Focus.




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