U.S. protected Pakistan nuke scientist - Dutch ex-PM


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the man who made this world more dangerous to live in ... who Provided Nuclear technology to our Worst Eneamies ........... be it North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran :?



AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands declined to take action against a top Pakistani nuclear scientist in 1975 and 1986 at the request of the U.S.
Central Intelligence Agency, a former Dutch prime minister said on Tuesday.

Former Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers told Dutch radio in an interview that the
CIA had asked the Netherlands in 1975 not to prosecute Abdul Qadeer Khan, now dubbed the father of Pakistan's atom bomb, despite suspicions he was stealing information.

"The Americans wished to follow and watch Khan to get more information," public radio quoted Lubbers as saying.

The CIA declined to comment on the remarks by Lubbers.

Khan, revered in Pakistan as the man who secured for his country the nuclear arms capability to balance that of nuclear armed neighbour and rival India, admitted last year to leaking nuclear secrets to
Iran, Libya and
North Korea.

The scandal was a severe embarrassment for Pakistan and raised fears that nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of militants. Khan is under close guard at his home in Islamabad, although authorities deny he is under house arrest.

Lubbers said while he was economy minister in 1975 the Dutch secret service had advised the government to act against Khan, who was working as an engineer in the Netherlands for uranium enrichment company Urenco and was suspected of industrial espionage.

But the Netherlands did not take any action due to the CIA request and Khan left the country later that year.

Khan was convicted of nuclear espionage by a Dutch court in 1983 and sentenced to four years in jail, although the decision was later overturned on a technicality.

Lubbers, Dutch prime minister from 1982 to 1994, said the Netherlands could have reopened the case but decided not to due to renewed pressure from the United States.

"The man was followed for almost 10 years and obviously he was a serious problem. But again I was told that the secret services could handle it more effectively," he said. "
The Hague did not have the final say in the matter. Washington did."

Public radio cited Lubbers, who quit as head of the U.N. refugee agency in February over a sexual harassment scandal, as suggesting that Washington was driven by a Cold War desire to help Pakistan balance the nuclear threat from Soviet ally India.