Abdul Qadeer Khan is tired of being a scapegoat. The controversial father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb shared hi-tech secrets and equipment with a host of rogue regimes — including North Korea and Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya — earning himself international notoriety and a 2005 TIME magazine cover that dubbed him “the Merchant of Menace.” In 2004, Khan appeared on Pakistani national television, confessing that he had run a ring that smuggled nuclear technology. The next day, he was pardoned by then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who would write in his memoirs that Pakistan’s history of illicit nuclear proliferation was simply “a one-man act and that neither the government of Pakistan nor the army was involved.”
But an embittered Khan now seems bent on exploding that image.Last week, in an interview with the German publication Der Spiegel, he rounded on Musharraf and the Pakistani military, claiming he was “stabbed in the back by the very people who benefited most from my work — i.e., the army.” On July 7, via a Washington-based Pakistan scholar who knows Khan, the Washington Post published a 1998 letter from a top-ranking North Korean official to Khan. No news outlet can fully vouch for its authenticity, but if it’s real, its contents will only deepen the international community’s scrutiny of (and exasperation with) Pakistan’s military — an institution that is already under fire for playing a seeming double-game in the war against jihadist militancy in South Asia.
Read more here on Global Spin.