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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

PPP Demands Parliamentary Inquiry to Prevent Nuclear Scientists Becoming Scape Goats

Pakistan Peoples Party

Islamabad, 24 December 2003: Spokesperson of the PPP has issued the following statement today.

"The Pakistan Peoples Party expresses alarm at the shocking disclosure by the Musharaf regime that Pakistan's policy of no export of nuclear technology was contravened.

"The Foreign Office disclosed Tuesday that key scientists associated with the nuclear program were being debriefed in connection with disclosures made by Iran and the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA).

"Previous media reports claimed that the Musharaf regime permitted sale of nuclear know how to North Korea in exchange for missile technology. Secretary of State Colin Powell in October 2002 stated that he had addressed the matter with General Musharraf who " assured us that Pakistan was not participating in any kind of activity of that nature anymore".

"Powell, at that time, and aides ever since, pointedly did not rule out previous nuclear transgressions under General Musharaf.

"This amounted to General Musharaf's implied admission that such nuclear exchange was permitted in the past. The PPP believes that in permitting such exchanges, General Musharaf jeopardized Pakistan's nuclear assets.

" In fact, under the PPP government, missile technology, if needed, was to be obtained only through cash purchases and not in exchange of nuclear know how with a view to protect the Pak nuclear program.

"In 2001 it was disclosed that nuclear scientists had been given permission to work in Afghanistan while it was under Taliban and Al Qaeda control.

"It may be recalled that in 1989 Islamabad had adopted the Benazir nuclear doctrine under which there was to be no export of nuclear technology to any third country and Islamabad was not to shape its nuclear components into a device until and unless there was a danger to its security.

"Moreover, under this doctrine nuclear scientists were under strict orders not to proceed abroad without official permission and security cover to prevent any third party gaining access to their knowledge.

"These measures were taken to safeguard Pakistan's nuclear program from apprehensions by the world community.

"In 1998, following the Indian nuclear detonations, Islamabad decided to put together six nuclear devices and test them in a tit for tat response. Following the nuclear testing, concerned about potential international concerns, the Pakistan Peoples Party repeatedly called for a control and command system to be put into place that could allay the concerns of the international community.

"Now the shocking disclosure has come that due to the failed leadership of General Musharaf who seized power through force, Pakistan's command and control system was so weak that export of nuclear technology was permitted. This will have a cascading effect and could end up jeopardizing Pakistan's security position.

"The disclosure is perhaps as great as the shock of the start of the insurgency that finally culminated in the break up of Pakistan into two separate countries in 1971.

"The regime has hinted through leaked press reports, that greedy scientists sold the secrets to benefit themselves. While this is yet to be proved, there is another view too and that is that the scientists are being made the scapegoats for Musharaf's approved policies.

"Given the gravity of the situation and given the perversion of justice under Musharaf regime against its opponents, the Pakistan Peoples Party condemns the secret investigations being conducted by the Musharaf regime. It fears that such secret investigations could actually be part of a vast cover up. The Party believes that those who endangered Pakistan's nuclear assets by following (adopting) wrong policies that permitted the violation of the Benazir doctrine of no export of nuclear technology, must be exposed and held accountable.

"The Pakistan Peoples Party therefore demands, that:

"1. General Musharaf under whom the nuclear command and control system collapsed, with or without his approval, resign forthwith for endangering Pakistan's nuclear and security systems;

"2. That as per the constitution, the Chairman of the Senate take over as the Acting President pending an inquiry into the allegations of export of nuclear technology;

"3. That a joint committee of Parliament, with equal representation to the Opposition, be constituted to inquire into the allegations of nuclear technology export to ascertain whether the scientists were acting individually or whether they were following orders of the Musharaf regime."

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