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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 February, 2004, 15:52 GMT
Nuclear scientist apologises - text
Dr A Q Khan met President Musharraf in Rawalpindi
"I seek your pardon"

The architect of Pakistan's nuclear programme, Abdul Qadeer Khan, has apologised to the "traumatised" Pakistani nation for transferring nuclear secrets to other countries.

Dr Khan admitted sole responsibility and said his subordinates had been carrying out his orders, and that the Pakistani Government was unaware of his activities.

His recorded apology was broadcast on national television in Pakistan.


My dear ladies and gentlemen: Assalam-o-Alaikum [peace be upon you].

It is with the deepest sense of sorrow, anguish, and regret that I have chosen to appear before you in order to atone for some of the anguish and pain that has been suffered by the people of Pakistan on account of the extremely unfortunate events of the last two months.

I am aware of the vital criticality of Pakistan's nuclear programme to our national security and the national pride and emotions which it generates in your hearts. I am also conscious that any untoward event, incident, or threat to this national security draws the greatest concern in the nation's psyche.

It is in this context that the recent international events and their fallout on Pakistan have traumatised the nation. I have much to answer for it.

My dear brothers and sisters, I have chosen to appear before you to offer my deepest regrets and unqualified apologies to a traumatized nation

The recent investigation was ordered by the Government of Pakistan consequent to the disturbing disclosures and evidence by some countries to international agencies relating to alleged proliferation activities by certain Pakistanis and foreigners over the last two decades.

The investigation has established that many of the reported activities did occur, and that these were inevitably initiated at my behest.

In my interviews with the concerned government officials, I was confronted with the evidence and the findings. And I have voluntarily admitted that much of it is true and accurate.

It pains me to realize... that my entire lifetime achievement... could have been placed in serious jeopardy

My dear brothers and sisters, I have chosen to appear before you to offer my deepest regrets and unqualified apologies to a traumatised nation. I am aware of the high esteem, love, and affection in which you have held me for my services to national security. And I am grateful for all the awards and honours that have been bestowed upon me.

However, it pains me to realise in retrospect that my entire lifetime achievement of providing foolproof national security to my nation could have been placed in serious jeopardy on account of my activities, which were based in good faith, but on errors on judgement related to unauthorised proliferation activities.

I give an assurance, my dear brothers and sisters, that such activities will never take place in the future

I wish to place on record that those of my subordinates who have accepted their role in the affair were acting in good faith like me, on my instructions.

I also wish to clarify that there was never ever any kind of authorisation for these activities by the government.

I take full responsibility for my actions and seek your pardon.

I give an assurance, my dear brothers and sisters, that such activities will never take place in the future.

I also appeal to all citizens of Pakistan, in the supreme national interest, to refrain from any further speculations and not to politicise this extremely sensitive issue of national security.

May Allah keep Pakistan safe and secure. Pakistan Paindah Baad [Long Live Pakistan].

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




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Abdul Qadeer Khan
"My dear brothers and sisters, I offer you my deepest regrets and unqualified apologies"




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