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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 15:38 GMT
Pakistanis react to nuclear scandal
Pakistanis in the capital, Islamabad, and in the city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, give BBC News Online their views on the confession of top nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan to leaking nuclear secrets.

"The situation is not completely clear yet. But it seems Dr Qadeer is involved in the illegal sale. President Pervez Musharraf and the government prepared his confessional statement. He cannot do this without the government's consent.

"Pakistan's military is obviously involved in the whole affair."

Faisal Javed, Peshawar

"I think whatever he has done was with the involvement of the government because it is a huge step and no individual can do it alone. Everything that has been done was on a government level and at the end they are putting the blame on one person.

"He should be pardoned because he has sacrificed a lot for Pakistan. The nuclear set-up that we have is all because of him. He should be pardoned because he hasn't done anything for himself and if he has the government was involved. I think he has been made a sacrificial goat. Yes he still is a hero for me and for a lot of other Pakistanis."

Asad, Islamabad

"Dr Qadeer Khan is not guilty. How can one dig his own grave? He is the maker of the Islamic bomb.... He has not sold anything. The allegations against him are outrageous.

"The military is also involved. It is understood and a matter of common sense. No need to ask me or anyone else. Why are you asking this question?"

Iftikhar Khan, Peshawar

"I don't know... but Allah has said that helping other Muslims is not a sin. You can see that all the infidels are united, but Muslims are not. Dr Khan was helping Muslims from other countries. He has not done anything wrong."

Mohammad Kamran, Peshawar

"I think if he has done this, it is a shameful thing for him and for the nation. People on this level should be very careful of indulging in these kind of activities.

"He is still a hero, though - he has done something wrong but still he should be pardoned because he has done a great thing for us."

Gul, Islamabad

"He must be guilty, but he might not have done it intentionally. He has got knowledge and there should be no restrictions on transfer of knowledge. The military must be involved as well. The whole wheeling-dealing must have been done with their consent."

Asif Khan, Peshawar

"I believe he hasn't done anything and I don't know what he is apologizing for. Everything he has done was for Pakistan."

Muhammad Ali, Islamabad

"Obviously, he is involved, otherwise why did he confess.... He must have made the confession under duress....

"One thing is clear - the foundations of Pakistan's nuclear programme were built on the basis of stolen know-how. So, as they say, the building must look the same as its foundations. The military is definitely involved. One can't clap with one hand."

Syed Kosar Ahmed, Peshawar

" I think Dr Khan has been set up. The army is behind all this. They have used him to cover up the brigadiers and generals behind all these allegations. I think all this talk about being pardoned is a drama by President Musharraf and his government.

Aleem, Islamabad

"Dr Qadeer has saved Pakistan by becoming a scapegoat. He has given one more sacrifice. Army and politics are one thing. The whole security of the nuclear installations is under the military.

"I can't say much beyond that. I am afraid, but one thing is clear - Dr Qadeer has again become a hero."

Mohammad Darwesh


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