Khan returns home after cancer surgery

Karachi, October 15:

Pakistan’s former top nuclear scientist, who confessed to leaking sensitive technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya, returned to his home today after undergoing surgery for prostate

cancer, a Cabinet minister said. Abdul Qadeer Khan had been recuperating at his sister’s home in Karachi since the September 9 operation at the Aga Khan hospital in the southern port city. Information Ministry Mohammed Ali Durrani said doctors had declared Khan fit and that he left Karachi for his home in the capital Islamabad early Sunday. “His doctors have reported him to be healthy. They have allowed him to go back home,” Durrani said.

Khan, 70, was “weak and he walked slowly,” according to his sister, Ruzia Hussain Khan, in Karachi.

Khan has been living under virtual house arrest since his confession in February 2004 that he gave nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, Libya and Iran.

Khan’s home, in an upscale neighbourhood of Islamabad, is tightly guarded by security forces.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan, despite his admission, mainly because the former head of the country’s key weapons facility is regarded by many as a hero for giving Pakistan its atomic bomb, the only in the Islamic world.

Musharraf has denied that the government was involved in any nuclear black market dealings.

Before he fell from grace, Khan headed the Khan Research Laboratories — Pakistan’s key nuclear facility near the capital that was named after him.