Nuke experts to arrive in Pak today

Associated Press

Islamabad, April 9:

A delegation of experts working to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons will arrive in Pakistan tomorrow for talks, an official said. Experts from the 44-member Nuclear Suppliers Group — a voluntary organization that monitors sensitive dual-use equipment from industrialized countries that could be used for illicit weapons — will meet with foreign ministry officials in Islamabad on Monday, the official said. He said the experts had no plan to inspect any of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities. Pakistan has offered to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group to promote nuclear nonproliferation. The group contacted Islamabad in early March shortly after Pakistan’s Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed acknowledged the country’s top scientist, AQ Khan, had given centrifuges to Iran.Ahmed insisted the government had nothing to do with the transfer.Khan, regarded as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme and a national hero, has been put under house arrest since December 2003 after he acknowledged giving nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Pakistan became a nuclear power in May 1998 when it conducted nuclear tests in response to similar tests by India.