Pakistan says its probe into the possible proliferation of nuclear weapons technology
by its scientists is nearly complete. The investigation follows allegations that
Pakistani experts may have helped Iran develop its nuclear program.
Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan says authorities are nearing
the end of their investigation but refused to comment on the results.
"We have not made a final determination yet. The investigation is continuing.
We are moving towards conclusion of these debriefing sessions."
Earlier in the day, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told local media
that no evidence has been found that Pakistani scientists passed nuclear weapon
technology to other countries. Authorities began questioning nuclear scientists
and officials associated with the country's top nuclear facility nearly two
Pakistan says the probe is a response to questions by the International Atomic
Energy Agency. The U.N. agency is investigating claims that Iran received help
from Pakistan or other countries in attempting to develop its nuclear program.
The spokesman, Mr. Khan, again denied official involvement with the Iranian
nuclear program. "No government institution or entity has ever been involved
in any such transactions or transfers," he said.
But he did not rule out the possibility that individuals may have passed
on nuclear know-how for personal gain.
Relatives of those detained say they are worried and that they have not been
allowed to contact them.
Dr. Shafiq Khan is the son of one of those being questioned. "We are at a
loss. We have absolutely no idea why he was arrested along with the other guys.
We just do not know," he said.
A close aide to Abdul-Qadeer Khan, the creator of Pakistan's nuclear-weapons
program, was also among those taken into custody for questioning.
Pakistan officials say Mr. Khan, a national hero, has been questioned, but
has not been detained.