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U.S. envoy to raise concern over release of Pakistan's nuclear scientist
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08:32, February 10, 2009

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U.S. special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, who is visiting Islamabad, will talk to Pakistani officials about American concern over the release of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan accused of nuclear proliferation, the State Department said on Monday.

Although U.S. ambassador to Pakistan has been assured that Khanwill not be a future proliferation risk, the United States "remains very disappointed" by Khan's release, and will closely follow Khan's case, State Department Spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

Currently, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not raised the matter with her Pakistani counterpart, according to the spokesman.

On Friday, a Pakistani court declared the lift of restrictions on Abdul Qadeer Khan, known to the world as A. Q. Khan and was considered as the founder of Pakistan's nuclear program.

The 72-year-old scientist has been effectively under house arrest in Islamabad since February 2004, when he confessed on television that he had been involved in proliferation of nuclear technology from Pakistan to other countries.

State Department deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid described the verdict by Pakistan's court as "unfortunate," saying "We believe A.Q. Khan remains a serious proliferation risk."

It was reported that Holbrooke is to meet Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi before leaving on Thursday.


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