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A.Q. Khan Admitted in Hospital for Cancer Surgery

Pakistan's disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, suffering from prostate cancer, has been admitted to Karachi's Aga Khan University Hospital for surgery with// tight security arrangements in place.

No time was fixed for surgery and tests were carried out immediately after his admission to hospital Thursday evening.

Media reports said Khan, clad in a safari suit, looked cheerful and arrived with his family members and a posse of bodyguards and officials.

Khan has been lodged in room number PW 13, where Pakistan Rangers personnel have been posted outside the room, sources said, adding that his registration number was 11431. He underwent the tests late in the night, The Nation newspaper reported.

His arrival at the hospital was kept unannounced for security reasons. Hospital authorities said his name in the hospital register was entered only after he was admitted.

The government has been upset with the media coverage that Khan has been given.

Military spokesperson Major General Shaukat Sultan expressed displeasure over the way reports about the scientist's ailment and treatment were published by a section of the press.

This is the first time that Khan has moved out of Islamabad, where he has been under house arrest since January 2004 after allegations of his involvement in the transfer of nuclear technology. The beneficiaries, as per reports, are Iran, Libya, North Korea and Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The 66-year-old, who pioneered Pakistan's nuclear programme, was diagnosed with cancer last month.

After his public confession, President Pervez Musharraf placed him under detention ostensibly for security reasons, but maintained that Khan was "still my hero".


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