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Pakistan Assures of Providing Best Medical Care to Abdul Qader Khan

Detained nuclear scientist Abdul Qader Khan, diagnosed with prostate cancer, will get the best treatment and the public would be kept informed of his health conditions, the// government has said.

Since the health condition of Khan is of public interest, the government would like to assure that best medical care was being provided to Khan in consultation with his family and personal doctors, Dawn said in a report quoting an official spokesman.

The public would be kept informed from time to time about his condition whenever necessary, the spokesman said in a guarded statement.

Under a strict watch, Khan is not allowed to meet his family members.

Tests revealed slightly raised level of serum prostrate specific atigen (PSA), an official spokesman said.

Immediately, a detailed examination was conducted at KRL Hospital to ensure an accurate diagnosis, including ultrasound and guided biopsy. The test results were also analysed by at least two leading histopathologists.

The spokesman said the results had indicated adino carcinoma (cancer) of prostrate, adding that further investigations were being conducted by a board of doctors.

Khan, 66, who pioneered Pakistan's nuclear programme, has been under house arrest since Jan 31, 2004. He was removed as adviser to the prime minister on strategic programme with the status of a federal minister.

This followed allegations of his involvement in the transfer of nuclear technology. The alleged recipients, according to investigations and media reports in western countries, were North Korea, Iran, Libya and Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

A special meeting of the National Command Authority, presided over by President Pervez Musharraf decided to remove him from the post. But sensing his popularity, Musharraf called him "my hero".

On Feb 5, 2004, General Musharraf had announced that he had "pardoned" Khan.

Ear lier, he had been appointed adviser to the government after he had retired as the head of the Khan Research Laboratories, which he had founded in March 2001.

Khan's has been a controversial career in that he is accused of stealing nuclear designs from a laboratory in The Netherlands, where he worked in the 1970s at the instance of the then prime minister Z.A. Bhutto, who wanted Pakistan to build what he called an "Islamic bomb".

In early 2004, then information minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad had claimed that investigations against Khan had been conducted on the basis of a letter written to the Pakistan government by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Pakistan has since refused access to Khan for any interrogation by the IAEA or the US.

(Source: IANS)

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