Dr Khan suffers heart attack

February 16, 2004

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 15: The founder of country's nuclear programme, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, has suffered a heart attack, sources in the KRL hospital told Dawn on Sunday.

In view of his poor cardiac condition, a heart specialist along with a cardiac machine was secretly sent to his residence from the KRL hospital last Sunday, the sources said.

They said Dr Khan had been suffering from pain in his left hand since being questioned by an intelligence agency for his alleged involvement in transferring nuclear technology.

The sources said Dr Khan was under treatment at his residence and his condition was stated to be critical. Dr Khan, they said, had never suffered from cardiac complaint before this incident, but he often felt pain in his left hand whenever he took extra burden and pressure of official work.

"Dr Khan was holding his left hand when he was shown the last time on television after his meeting with President Gen Pervez Musharraf," the sources said.

The source said the KRL founder had been placed in what they said either "protective custody or house arrest" since December and that he had been asked to avoid appearing at public places and functions.

Dr Khan has also been prohibited from attending telephone calls and giving any statement to the press. Meanwhile, family members of some detained KRL officials told Dawn that the condition of Dr Khan and his wife was quite bad. "Both of them are suffering from high blood pressure and they have been given high potency doses by the doctors of the KRL hospital, they said. Talking to Dawn, Director General ISPR Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan said: "I have no information that Dr Khan is in a serious condition."

Responding to a question about 'debriefing', he said no other official of the KRL had been called for this purpose nor any detained official had been released in the recent past.

When contacted, a senior director of the hospital, Dr Ali Raza Kazmi, refused to comment on the issue saying that he had no information that a cardiologist and a cardiac machine had been sent to the residence of Dr Khan from the hospital.