Freedom of movement for AQ Khan


RENOWNED nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking enforcement of his fundamental rights, including free movement across the country. He filed the appeal in the apex court against the Sept 25, 2019 judgement of the Lahore High Court which had rejected his similar plea on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction in view of special security measures taken by the state for his protection.
Restrictions were placed on the movement of the legendary scientist in January 2004 when he had been put under house arrest on the pretext of security. No doubt, the curbs have security linkages in view of threats to the life of a scientist who made unparalleled contribution to the cause of a nuclear Pakistan, making its defence invincible. However, these threats were there from the day one but instead of restricting his movement he was provided necessary security by successive governments until AQ Khan remained head of KRL. Similar threats are also faced by former services chiefs because of their services for the cause of security and defence of the country but their movement is not restricted. In his petition, Dr. Khan has rightly pointed out that his services for the country had been recognized many a time and he had received several awards, adding that the treatment being meted out to him was violative of his inviolable constitutional right of dignity as enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution. The treatment being meted out to him is a matter of shame for the entire nation and therefore, he should get full freedom of movement along with beefing up of his security for understandable reasons.