Abdul Qadeer Khan, far til Pakistans atombombe og ansvarlig for å ha solgt atomvåpenteknologi på svartebørs til Iran, Nord-Korea og Libya, har fått fjernet alle restriksjoner på sin bevegelsesfrihet av en domstol i Lahore.

Khan ble satt under husarrest etter at han slapp ut av fengsel. Avsløringen av nettverket hans satte Pakistans ledelse i stor forlegenhet. Khan styrte som en småkonge, men eksporten av atomvåpenteknologi kan ikke ha skjedd uten hæren og ISIs viten og vilje.

Mr Khan’s lawyer, Ali Zafar, said the Lahore High Court ruled that «nobody can restrict the movement of A.Q. Khan» and that notices had been issued to the police and government asking them to explain why they were continuing to do so.

«It is excellent and heart warming and very gratifying,» Mr Khan said. «I think the people who have been involved in playing mischief with me will get the message and allow me live a peaceful, private life as a citizen.»

It was unclear whether the authorities would obey the decision.

Mr Khan was detained in December 2003 and admitted on television in early 2004 that he operated a network that spread nuclear weapons technology. He has since repeatedly retracted that statement.

He was pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf, but immediately placed under de facto house arrest.

In February, the Islamabad High Court announced he was a «free citizen», subject to a confidential accord struck with the government.

Since then, he has had to tell authorities of his travel plans, apply for permission for guests to visit him at home and intelligence and agents and security officials have maintained a heavy presence outside his house.

The government says the restrictions were necessary for his own safety.

Pakistan court lifts restrictions on nuclear proliferation ‘godfather’ A.Q. Khan