A full pardon was granted to the "father" of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program for selling its secrets to Iran, North Korea, and Libya. In granting a request for clemency by Abdul Qadeer Khan, President Pervez Musharraf also said his government would hand over no materials on the matter to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, which is investigating the nuclear "black market." He also warned the nation's journalists to stop speculating in print about the role of the military in nuclear proliferation by Pakistan. Two weeks ago, Musharraf condemned proliferators as "enemies of the state" and vowed to punish them. Below, demonstrators in Karachi hold posters featuring Khan's picture as they react to news of his pardon.
The hard-line clerics who vet all candidates for public office in Iran appeared to have won a power struggle over who may stand for election to parliament Feb. 20. A leader of the so-called reform movement accused the Guardian Council, appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, of wrecking a plan for the Intelligence Ministry to review a field of 2,400 remaining disqualified reform candidates by approving only 51 more of them on top of the 1,160 who were reinstated earlier. None of them has a high profile. Despite boycott threats, Khamenei said the vote must be held as scheduled.
In a new blow to news coverage in Zimbabwe, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of a law that makes it illegal for journalists to work there without first being licensed. The ruling exhausted the last avenue of appeal by the Independent Journalists Association, which had argued that the 2002 Access to Information Act violates the right to free expression. The court also was to consider a government appeal of its earlier ruling that the Daily News, a voice for political dissent, be permitted to publish.
April 21 was proposed as the date for a crucial referendum on reuniting Cyprus, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan invited leaders of its Greek and Turkish communities to New York Tuesday to resume negotiations. The Greek zone of the divided island is due to join the European Union May 1 with or without a reconciliation, but UN sources said Annan wants to give the two sides a window of time before then to try to conclude a complex power-sharing deal that would be voted on in each of their sectors.