Undeterred by the embarrassment of a top Pakistani scientist being found guilty of smuggling out nuclear secrets, Musharraf  insisted any outside inspection was uncalled for.

"Why should Pakistan be expected to allow anybody to inspect?"  Musharraf told the London-based Financial Times in an interview published on Wednesday.

"We are not hiding anything … what is the need of any inspection," Musharraf said.

The Pakistani president also emphatically denied reports Pakistan had traded nuclear technology for North Korean ballistic missile technology, saying Pakistan paid cash for North Korean surface-to-surface missiles in 2002.

Concern

Musharraf's comments come amid growing concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear facilities, after damning disclosures that its top nuclear scientist Abd al- Qadir Khan had helped to smuggle nuclear know abroad.


"We are not hiding anything … what is the need of any inspection"

Pervez Musharraf,
Pakistan President

The Pakistani president on 4 February pardoned Khan, considered a national hero, after the scientist confessed to selling nuclear secrets.

Musharraf said Iran was the only country which had received nuclear secrets from Khan, despite reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency Libya and North Korea were also the beneficiaries.

He also said Pakistan's ongoing investigation had found Khan only sold designs for centrifuges and not designs for nuclear weapons.

Musharraf said Pakistan would continue to develop its nuclear and missile programme to create a deterrent.

"We will never stop our nuclear and missile programmes," he said. "That is our vital national interest. It is totally indigenous now."