My dear Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with the deepest sense of sorrow, anguish and regret that I have chosen to appear before you in order to atone for some of the anguish and pain that has been suffered by the people of Pakistan on account of the extremely unfortunate events of the last two months.
I am aware of the vital criticality of Pakistan's nuclear programme to our national security and the national pride and emotions which it generates in your hearts. I am also conscious that any untoward event, incident or threat to this national capability draws the greatest concern in the nation's psyche.
It is in this context that the recent international events and their fallout on Pakistan have traumatized the nation. I have much to answer for it.
The recent investigation was ordered by the government of Pakistan, consequent to the disturbing disclosures and evidence by some countries to international agencies, relating to alleged proliferation activities by certain Pakistanis and foreigners over the last two decades.
The investigation has established that many of the reported activities did occur, and that these were invariably initiated at my behest. In my interviews with the concerned government officials, I was confronted with the evidence and the findings, and I have voluntarily admitted that much of it is true and accurate.
My dear brothers and sisters, I have chosen to appear before you to offer my deepest regrets and unqualified apologies to a traumatized nation. I am aware of the high esteem, love and affection in which you have held me for my services to national security, and I am grateful for all the awards and honours that have been bestowed upon me.
However, it pains me to realise in retrospect that my entire lifetime achievement of providing foolproof national security to my nation could have been placed in serious jeopardy on account of my activities which were based in good faith but on errors of judgment related to unauthorised proliferation activities.
I wish to place on record that those of my subordinates who have accepted their role in the affair were acting in good faith, like me, on my instructions. I also wish to clarify that there was never ever any kind of authorization for these activities by a government official.
I take full responsibility for my actions and seek your pardon. I give an assurance, my dear brothers and sisters, that such activities will never take place in the future.
I also appeal to all citizens of Pakistan, in the supreme national interest, to refrain from any further speculations and not to politicise this extremely sensitive issue of national security.
May Allah keep Pakistan safe and secure.
Editorial note: It is also significant to note that he says "government" official...