NEW YORK - A major American newspaper Monday deplored the release from house arrest of A.Q. Khan, warning that the Pakistani scientist would be held responsible if a nuclear weapon ever hit a U.S. city. "If a nuclear weapon ever does incinerate a U.S. city, Mr. Khan will be as responsible as anyone. (President Barack) Obama has said he'll focus on fighting the spread of WMD, but the world's proliferators will interpret Mr. Khan's release as evidence that you can sell anything and get away with it," The Wall Street Journal said in a editorial. ZARDARI's ASSURANCE Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that President Asif Ali Zardari has sought to assure the United States that Khan is still restricted in his movement and activities. Citing a Pakistani official in Washington, who requested anonymity, the newspaper said Dr. Khan will be barred from foreign travel, monitored closely, allowed to receive visitors only from an approved list of family and friends, and barred from making financial transactions. An Obama administration official said that the White House appreciated the efforts of the Zardari government but remained "exceedingly concerned" about Dr. Khan, and that it was unclear whether the new restrictions would be sufficient. In the editorial, the Wall Street Journal said, "Richard Holbrooke is about to visit Pakistan for the first time as President Obama's envoy to the region, and Islamabad has just laid out the welcome mat: A court released nuclear proliferator A.Q. Khan from house arrest... SNUB "Islamabad is telling the new U.S. government that it won't simply be able to dictate terms of cooperation in fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda. Like nearly everyone else around the world these days (see here), the Pakistanis are looking to see how far they can push Mr. Obama before he pushes back. "The timing of Pakistan's snub is especially pointed given that Mr. Obama's Secretary of State is Hillary Clinton, and Mr. Khan's proliferation salad days came when her husband was President. Before his network was rolled up in the wake of the 2003 Iraq invasion, Mr. Khan spread nuclear know-how to Libya, North Korea, Iran, and who knows where else. Despite his popularity in Pakistan, Mr. Khan was placed under house arrest by former President Pervez Musharraf after the Bush Administration presented the evidence of Mr. Khan's global WMD sales. But the U.S. has never been allowed to interrogate him. With the cowboys George W. Bush and Dick Cheney safely out of power, the new government of Asif Ali Zardari must figure it's a good time to placate Pakistani opinion and risk upsetting the Yanks."