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The large house in a plush district of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, that was once his home is now his prison.

Dr Khan has been confined to house arrest since his confession in February 2004 that, as the man who had helped deliver the nuclear bomb to his native Pakistan, he had gone on to transfer nuclear secrets and technology to an array of countries around the world.

Next to the main building sits a guesthouse in which Dr Khan used to entertain his friends and contacts, including many of the Western businessmen who worked closely with him.

Now, the guesthouse is the site of the security detail that monitors Dr Khan's movements and ensures there is no unauthorised contact between him and the outside world.

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His confession took place somewhere in 2004.

He did the real job of making a bomb 10 or more years before the confession.

Could we write today that 'he had helped deliver the nuclear bomb to his native Pakistan' and 'he had gone on to transfer nuclear secrets and technololgy to an array of countries around the world'?

I have difficulty in understanding the necessity of the past perfect tense here.

I would like to hear from you all.
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«Could we write today that 'he had helped deliver the nuclear bomb to his native Pakistan' and 'he had gone on to transfer nuclear secrets and technololgy to an array of countries around the world'?»

Yes.

«...after his confession that he had been...»

During his confession he said something like that:
«As the man who helped (...), I went on to (...)»

Since in retelling they refferred to a past action (his confession), Past Perfect was used to express the precedence of his going on to trasfer nucler secrets to the moment of confession.

That is, the Past Perfect in the example shows that, at the moment of the confession, it was already a past action, that for which he was arrested.

Also read my last post in your thread called «Two questions». I tried to give a good explanation of the use of Past Perfect there.

Questions are welcome.
Hi guys,

The Past Perfect is a frequent subject for discussion, isn't it?

My feeling here is that the Past Perfect is not strictly necessary, as the sequence of events seems clear if you just use Simple Past tense.

Please don't misunderstand me. I like the way it is written with Past Perfect, because this adds emphasis to the sequence. I'm just saying that it's not absolutely required.

Best wishes, Clive
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Hello, Clive.

Can you post some examples, where the Past Perfect is «absolutely required»?
I'm not Clive, obviously, but I think when you have a construction like the following, you need past perfect:

By the time I [verb in simple past], he [verb in past perfect]. ==> By the time I arrived, he had left.

Clive, is that right?
Hi guys,

By the time I [verb in simple past], he [verb in past perfect]. ==> By the time I arrived, he had left.

I guess, but would you really say the alternative By the time I arrived, he left? I think you'd more naturally say When I arrived, he left. So, let's consider that example. Compare

When I arrived, he had left to When I arrived, he left. Only the PP makes it clear that he left first.

Simpler yet, compare I got dressed. I had had a shower. to I got dressed. I had a shower. In the former, my clothes clearly don't get wet. In the latter, they probably do.

Best wishes, Clive
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Clive, you may recall I what I said in the past. I told you I would be sending more and more questions in line with the past perfect tense.

Recently you told me the following which is engraved in my memory.

1. It rained yesterday.
2. I had put the umbrella in my backpack. [ Before leaving home.]

You insisted the first sentence must be the first one in this scenario.

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Clive wrote the following:

Simpler yet, compare I got dressed. I had had a shower. to I got dressed. I had a shower. In the former, my clothes clearly don't get wet. In the latter, they probably do.

5.I got dressed.
6.I had had a shower.

When you wrote the above, it was clear that there is a time lapse. Otherwise you would have got wet.

What I want to say is that I don't perceive any time lapse.
Is it obvious for a native speaker of English that there is a time lapse?
«5.I got dressed.
6.I had had a shower.

When you wrote the above, it was clear that there is a time lapse. Otherwise you would have got wet.»

No time lapses. Simply, the sequence of sentences doesn't match the real sequence of actions that the sentences describe.
Yesterday I went to town.

I had bought a bag.

Though you clearly perceive the sequence of events, the above is not correct.

It should be:

Yesterday I went to town.

I bought a bag.

Our friend Ant_222 mentions the sequence of events to write the past perfect tense. I have difficulties in understanding it.
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[ I really bought a bag yesterday which I need to carry clothes and shoes when I go to the gym. The belt of the present bag is broken. So I was forced to buy a new bag. I am training at a gym 3 times a week.]
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