U.S hits Pakistanis companies with sanctions for nuclear trade
Islamabad (web desk): The United States administration has imposed sanctions on seven Pakistani companies over suspicions that they have engaged in nuclear trade.
The move could potentially damage Pakistan’s ambition to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a group of countries that can trade nuclear technologies but Pakistan denies the claims.
The list, prepared by the US Bureau of Industry and Security, declares that all seven companies are “reasonably believed to be involved or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States”.
A UN nuclear watchdog said in 2008 that the network of Abdul Qadeer Khan, known as the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, smuggled nuclear weaponization blueprints to Iran, Libya, and North Korea and was active in 12 countries.
In all, a total of 23 entities added to the list that was published in the US Federal Register this week. Besides Pakistani companies, the list includes 15 entities from South Sudan and one from Singapore.
A total of 23 companies were added to the list last week, including 15 entities from South Sudan and one from Singapore.
Companies placed on the entity list will not suffer asset freezes but will need special licenses to do business in the United States
Pakistan applied for the Nuclear Suppliers Group ( NSG ) membership on May 19, 2016, after it appeared that the United States and certain other Western nations are actively supporting India’s bid to join the group.
Pakistan argues that NSG should adopt a non-discriminatory, criteria-based approach for inducting new members. Several countries support the Pakistani position.