Seven firms based in Pakistan have been put on the sanctions list by the United States in a move that has damaged Pakistan’s quest to become a member of the elite Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG), Times of India has reported.
According to the US Bureau of Industry and Security, the Pakistani companies that have been sanctioned are "reasonably believed to be involved, or ...pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States".
According to Dawn, three of the Pakistani companies have been added to the list for “their involvement in the proliferation of unsafeguarded nuclear activities that are contrary to the national security and/or foreign policy interests of the US”.
The move follows a series of steps taken by the US in the last few months to put pressure on Pakistan to act against terror. Just last month, the US convinced China and Saudi Arabia to give up their resistance to grey listing of Pakistan by the Financial Action Task Force for not doing enough to curb terror financing.
NSG is a grouping of countries set up to prevent nuclear proliferation. The group control access to sensitive nuclear equipment and technology. Pakistan had applied for the membership of the group soon after India submitted its bid.
While Pakistan has not been able to muster support for its bid as a result of its poor record on nuclear proliferation, India had managed to create some consensus in the body for its bid. India’s membership bid was supported by the US whereas Pakistan’s was supported by its all-weather ally China.
For a country to become a member of the NSG, support of all member countries is required. China has been scuttling India’s bid for long, saying Islamabad’s bid for membership should also be considered along with New Delhi’s.
With new sanctions on seven firms, Pakistan’s record has become much more difficult to defend before NSG member countries. The county, which has been accused of supplying nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran and Libya in the past, will find it difficult to muster support for its membership bid.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.