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Pakistan rejects US sanctions on entities 'linked' with country’s missile programme

Foreign Office says listing of commercial entities on allegations takes place without sharing evidences: Trashes political use of export controls

By News Desk

April 20, 2024 03:39 PM


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Foreign Office Spokesperson on Saturday, commenting upon reports of United States’ decision to impose sanctions against commercial entities on allegations of links with Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme, said that such listings had taken place in the past without sharing any evidence whatsoever.

Responding to media queries, the spokesperson, in a press statement issued in Islamabad, said while they were not aware of the specifics of the latest measures by the US, but in the past, they had come across many instances where listings had been made on mere suspicion or even when the involved items were not on any control lists but were deemed sensitive under catch-all provisions.

“We have pointed out many times that such items have legitimate civil commercial uses. It is, therefore, important to avoid arbitrary application of export controls,” the spokesperson said and stressed there was need for discussions between concerned parties for an objective mechanism to ensure access to technology in pursuit of socio-economic development.

The spokesperson said Pakistan had always been ready to discuss end-use and end-user verification mechanisms so that legitimate commercial users are not hurt by discriminatory application of export controls. “Pakistan rejects political use of export controls. It is a reality that the same jurisdictions, which claim to exercise strict non-proliferation controls, have waived off licensing requirements for advanced military technologies for some countries,” the statement added.

The spokesperson said this was leading to ‘arms build-up; accentuating regional asymmetries, and undermining the objectives of non-proliferation and of regional and global peace and security’.

The United States has imposed sanctions on four entities for their alleged involvement in supplying “missile-applicable items” to Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme, stating that the move is intended to bring about a “change in behaviour.”

In a statement issued in Washington on Friday evening, the US State Department claimed that the entities — three Chinese and one from Belarus — were particularly assisting Pakistan’s long-range missile endeavours.

The statement specified that “the ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior.”

The entities facing sanctions include the Belarus-based Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant, the People’s Republic of China-based Xi’an Longde Technology Development Company Limited, Tianjin Creative Source International Trade Co Ltd, and Granpect Company Limited.

As per the sanctions imposed under Executive Order 13382, all property and interests in property of the designated entities that are in the United States or under the control of US persons are now blocked. Furthermore, any individuals or entities with ownership, directly or indirectly, of 50 percent or more by the designated persons are also subject to these sanctions.

These measures prohibit transactions involving any property or interests in property of designated or blocked persons unless authorised by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) or exempt. This includes contributions and provision of funds, goods, or services to or from any blocked person.

Moreover, the entry of designated individuals into the United States has been suspended under Presidential Proclamation 8693.

The US government explained that “the integrity of these sanctions lies not only in the ability to designate and add persons to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN), but also in the willingness to remove persons from the list in accordance with the law.”


News Desk


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