Hong Kong, April 26 (TNS): Pakistan’s plan to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group has come under a cloud after the US imposed sanctions last month on seven Pakistani companies over suspected links to nuclear trade. The companies have been put on the “Entity List”, which means they need special licenses to be involved in any business in the US, a Hong Kong-based English-language news website reported on Thursday.
Multiple diplomatic sources have confirmed that Washington has issued regular warnings about nuclear trading to Islamabad, urging the country to curb such activity.
“The US has feared that Pakistan’s nuclear capability will get into the wrong hands, and has historically kept a close watch on developments in the country,” a senior diplomat told Asia Times.
“However, under the [US President Donald] Trump regime, the tone has gotten stricter and the latest sanctions appear to be Washington playing hardball with Islamabad,” he said.
Foreign Office officials say the timing of the sanctions will hinder Pakistan’s NSG bid, with the Geneva meeting scheduled in June, where potential memberships for states – including Pakistan – will be discussed.
The general feeling that the US is specifically targeting Pakistan ahead of the NSG meet also stems from the fact that no details have been provided over transactions that have landed the companies on the Entity List.
Courtesy: Asia Times