US puts 7 Pakistani entities under stringent Export Control watchlist

US puts 7 Pakistani entities under stringent Export Control watchlist

WASHINGTON - The United States has added seven Pakistani companies to a list of foreign entities that are subject to stringent export control measures.

It could also undermine Pakistan’s ambition of joining the NSG.

The list identifies entities “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”.

Three of the companies were listed for “their involvement in the proliferation of unsafeguarded nuclear activities that are contrary to the national security and/or foreign policy interests of the United States”; two were found procuring supplies for nuclear-related entities already on the list and last two were suspected to be fronts for listed entities. An eighth Pakistani entity is based in Singapore.

The 23 additions, including 15 entities from the troubled South Sudan, were published by the US department of commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which leads the multi-agency determination process, on Thursday in the Federal Register, the American version of Gazette of India.

Although China and Turkey have cited procedural issues in adding new members to the NSG, both of them underline the ‘right of Pakistan’ to aspire to become a member of the club, which works on the principle of consensus to accept new members.

“We are not an NSG member, so we don’t exactly know what the deliberations are at the group. But our non- proliferation credentials are unmatched among other claimants,” said a senior Indian official familiar with India’s engagement with export control regimes.

“We have a safeguard agreement with the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) and got a clean waiver from the NSG based on our clean track record. We leave it to others to judge whether other claimants to NSG membership have requisite credentials.”

NSG is the only major export control regime that India is not a part of; New Delhi is a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.