'Political Use Of...': Pakistan Rues US Sanctions On Four Firms Supplying Technology To Its Missile Programme
'Political Use Of...': Pakistan Rues US Sanctions On Four Firms Supplying Technology To Its Missile Programme
Pakistan condemns US sanctions on firms supplying missile technology. Alleges political use of export controls. Calls for objective discussions

Pakistan on Saturday expressed outrage after the US slapped sanctions on four firms for supplying missile-applicable items to the cash-strapped country’s ballistic missile programs, including its long-range missile program.

The US has slapped sanctions on Xi’an Longde Technology Development, Tianjin Creative Source International Trade and Granpect Co. Ltd from China and Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant from Belarus.

These entities “have engaged in activities or transactions that have materially contributed to, or pose a risk of materially contributing to, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery, including any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use such items, by Pakistan,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Friday.

Pakistan’s ballistic missile

“Such listings of commercial entities have taken place in the past as well on allegations of links to Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme without sharing any evidence whatsoever,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “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. There is need for discussions between concerned parties for an objective mechanism to ensure access to technology in pursuit of socio-economic development.”

Alleging discriminatory application of export controls, Pakistan accused the United States of “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. This is leading to arms build up; accentuating regional asymmetries, and undermining the objectives of non-proliferation and of regional and global peace and security.”

China – supplier of arms

Earlier, the State Department said the US is committed to strengthening the global nonproliferation regime by taking action to disrupt procurement networks supporting proliferation activities of concern. China, an all-weather ally of Pakistan, has been the main supplier of arms and defence equipment to Islamabad’s ambitious military modernisation programme.

The Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant in Belarus supplied special vehicle chassis to Pakistan’s long-range ballistic missile programme. Such chassis are used as launch support equipment for ballistic missiles by Pakistan’s National Development Complex (NDC), which is responsible for the development of Missile Technology Control Regime Category (MTCR) I ballistic missiles, according to a State Department Factsheet.

China’s Xi’an Longde Technology Development Company Limited, supplied missile-related equipment, including a filament winding machine, to Pakistan’s long-range ballistic missile programme that the US said was destined for Pakistan’s NDC. Filament winding machines can be used to produce rocket motor cases.

Tianjin Creative Source International Trade Co Ltd supplied missile-related equipment to Pakistan’s long-range ballistic missile programme, including stir welding equipment (which the United States assesses can be used to manufacture propellant tanks used in space launch vehicles), and a linear accelerator system (which the United States assesses can be used in the inspection of solid rocket motors).

Tianjin Creative’s procurements were likely destined for Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), which develops and produces Pakistan’s MTCR Category I ballistic missiles, the US state department said. Granpect Company worked with Pakistan’s SUPARCO to supply equipment for testing large-diameter rocket motors. In addition, Granpect Co. Ltd. also worked to supply equipment for testing large-diameter rocket motors to Pakistan’s NDC.

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