Pakistan rejects US sanctions on alleged suppliers of ballistic missile programme

Pakistan rejects US sanctions on alleged suppliers of ballistic missile programme

Islamabad: Foreign Office has rejected the United States’ sanctions on four entities for their alleged involvement in supplying “missile-applicable items” to Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme.

Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that 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”.

“While we are not aware of the specifics of the latest measures by the United States, in the past we have come across many instances where listings have 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,” she 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.”

She stressed the need for “discussions between concerned parties for an objective mechanism to ensure access to technology in pursuit of socio-economic development”.

“Pakistan has 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,” Baloch said.

In response, the Foreign Office (FO) said it was unaware of latest listings but added that such actions had been taken in the past as well without sharing any evidence.

The US State Department claimed on Friday evening that the entities—three Chinese and one from Belarus—were particularly assisting Pakistan’s long-range missile endeavors.

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.

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.”