US Sanctions 4 Firms Supplying Parts For Pakistan's Missile Programme

Three of the companies sanctioned are located in China, while one is located in the Belarus

US Sanctions 4 Firms Supplying Parts For Pakistan's Missile Programme

The United States has imposed sanctions on four companies allegedly supplying parts for Pakistan's ballistic missile programme.

"Today, we are designating four entities pursuant to Executive Order 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery," read a statement from the US State Department.

The companies sanctioned include three based in China and one in the Belarus, including Xi'an Longde Technology Development Company Limited, the Tianjin Creative Source International Trade Co Ltd and the Granpect Co. Ltd. The Belarusian company sanctioned was Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant. 

The US accused these companies of supplying missile‐applicable items to Pakistan's ballistic missile programmes, including its long-range missile programme.

"[These companies] 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."

The US claimed it was committed to strengthening the global nonproliferation regime by taking action to disrupt procurement networks supporting proliferation activities of concern. 

The statement said that Washington, in close cooperation with other partners, is committed to strengthening the global nonproliferation regime by deterring and disrupting proliferation networks of WMD wherever they occur. 

The sanctions come months after an alleged "dual-use" consignment from China was intercepted and seized at an Indian port. The cargo was bound for Pakistan.

The cargo included advanced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines (used for computerised percision metal parts manufacture) manufactured by GKD, Italy and bound for the port in Karachi, were seized by Indian customs at the Mumbai Port on January 22. They continue to remain in Indian custody, according to sources in the security establishment.

India claimed that the machine could be used to manufacture critical parts for Pakistan's missile development programme.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had termed India's unilateral action as an "unjustified seizure" of commercial goods destined for Karachi imported by Cosmos Engineering in Karachi.

Islamabad clarified that the consignment was a "simple case" of a commercial lathe machine being imported by a commercial entity that supplies parts to the automobile industry.

Pakistan condemned India's high-handedness in the seizure of commercial goods. "This disruption of free trade underscores the dangers inherent in the arbitrary assumption of policing roles by states with dubious credentials. Such acts also highlight the growing impunity of certain states in violating international norms and taking arbitrary measures in violation of international law."