The United States has dealt a body blow to Pakistan's ambition to secure a place in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) by imposing sanctions against as many as seven firms from the Asian country saying they pose threat to the US by being involved in the nuclear trade.
Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported on Monday, March 26, that list made by the US Bureau of Industry and Security recognised those firms as potential threats as they could compromise America's national security by being involved in nuclear activities. There are in all 23 firms in the list that also includes 15 from South Sudan, a country rocked by serious domestic violence.
Among the seven firms, three have been cited for being involved in "proliferation of unsafeguarded nuclear activities" that do not conform to the US's national and foreign policy interests. Two others have been charged with procurement of supplies for nuclear-related entities while the remaining two have been accused of functioning as fronts for listed entities, the Dawn report added.
Islamabad's NSG dream in jeopardy?
The sanctions could hurt Islamabad's aspiration to make it to the NSG since its image has taken a beating. Pakistan has been trying to gain an entry in the NSG with the backing of its all-weather friend China which on the other hand, has put up a serious obstacle on the way of India to enter the premier body despite being backed by a number of western countries as well as Russia.
Pakistan has always tried to convince the world that its nuclear facilities are secure to allay fears of the international community on whether its nuclear arsenal is in safe hands. Now, with the US coming up with sanctions on its firms, Pakistan might have to start from scratch to push its agenda.