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National

December 11, 2016

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Biased US attitude towards Pakistan decried

Biased US attitude towards Pakistan decried

Criteria for entry into NSG should be equal for India, Pakistan

ISLAMABAD. The South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) has regretted the biased attitude of the outgoing US administration towards the industrial needs of Pakistan, which is a glaring threat to the vital interests of our people and the state. Speaking on the issue entitled ‘Export Control Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)- Decline to High Tech Trade’ here at the National Press Club on Saturday. SASSI Chairperson Dr Maria Sultan said that the US administration was in a quandary over Pakistan’s role being its strategic partner in the global affairs. 

“Neither they (in US administration) accuse us of any wrongdoings nor do they bail us out of their unfounded doubts. They suspect us for something, which they cannot explain in black and white,” she maintained. She said the recent visit of outgoing US Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter, to India had exposed the future strategic cooperation between both of them.

The US was extending all out support to India in latter’s effort to get membership of NSG, which was a direct threat to security of Pakistan and its people. “The 48 NSG-member states were opposed to grant membership to the non-NPT states, which includes India, but the outgoing US administration is entering into the lethal agreements with India, which might result into the hostilities and confrontation in the region,” she said.

She further said that putting some of the Pakistani industrial units doubtfully on the US Entity List would obliterate the industrial restructuring of the country; because the chemical material being put on the Entity List were the base of assorted industrial production. Dr Sultan said the Entity List notified the public about entities that had engaged in activities that could result in an increased risk of the diversion of exported, re-exported or transferred (in-country) items to weapons of mass destruction (WMD). She said that the Project Alpha report could make Pakistan’s NSG membership case more complicated. This report may also muddle Pakistan’s interaction with the upcoming U.S. administration. She said that an academic report should not be a criterion for putting companies of the U.S. entity list. She said that the possible inclusion of Pakistani companies in the U.S. entity list, mentioned in the Project Alpha report, would hamper the possibility of trade and development in Pakistan and may affect Pakistan’s defence, nuclear and commercial industry.

“The Project Alpha report is targeting Pakistan’s jugular vein by attacking companies that are its industrial base. Furthermore, the outgoing U.S. administration is also playing its role in making the future of Pakistan-U.S. relations more complicated, ”she added. SASSI Chairperson said, “The key assertions made in the presentation were that Pakistan aims to build a cooperative trade connection with the US, Pakistan fulfills the NSG criteria and by broadening the base on entities listed in the sanctions list will hamper the possibility of trade and development in Pakistan.” 

This project (Alpha) made an argument that Pakistan should not be given access to the NSG because it was still involved in a discreet acquisition programme for nuclear and missile technologies. However, the SASSI contested the claim that the case made by Project Alpha lacked substance and balance in approach, as it was designed to substantiate India -US defence industry collaboration and case for NSG member ship to India, rather than an objective assessment. 

Dr. Sultan said that it was interesting that on consistent perusal of Indian Government, US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry had removed nine Indian entities from its entity list in 2011 thus easing certain export and re-export restrictions applicable to India. Removed entities were involved in the Indian missile and space programme. Moreover, India was promoted to the Department of Commerce’s MTCR Countries Group (A:2) , though India joined MTCR later in 2016. 

She said Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) also manufactured commercial explosives, hunting ammunition and possess extensive facilities for the manufacture of brass, copper and aluminum ingots, extrusions and sections for non-military applications. POF products were in service with over 40 countries, in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Ammunition and rifles have been exported to countries such as Iraq, Croatia and Afghanistan for their respective military establishments. She said the POF specialises in the manufacturing of commercial explosives, hunting ammunition and possesses extensive facilities for the manufacture of brass, copper and aluminum ingots. She said that Pakistan’s concern was that granting India a country-specific waiver by NSG in 2008 neither served the cause of nonproliferation, nor the South Asia’s strategic stability. 

Dr. Sultan said, “Pakistan wants simultaneous entry into the Group with other non-NPT states that aspire to participate in the Group. This would require a fair and simultaneous consideration of the two membership applications submitted by the non-NPT states.” 

 

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