New Delhi: The Donald Trump administration has added seven Pakistani firms to a list of entities that pose a significant risk to the United States by indulging in nuclear trade, Pakistani media reported on Monday.
The move could prove to be a setback in Islamabad’s efforts to enter the elite Nuclear Suppliers’ Club (NSG), where India’s membership has been repeatedly stalled by China.
According to a report in Dawn.com, the US Bureau of Industry and Security “reasonably” believes all companies “to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States”.
The seven firms were among a total of 23 entities added to the list, which also includes companies based in South Sudan and Singapore.
These companies now face curbs on their exports and international trade.
According to Dawn.com, three of the Pakistani companies have been added to the list for “their involvement in the proliferation of unsafeguarded nuclear activities that are contrary to the national security and/or foreign policy interests of the United States”. Two have been accused of sourcing material for companies already on the list, while the rest are allegedly fronts for such nuclear-related entities.
The move follows a series of steps taken by the United States to pressure Pakistan into taking concrete steps against terror groups that target India and Afghanistan from its soil.
The Trump administration suspended about $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan in January. The US has been frustrated by Pakistan's reluctance to act against the terror networks on its soil.
Members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an anti-money laundering watchdog based Paris, voted last month to place Pakistan on its grey list of nations which are not doing enough to combat terror financing in June, reportedly under US pressure. That gives Pakistan three months to make enough changes to avoid the listing.