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The US Department of Commerce (DoC) has put seven Pakistani companies on a list of foreign entities for their alleged involvement in the nuclear trade

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The US Department of Commerce (DoC) has put seven Pakistani companies on a list of foreign entities for their alleged involvement in the nuclear trade. The Pakistani firms are among the 23 companies added to the Entity List of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which is prepared by Bureau of Industry and Security. The list says the sanctioned companies are “reasonably believed 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” A Singaporean company, which is affiliated to a Pakistani company, and 15 entities from South Sudan are among the additions, which were published in the Federal Register on Thursday. With this step, the companies are now subject to stringent export control measures, which could bar them from taking part in international trade. Three of the Pakistani firms have been sanctioned 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”. These step would undermine Pakistan’s desire to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a group of countries that can trade fissile materials and nuclear technologies. One of the main objectives of the NSG was to bar other countries form carrying out nuclear tests. Pakistan applied for the NSG membership on May 19, 2016, after India stepped up efforts to get the position with the support of the United States and other western countries. Pakistan, who has the support of China, Turkey and other countries, says NSG should take non-discriminatory decisions to induct new members.

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