USshouldend discrimination

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AT a time when the United States and some other members of the so-called Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) were in the mad race to provide all sorts of nuclear technology and equipment to India, Washington is persisting with its same old discriminatory policy towards Pakistan. In a latest move, US Department of Justice hasindicted five businessmen associated with a Pakistan-based front company for allegedly operating a network that exported US origin goods to Pakistan for its nuclear programme. According to the indictment, the defendants attempted to conceal the true destinations in Pakistan of the US-origin goods by using the conspirators’ network of front companies as the supposed purchasers and end users of the goods and as the apparent source of payments for the goods, even though the goods were ultimately received in Pakistan and paid for by AERO or PAEC. We believe that wrong information is fed to the Justice Department and such tactics are aimed at denying Pakistan of even technology and equipment that is also used for other industrial purposes. These sorts of charges are consistently being levelled from the very inception of Pakistan’s nuclear programme putting restrictions on individuals and entities. Pakistan’s nuclear programme has progressed despite pressure and discrimination – thanks to the hard work and dedication of our scientists, engineers and technicians. The logic adopted by the US Government for proceeding against individuals and entities suspected of procuring dual-use equipment is all the more laughable. In the latest incident it claimed “alleged behaviour of these five individuals presented more than a violation of US export laws, it posed a potential threat to the national security interests of the United States and to the delicate balance of power among nations within the region”. There is absolutely no threat to the national security interests of the US as, even if the intended technology and equipment is meant for nuclear programme, Pakistan’s nuclear programme is not directed at the US. Similarly, the United States and several other members of NSG are responsible for disturbance of regional balance of power by arming and equipping India with both conventional and un-conventional weapons and technologies, which India is using to browbeat its small neighbours. However, such discriminatory approach also serves as a blessing in disguise forcing Pakistan to focus on indigenous research and development to safeguard its interests.