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April 29, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11300

Editorials In Pakistani Dailies Denounce U.S. Sanctions On Belarusian And Chinese Firms Linked To Pakistan's Ballistic Missile Program: 'Another Major Demonstration Of America's Imperialist Behavior'; U.S. Is 'Painting Pakistan As An Underhand Producer Of Missiles'; 'As For The West, There Are Indeed Double Standards And Hypocrisy'

April 29, 2024
Pakistan | Special Dispatch No. 11300

On April 19, 2024, the State Department sanctioned a group of Belarusian and Chinese firms involved in supplying materials to Pakistan's ballistic missile program. The sanctioned firms include: Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant, a Belarus based company supplying special vehicle chassis that are "used as launch support for equipment for ballistic missiles by Pakistan's National Development Complex (NDC)."[1] The NDC is responsible for the development of Missile Technology Control Regime Category (MTCR) I ballistic missiles.

The sanctioned Chinese firms include:  Xi'an Longde Technology Development Co., which "supplied missile-related equipment, including a filament winding machine, to Pakistan's long-range ballistic missile program"; Tianjin Creative Source International Trade Co., which supplied missile-related equipment, including stir welding equipment that "can be used to manufacture propellant tanks used in space launch vehicles" and "a linear accelerator system" that "can be used in the inspection of solid rocket motors;" and Granpect Co., which "worked with Pakistan's SUPARCO to supply equipment for testing of large diameter rocket motors" and supplied "equipment for testing large diameter rocket motors" NDC.[2]


Pakistan's Shaheen ballistic missiles (image courtesy: X.com)

Pakistan denounced the U.S. sanctions as "political use of export controls."[3]  Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the spokesperson of Pakistan's Foreign Office, said: "We reject political use of export controls. It is well known that the same jurisdictions, which claim strict adherence to non-proliferation controls, have waived off licensing requirements for advanced military technologies for some countries."[4]

A number of Pakistani dailies featured editorials whose excerpts are given below, accusing the U.S. of double standards and of working in concert with India to defame Pakistan globally. An editorial in the Urdu-language daily Roznama Jang read: "America is providing military assistance to its puppet states, whose existence itself is a result of its machinations.

"A manifestation of this was seen on Saturday [April 20] when the U.S. House of Representatives approved $95 billion in security aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, a move strongly opposed by the American opposition. This aid bill will now be sent to the Senate, which will give its final approval, which is almost certain. Remember that Ukraine is currently warring against Russia, Taiwan is warring against China, and Israel is warring against Palestinians, and America is providing all-round aid to all the three while teaching the world a lesson in peace."

Following are excerpts from the Roznama Jang editorial:[5]

"The Self-Proclaimed Divine Policeman Of America Has Launched Its Next War On Pakistan And Imposed Sanctions On Three Chinese And One Belarusian Company For Their Alleged Involvement In Its Ballistic Missile Program"

"After soaking its hand in the blood of more than 40,000 unarmed Palestinian children, women, youth, and elderly, and raining dollars, and destructive weapons and warships for Israel and offering practical assistance through the biased use of veto at the United Nations, the self-proclaimed divine policeman, America, has launched its next war on Pakistan and imposed sanctions on three Chinese and one Belarusian company for their alleged involvement in its ballistic missile program.

"Pakistan has rejected this political use of export control policy, saying that such restrictions have been imposed in the past without any evidence, while those who impose sanctions have themselves been granting exemptions to several favored nations regarding supplies of major technologies. Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the spokesperson of the Foreign Office, revealing this duplicity, said in a press briefing that discussions between the relevant parties are necessary for the purpose of an objective mechanism to ensure access to technology to achieve socio-economic development.

"According to the U.S. statement, a Belarusian tractor plant has been accused of providing truck chassis for Pakistan's missile program, and these chassis are used in trucks that are used in support systems for the ballistic missile program. Another company is quoted as offering filament winding machines that can be used in rocket motors.

"The spokesperson of the Foreign Office of Pakistan says that Pakistan is always ready to discuss the [end-user] verification mechanism so that legitimate commercial users are not harmed by the discriminatory application of export controls. The spokesperson said that such lists of commercial entities have been brought forward in the past without any evidence for their alleged links to Pakistan's ballistic missile program, even though the items included in them were not even on the control list. Despite this, their reference was considered necessary.

"We have pointed out several times that the goods are for legal and commercial use and are not subject to export controls. A sideshow is that those who claim stricter control over nuclear non-proliferation have removed the licensing requirement for advanced military technology for some countries. Due to this, along with an increase in absence of equality [in arms and weapons] in the region, nuclear non-proliferation and regional peace and security are also being damaged.


The Roznama Jang editorial

"America is providing military assistance to its puppet states, whose existence is itself a result of its machinations. A manifestation of this was seen on Saturday [April 20] when the U.S. House of Representatives approved $95 billion in security aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, a move strongly opposed by the American opposition. This aid bill will now be sent to the Senate, which will give its final approval, which is almost certain.

"Remember that Ukraine is currently warring against Russia, Taiwan is warring against China, and Israel is warring against Palestinians, and America is providing all-round aid to all the three while teaching the world a lesson in peace. Israel is trying to wipe out the original heirs of this land, the Palestinians, and America is the biggest obstacle to stop this humanitarian war. It continues to veto ceasefire resolutions. In this background, the ban on Chinese and Belarusian companies providing technical assistance to Pakistan for commercial and peaceful purposes is another major demonstration of America's imperialist behavior."

Following are excerpts from an editorial in Pakistan Today:[6]

"Pakistan May Well Have To Pursue Its Missile Program In The Shadowy Half-World Of The Underground, But It Should Be Understood That It Cannot Abandon It"

"That the USA's sanctions placed on a Belarusian and three Chinese firms caused Pakistan to protest should be surprising, but Pakistan had an interest because the sanctions were placed because the companies were deemed to be assisting Pakistan in the development of long-range ballistic missiles. It is no coincidence that the USA is displeased with Bekarus [sic] for its role as a Russian ally in the Russo-Ukrainian war and also with China, with which it is engaged in a global conflict. Pakistan is supposed to be a friend, but where the USA is concerned, it shows no hesitation in doing what India wants.

"India badly wants admission in the Nuclear Suppliers' Group, and it is only Chinese insistence on Pakistan's admission that is keeping it out. It has U.S. backing, even though Pakistan also meets the same criteria as India. By painting Pakistan as an underhand producer of missiles, and thus an irresponsible nuclear power, the USA is doing what India wants, which is the imposition of an unfair proliferation regime.

"Another salient feature of the U.S. action has been its unilateral nature. Neither before nor after has it bothered to produce evidence, which means that there is no chance to correct any mistakes it might have made, thus making Indian attempts to impose its wishes, and to manipulate the process, easier. Pakistan may well have to pursue its missile program in the shadowy half-world of the underground, but it should be understood that it cannot abandon it. The world community should realize that while India has all kinds of great-power ambitions to slake by its nuclear and missile programs, Pakistan merely wants to survive, by establishing a minimum deterrence capability.

"At the same time, the USA should not join in with India in this attempt to blacken Pakistan's reputation, which is only making a slight recovery after being maligned for decades. Now that the USA has taken this action, who will believe that Pakistan is no longer the haven for terrorists India still paints it as? More specifically, which foreign investor will want to come to the country? Is India killing two birds with one stone? It should be remembered that foreign investors often have to choose between India and Pakistan, and this latest incident puts a thumb in the scales for India."

Following are excerpts from an editorial in The News:[7]

"India Meanwhile Has Acted As A Bully In The Region, And Had It Not Been For Pakistan's Nuclear Program, It Would Have Threatened Peace In The Region Because Of Its Hegemonic Designs"

"Pakistan is correct in pointing to the arbitrary use of sanctions by the U.S. in the garb of non-proliferation without any substantive evidence. Such actions also put Pakistan's relationship with the U.S. in a precarious position. The country has acted responsibly ever since it acquired its nuclear program, and it is no secret that it was done after India launched its nuclear program in the South Asian region. India meanwhile has acted as a bully in the region, and had it not been for Pakistan's nuclear program, it would have threatened peace in the region because of its hegemonic designs.

"As for the West, there are indeed double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to how they see countries like Pakistan while turning a blind eye to or rather arming a country like Israel with nukes in a volatile region like the Middle East. This in itself speaks volumes about their commitment to non-proliferation. While it is important that proliferation does not take place, it is equally important to give concrete evidence of such serious allegations before imposing sanctions on international entities.

"Some have pointed to the timing of the [U.S.] State Department's announcement, which comes just before an important visit of Iranian President Dr. Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi to Pakistan today [April 22]. This will be the first visit by any head of state to Pakistan after the general elections in February. In light of the recent attacks by Israel against Iran – in Syria and then in Iran itself – the timing by the U.S. is indeed suspect. Israel is committing genocide in Palestine live on our television screens for everyone to see while the West, particularly the U.S., has turned a blind eye to its war crimes.

"It is important for Pakistan to assert its right to make its own decisions within the realm of domestic and international law and without being policed or dictated to by any country. That this needs to be reiterated reflects the skewed power relations that exist in the global community. However, the U.S. must surely recognize the obviousness of its lopsided censure policies. Our relations must not be sacrificed at the altar of such knee-jerk policy controls and unwarranted and unjustifiable interference."

 

[1] State.Gov (U.S.), April 19, 2024.

[2] State.Gov (U.S.), April 19, 2024.

[3] Dawn (Pakistan), April 20, 2024.

[4] Dawn (Pakistan), April 20, 2024.

[5] Roznama Jang (Pakistan), April 22, 2024.

[6] Pakistan Today (Pakistan), April 21, 2024.

[7] The News (Pakistan), April 22, 2024.

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