The U.S. is increasingly worried over the rising range and variety of Pakistan’s missile capability and that the recent decision of the Obama administration to impose trade restrictions on seven Pakistan entities came out of this concern.
Details of Official US announcement
The official announcement of the decision did not detail the reasons, but said there was “reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts”, that these entities “have been involved in actions contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States”. All the entities are linked to Pakistan’s missile programme.
Speaking at an event on nuclear security, Vice-President “Not just North Korea, but Russia, Pakistan and others have made counterproductive moves that only increase the risk that nuclear weapons could be used in a regional conflict in Europe, South Asia or East Asia.
Cause of worry
What has triggered the alarm bells in Washington is Shaheen-III, which has a range of 2,750 km. Pakistan has officially explained its longest-range missile to date, tested for the first time in 2015, as a capability to strike the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the farthest Indian territory from its shores. But the missile also has Israel in its range, along with several European countries — something that the U.S. strategic community finds unnerving.
The entities put under trade restrictions by the U.S. include the Islamabad-based National Engineering and Scientific Commission, and its subsidiaries, Air Weapons Complex, Maritime Technology Complex and New Auto Engineering.
With the addition of these seven, there are 47 Pakistani entities that are under strict watch of U.S. agencies.
Trump’s policy towards India and Pakistan: Continuation of past
The incoming administration will continue with the existing U.S. policies towards India and Pakistan. He complemented Pakistan for its action against terror groups that operate within the country, adding he would push for more effective targeting of groups that attack neighbouring countries. This is in line with the Obama administration’s efforts in the region.
He also pledged to continue with the Obama policy of enhancing a long-term strategic relationship with India “based on the convergence of our interests and our shared democratic values”. “I note that the United States and India recently cemented India’s status as a major defence partner.