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Saturday, April 16, 2011

US Think Tank blames Pakistan for illicit nuclear imports

WASHINGTON, April 16 : Alleging that Pakistan remains an active procurer of nuclear dual-use goods and utilises highly sophisticated networks to obtain what it needs, a leading US think-tank has asked the Obama Administration to stop Islamabad's illicit nuclear trafficking activities.

Referring to the chargesheet against a Pakistani man living in Maryland for illegally buying US goods with nuclear dual-use applications between 2005 and 2010 and sending them to Pakistan, Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security said this highlights the need to improve US government/industry cooperation and information sharing to detect illicit procurement networks. The two Pakistani entities which received goods through this alleged illicit procurement operation were the Chashma nuclear power plant (CNPP) and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).

"This cooperation should encourage more corporate diligence about checking the bona fides of a customer and include the US government sharing more information about current illicit procurement schemes," said David Albright and Andrea Stricker in a statement.

"It also shows that Pakistan remains an active procurer of nuclear dual-use goods and utilizes highly sophisticated networks to obtain what it needs. As an ally, the United States should insist that Pakistan stop its illicit nuclear trafficking activities and prove it is truly committed to global
non-proliferation norms and laws," the two leading American scholars said.

The indictment alleges that Nadeem Akhtar, a Pakistani national, conspired with others to illegally export restricted goods and technology to Pakistan without the necessary licenses, specifically radiation detection devices, resins for coolant water purification, calibration and switching equipment and surface refinishing abrasives.

The indictment alleges that Akhtar attempted to conceal the ultimate end-use and/or end-users of the commodities that he sought to purchase and export, and their true value by causing false, misleading and incomplete information to be placed on documents such as invoices, purchase orders, air bills and end-user statements.

The indictment also alleges that Akhtar transported funds to carry out this illegal activity.

"Pakistan publicly claims to be a responsible nuclear nation and says it wants a civilian nuclear trade deal as a result. Yet, its illicit nuclear procurement efforts remain steadfast and belie its claims of acting like a responsible nation," the think-tank said.

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