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US Sanctions People, Companies Linked to Pakistani Nuclear Scientist

  • VOA News

The United States is imposing sanctions on more than a dozen individuals and companies with links to the scientist who founded Pakistan's atomic weapons program.

The U.S. State Department today (Monday) announced the measures against 13 individuals and three private companiesfor alleged involvement in Abdul Qadeer Khan's nuclear proliferation network. Those affected include British, German, Turkish, Swiss and Sri Lankan nationals.

Khan is credited as the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb. He has been under house arrest in Islamabad since 2004, after he admitted to passing nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea. A State Department spokesman (Gordon Duguid) says Washington believes the sanctions could help deter would-be proliferators.

Today's action freezes any assets the firms and persons may have in U.S. financial institutions, and it bars U.S. citizens and companies from doing business with them.REST OPT Pakistan conducted a nuclear test on May 28th, 1998, in response to nuclear tests by neighbor and longtime rival, India. Pakistan views that nuclear testing date as a historic day in the nation's quest for security. The Foreign Ministry has said that Pakistan has taken its responsibilities as a nuclear-armed state seriously.

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