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U.S. Hits Pakistani Companies With Sanctions Over Alleged Nuclear Trade

A Pakistani nuclear-capable Ra'ad cruise missile after being launched from a jet fighter during a test firing at an undisclosed location in Pakistan, unadted

The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security imposed the sanctions on the Pakistani companies on March 22 by placing them on its "Entity List."

The bureau said in a report that the Pakistani companies had been "determined by the U.S. government to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States."

Companies placed on the entity list will not suffer asset freezes but will need special licenses to do business in the United States.

A total of 23 companies were added to the list last week, including 15 entities from South Sudan and one from Singapore.

Pakistan has a poor record on nuclear proliferation.

A U.N. nuclear watchdog said in 2008 that the network of Abdul Qadeer Khan, known as the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, smuggled nuclear weaponization blueprints to Iran, Libya, and North Korea and was active in 12 countries.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Dawn