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Pakistani Co. Rejects U.S. Charges

September 2, 2001

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ A Pakistani company hit by U.S. sanctions for allegedly buying missile technology from China has denied Washington’s accusations, saying Sunday that Pakistan developed its missile program by itself.

``It is very unfortunate that the United States has imposed sanctions without knowing the facts,″ said Samar Mubarak Mand, chairman of the state-run National Development Complex of Pakistan.

A State Department official said Saturday that the United States had imposed sanctions on the company along with a Chinese arms producer, China Metallurgical Equipment Corp.

In Beijing, a man who answered the phone at the China Metallurgical Equipment Corp. said he didn’t know anything about the matter and referred questions to executives who weren’t at work Sunday.

The penalties limit U.S. companies’ ability to provide technology to China’s satellite industry. Details of the sanctions against the Pakistani company were unclear, however.

Mand said he doubted the Pakistani company would be affected.

``We are not involved in missile technology transfer to any country, group or individual, nor do we import it from any other country,″ he told The Associated Press.

Washington has accused China of sharing missile technology with Pakistan, ignoring an accord with the United States that bars Beijing from such exports to nations developing nuclear missiles.

Pakistani companies even remotely related to arms manufacturing have been under the U.S. sanctions since 1990 because of the country’s nuclear program. Fresh sanctions were imposed in 1998, when Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in response to similar tests by rival neighbor India.

Pakistan’s National Development Complex, located in the capital, Islamabad, does science and engineering research, said Mand, who was a key member of the team of scientists that conducted Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May 1998.

Update hourly