The US Department of Justice has confirmed the indictment of five Pakistan-origin persons for allegedly running an illegal international network that purchased American products for Islamabad’s nuclear weapon programme.
The Justice Department said on Thursday that the accused are presently living in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong.
The announcement evoked a wave of strong reactions on social media on Friday.
A group of netizens expressed alarm over the development, with one of them warning of a terrorist attack taking place in the near future:
Jihadi attack on the way..— Turiya (@ThoughtSeer) January 17, 2020
पाकिस्तान के लोग जहां भी रहेंगे उस देश के लिए तो खतरा है ही पूरी दुनिया के लिए खतरा है (Wherever the people of Pakistan live, there is a danger for that country, it is a threat to the whole world.)— डॉ०सुरेश कौशिक (@DrSkkaushik) January 17, 2020
कभी किसी भी पाकिस्तानी पर भरोसें न करो।— Vi₹esh Kuma₹ (@misterviru) January 17, 2020
चाहे वो कितना ही मासूम क्यों न हो
जेहाद इनके DNA में होता है। (Never Trust a Pakistani no matter how innocent he may be. Jihad is in his DNA.)
Five Pakistanis indicted in the United States. They are accused of operating an international network of front companies to export U.S.-origin products to Pakistan for use in the country’s nuclear program: US media— ANI (@ANI) January 17, 2020
Religion of Peace = Religion of Terrorism = Pakistan— Blood Diamond 🇮🇳 (@HelloFromUP) January 17, 2020
Another group of netizens said they were not surprised by the development and predicted that no action would be taken against Pakistan. One even described the announcement as fake news.
इस खबर से न पाकिस्तान को कुछ असर पड़ेगा न अमेरिका कोई कड़ा एक्शन लेगा (Neither Pakistan will be affected by this news nor America will take any strong action.)— बालक्रिशन शर्मा 🇮🇳 I support CAA🇮🇳 (@Krrishsonmarg) January 17, 2020
Must mention the link— محمد سمیع اللہ (@M_samiullah_) January 17, 2020
Fake news chanels and country
The five persons indicted by a grand jury last October were identified as Muhammad Kamran Wali, Muhammad Ahsan Wali, Haji Wali Muhammad Sheikh, Ashraf Khan Muhammad, and Ahmed Waheed.
The US Department of Justice said they haven’t been apprehended as yet and warrants for their arrest are pending.
US Assistant Attorney General John Demers in a statement on Thursday said: “The defendants smuggled US-origin goods to entities that have been designated for years as threats to US national security for their ties to Pakistan’s weapons programmes".
“It posed a potential threat to the national security interests of the United States and to the delicate balance of power among nations within the region", AFP quoted Jason Molina, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, as saying.
According to the indictment, between September 2014 and October 2019, the five procured US goods without export licenses for Pakistan’s Advanced Engineering Research Organisation and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.