PHILADELPHIA Feb. 10, Reuter: A Pakistani born Canadian convicted of trying to smuggle strategic materials out of the United States was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday. Arshad Pervez, 43, who lived in Ontario until he was arrested by US customs agents in Philadelphia last July, had faced a maximum sentence of 25 years.

He was convicted of attempting to evade U.S. laws controlling the export of managing steel 350 and beryllium, two metals used in enhancing uranium to weapons grade.

Prosecutors charged that he was attempting to export the materials to Pakistan. A retired Pakistani Brigadier General, InamulHaq, was indicted along with Pervez but US. Authorities would not win his extradition.

Pakistan, long reported to be trying to match India’s nuclear capability, has denied any role in the conspiracy.

Pervez’s lawyer contended that he was an unwitting agent of the retired General’s importing company, but U.S. district Judge ‘James Giles rejected the argument.

“You were…motivated by high greed,” Giles told Pervez.

Numerous independent experts and even U.S. government officials say Pakistan is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, despite its frequent denials.

U.S. aid to Pakistan is contingent on assurances that it is no building a nuclear bomb, The Reagan administrators has said, however, a permanent aid cutoff could prompt Islamabad to stop funneling U.S. aid to Afghan rebels fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

Article extracted from this publication >> February 19, 1988