With the non-military aid to Pakistan being tripled by the US Senate at USD 1.5 billion, Indian has again expressed its concerns over the possibility of such funds being redirected by Islamabad to back hostile operations against it.
On a visit to New York to take part in the opening session of United Nation General Assembly, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said that New Delhi was concerned as former Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf had himself revealed that US aid to fight terrorism were diverted and used to strengthen defences against India.
In response to a question whether India was concerned over the latest US aid to Pakistan, Krishna said, “Considering the statement that has been issued by the former president of Pakistan Musharraf himself where he has said that the aid provided to Pakistan by the United States have been used for directing its hostile operations against India. It is that statement of President Musharraf that really bothers us.”
It may be mentioned that the US Senate has passed the Kerry-Luger Bill, which provides for an aid of billions of dollars to Pakistan for next five years. The funds are being granted for developmental efforts within the country.
“With respect to the aid that was given to Pakistan we have brought the attention of the government of the United States that India’s concern is only that aid has to be appropriated for the purpose for which it is provided by the United States,” Krishna said, urging the US to monitor the use of the aid by Pakistan.
The bill, in its earlier drafts, had a condition that Pakistan would not be a base for terrorist attacks against India, but now there is replacement with another clause that asks from Pakistan cooperation with its neighbours on war against terror.
During the visit, Krishna is slated to meet his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday.
“My focus will be on terror related issues. Terror that visits us every now and again in the neighbourhood, which is a constant source of worry to India,” he told reporters when asked about the meeting.
“Inevitably 26/11 will have to be discussed with Pakistan because of the attack on Mumbai emanated from Pakistani soil so hence we will have to address India’s concern on that score,” he said.
“I’m going to take a realistic stand, not too tough or soft but a factual stand,” he added.
Krishna will also meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He said that several bilateral issues would be discussed, including areas that concerned the security of India, in the meeting.