The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday expressed its suspicion that billions of dollars given as grants by Washington to Islamabad were finding their way to terrorist groups in Pakistan.
The BJP's concern came on a day when a high-level team from the U.S. Embassy here, led by Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer, met party president Nitin Gadkari to persuade the party to give up its opposition to the Nuclear Damage Liability Bill.
Only a few days ago, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake had said the Bill would help U.S. companies do nuclear business with India. Separately, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon had met senior party leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Yashwant Sinha and tried to make the BJP soften its stand on the proposed legislation.
Party spokesperson Tarun Vijay was forthright in his criticism of the U.S. having committed $1.5-billion aid to Pakistan each year for the next five years. Over the past decade, the U.S. had given some $12 billion to Pakistan to subsidise the cost of fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda, he pointed out and wondered whether the U.S. would ensure that this money was not used to fund terrorist groups active against India on the eastern borders of Pakistan.
Mr. Vijay said it was imperative for India, surrounded as it was by two hostile nuclear powers, to demand that the U.S. ensure its billions would not be used for jihadi activities against it. “We need a foolproof mechanism to be convinced of the U.S. monitoring its aid to Islamabad.” Pakistan had a history of using American money to facilitate and strengthen terror groups, including those working against India, he said.
The BJP also expressed its unhappiness with the manner in which the U.S. denied Indian investigators any access to David Headley, charged of being one of the plotters of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The U.S. was concentrating on the ‘war against terror' only on Pakistan's western border, while its policy remained “duplicitous” as far as the anti-India terror groups facilitated by Pakistan's state and non-state actors on the eastern side of the country were concerned, Mr. Vijay said.