With the U.S. Senate voting to triple the non-military aid to Pakistan at $1.5 billion, India on Thursday once again expressed concern over such funds being diverted by Islamabad to support hostile operations against it.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who is here to participate in the opening session of United Nations General Assembly, said New Delhi was concerned as former Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf had himself disclosed that U.S. aid to fight terrorists were used to bolster defences against India.
He was asked whether India was concerned over the latest U.S. aid to Pakistan.
“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,” he told reporters. “It is that statement of President Musharraf that really bothers us,” he added.
The U.S. Senate has passed the Kerry-Luger Bill, which will give Pakistan billions of dollars in aid money for the next five years. The money is being given 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,” Mr. Krishna said, urging the U.S. to monitor the use of the aid by Pakistan.
In its early drafts, the Bill had a condition that Pakistan would not be a base for terrorist attacks against India, but now it has been replaced with a clause on cooperation with Pakistan’s neighbours on war against terror.
Mr. Krishna is also scheduled 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 journalists 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.
Mr. Krishna will also meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He said several bilateral issues would be discussed, including areas that concerned the security of India, in the meeting.