Holding that there was every possibility of recent U.S. military aid to Pakistan being used against India, the government on Monday said it would provide all assistance to the armed forces to protect every inch of the country.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony told reporters here that he had conveyed India’s concerns in this regard during his meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones and Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen last week, and pointed out that the support was “disproportionate” to Pakistan’s requirement to fight against the Taliban.
“We also feel that there is every possibility of diverting this sophisticated equipment against India,” he said, after laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti here to mark the 11th anniversary of the Kargil war.
Asked if the government had failed to capitalise on the gains made by Indian soldiers during the Kargil battle, he said the government would provide whatever was needed for the armed forces to protect every inch of Indian territory.
“We will strengthen our armed forces...whatever they may require to strengthen the Indian security apparatus so they can protect Indian territory,” he said.
The Defence Minister had said that arms aid to Pakistan, worth billions of dollars annually, was “disproportionate to the war on terror” for which it was intended, and suggested that the U.S. set up a monitoring mechanism to ensure that there was no diversion of aid.
Admiral Mullen had said that the military aid to Pakistan did not in any way “greatly imbalance” its capabilities vis-a-vis India. Asked whether the U.S. would take a re-look at the assistance if India provided evidence of misuse by Pakistan, he had termed the question “hypothetical”, but said if there was a change in use of the weapon systems, the U.S. would look at it.