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India expresses concern over Pak diverting US aid

Last updated on: November 24, 2009 12:44 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has conveyed to the US India's concern over misuse of its military and other kind of aid by Pakistan.

During his series of meetings with officials of the Obama Administration and US lawmakers, situation in the region, particularly terrorism emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan, came up prominently.

Singh also pressed for relaxation of restrictions on the entities list to enable expansion of defense cooperation during discussions with the US interlocutors.

Singh raised the issue of American military supplies and funds to Pakistan and conveyed concerns over the diversion.

"Such equipment have been used against us in the past and we continue to have such worries. We leave it to the US to reflect fully on this issue," the Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said briefing reporters on the prime ministers' meetings.

There was need for greater accountability particularly on the military aid given to Pakistan, as India did not have a good experience in the past in this regard, Rao said, adding American leaders understood India's concerns.

The prime minister also highlighted India's concerns with regard to continued threat of terrorism coming out of Pakistan and emphasised that the US and the international community should put "pressure" on it to crack down on anti-India groups and punish those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks, she said.

While American officials did not press for resumption of composite dialogue with Pakistan, Singh said India wanted to live in peace, but there was difficulty in carrying forward the process of normalisation until Pakistan moves meaningfully to address its concerns on terrorism.

Rao said the US is conscious of India's concern and understands its position that time was not right for dialogue.

Explaining India's inability to conduct dialogue in the present environment, Rao said unless Pakistan addresses India's concerns on terrorism it would be difficult to carry along public opinion as in a democracy, mood of people and that of the Parliament was significant.

Talking about inaction by Pakistan with regard to prosecution of those behind Mumbai attacks, Singh said it was in the interest of both India and the US that those behind 26/11 be brought to book.

The Logistic Supports Agreement and Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement that will enable greater cooperation between the two militaries, were also discussed in the meeting with defence secretary.

India said it would take some time in taking a decision on this issue.

The prime minister held a meeting in the morning with the Defense Secretary Robert Gates, following which he met two separate delegations of members of the US House of Representatives and the Senators.

He went to the Capitol Hill to meet Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
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