US aid to Pakistan: LeT, JeM bases not being dismantled, says India

On the contentious issue of US aid to Pakistan, India said on Monday that it was entirely their prerogative as to how they decided to spend tax payers money.

By Manisha Singh | Last Updated: Jan 06, 2015, 00:31 AM IST
US aid to Pakistan: LeT, JeM bases not being dismantled, says India

Delhi: On the contentious issue of US aid to Pakistan, India said on Monday that it was entirely their prerogative as to how they decided to spend tax payers money.

Syed Akbaruddin, official spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, posted on the micro blogging site Twitter: “How the Government of the United States of America decides to spend US tax payers money is entirely its prerogative.”

He also said that "India does not believe that Pakistan is showing sustained commitment or making significant effort or ceasing support or dismantling bases of operations of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Haqqani network and quite possibly the Al Qaeda," as per IANS.

"Also with increasing citings of Punjabi/Urdu speaking elements operating with terrorist groups inside Afghanistan, we now also know that these very groups also pose a significant threat to members of the international community working in Afghanistan including to Indian diplomatic personnel working in the Indian embassy in Kabul and our four consulates," he added.

US Secretary of State John Kerry certified today that the Pakistani government has acted on terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed and that this essentially made them eligible for an aid package under the Kerry-Lugar Bill, as per reports.

As per the bill, which was passed by the US Congress in 2010, 'actions against terror groups' is one of the conditions that Pakistan must fulfil to be eligible for aid from the US.

This bill was proposed by John Kerry and Richard Lugar and it authorises the release of USD 1.5 billion per year to the Pakistan as non-military aid for the period of 2010-2014.

Kerry is scheduled to visit Pakistan next week and will lead the US side in the strategic dialogue meeting scheduled to be held on January 14 in Islamabad, as per PTI.

The Pakistan-US strategic dialogue was resumed in 2013. It was launched in 2010 but was suspended due to acrimony after US commandos killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a covert mission in May, 2011 in Abbottabad.

The strategic dialogue covers five areas: energy; security, strategic stability and non-proliferation; the defence consultative group; law-enforcement and counter-terrorism; and economy and finance.

He is also due to come to India to attend the Vibrant Gujarat summit beginning in Gandhinagar on January 11.

And then the US President Barack Obama is himself due in India as chief guest of the Republic Day celebrations on January 26 on an invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

With Agency inputs