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CPM asks govt to `come clean` on presence of US forces

Last Updated: Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 18:27

New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Saturday quoted a top US military official as saying that American special forces teams were stationed in India and asked the government to "come clean" on it.
"The government should come clean on the whole range of both the overt and covert military and security relations which exist with the United States," the party Politburo said in a statement.
It quoted the Commander of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard, as saying at a Congressional hearing that "we have currently special forces assist teams – Pacific assist teams is the term - laid down in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, as well as India".

Willard was also quoted as saying "we are working very closely with India with regard to their counter-terrorism capabilities and in particular on the maritime domain but also government to government, not necessarily Department of Defence but other agencies assisting them in terms of their internal counter-terror and counterinsurgency challenges".

Noting that there was no clarification from the US that this statement was incorrect, the major Left party said "both the Ministry of External Affairs and the Defence Ministry have denied that any such force existed in India. This denial only raises further questions."

"The UPA government has not informed the country about the other arrangements which it has entered into with the US," the CPI(M) said.

It said India fell within the purview of the Pacific Command within the US military command and this was "an authoritative statement (made by Willard) before a US
Congressional Committee."


First Published: Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 18:27

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