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India against US blank cheque to Pak
New Delhi, Aug 8 (PTI/IANS):
Published on 8 Aug. 2010 11:28 PM IST
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India has conveyed its concern to the US over arms sales to Pakistan and is against giving a “blank cheque” to Islamabad which could use the sophisticated weapons against it as it did in the past.
“We have shared our concerns with Washington. We have said all along that Pakistan cannot be given a blank cheque in such matters,” foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said.
She said that assistance extended to Pakistan “ostensibly for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations could very well be used against India as the history of the last sixty years goes”.
The US is “increasingly aware, and alert, and attentive” to India’s concern on this issue, Rao said in TV interview.
Apart from the sale of F-16s worth $1.43 billion, the US is also financing $477 million for almost 60 mid-life update kits for its older fleet of F-16s A/B combat aircraft and financing part of 115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers. Pakistan is also getting 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters and 121 refurbished TOW missile launchers from the US, according to Pakistani media reports.
“Washington is very attentive to our concerns. We have continued our dialogue on this issue. We are engaged in a constant communication with the United States on these issues. And I believe that the United States is increasingly aware, and alert, and attentive to these concerns,” Rao said.
Asked why the US arms sales to Pakistan is continuing, she said, “Well there is a situation now in Afghanistan and there is the involvement of the United States in that situation, and Pakistan is involved in that entire operation.
Dialogue with Pak must despite WikiLeaks
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said that it is vital to talk to Pakistan despite WikiLeaks expose on the role of the Pakistani intelligence in terror attacks on Indian interests.
In a wide-ranging interview with Karan Thapar’s Devil’s Advocate on CNN-IBN telecast Sunday, Rao also made it clear that Islamabad cannot be given a blank cheque on the future of Afghanistan.
Underlining that dialogue was the most effective means of addressing contentious issues, she said that giving up the talks would not serve any purpose “in getting Pakistan to stop its pursuit of terrorism against India”.
The foreign secretary was asked if this held true despite WikiLeaks disclosures that Pakistan was directly and clearly involving in instigating terror against India, including in Afghanistan.
“I believe that dialogue is the most effective means to tackle outstanding issues with Pakistan,” she said.
“In other words, dialogue is the most intelligent means of addressing points of contention.”
Dialogue, she said, “has served the purpose of putting across our deepest concerns in Pakistan”.
She said that what WikiLeaks had come out with was known to India for a long time.

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