India confident of getting into NSG, says External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj | India is working with China to win support | India will not oppose any country's membership proposal, EAM told a news conference | India gets first women fighter pilots | A history was created when the three women fighter pilots conferred with the President’s Commission | The pilots are Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi, Flying Officer Bhawana Kanth and Flying Officer Mohana Singh | The commissioning ceremony, witnessed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, held at Air Force Academy, Dundigal | India joined the select few nations in the world that have women fighter pilots in their Air Forces | Boeing, Tata Establish Aerospace Facility in Hyderabad | Defence Minister Parrikar initiated the ground-breaking ceremony to establish the facility | India's indigenous Basic Trainer Aircraft HTT-40 takes to the skies on inaugural flight June 17 | Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar witnessed the flight in Bangalore | The HTT-40 was built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd | HTT-40 all set to be the IAF's trainer aircraft | Civil Aviation Ministry Unveils New Civil Avaition Policy | IAF MiG-27 Crashes near Jodhpur | The aircraft was airborne from Jodhpur Air Base and was on a routine training-flying sortie | The two pilots, onboard the fighter jet, ejected to safety | A Court of Inquiry ordered to investigate the accident | After Switzerland, Mexico supports India's entry into NSG | Modi thanks Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto after bilateral talks | Modi receives unprecedented applause in US Congress | Recalling Abraham Lincoln, Modi describes Capitol Hill as a Temple of Democracy | India will never forget the solidarity shown by the US against 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008 | Modi supports cooperation in maintaining Freedom of Navigation in the Seas | India, US Civil Nuclear Deal changed bilateral ties | Modi describes terrorism as a big global threat and calls for isolation of those who harbour terrorism | India joins MTCR | Italy, which had blocked india's entry into the missile control regime, let it happen this time | President Obama had promised US help to India, and he has fulfilled it just as Prime Minister Modi is visiting Washington | India had applied for membership on June 1, and as there was no objection, its entry was automatic | Modi lays wreath at Space Shuttle Columbia memorial | India-born Kalpana Chawla was among the seven astronauts who perished in the tragedy in 2003 | Modi also meets Sunita Williams, another India-born astronaut | Hillary Clinton winning Democratic nomination for US presidency | Formal announcement in July | Switzerland categorically supports India for NSG membership | Mexico also expected to express support as US anchors India's entry into MTCR and NSG | Indian PM Modi lands in Washington June 6 for a bilateral summit | Entry into MTCR likely to be announced June 7 or 8 | Italy agrees to India's entry in the Missile Technology Control Regime after return of both its marines held in India | Prime Minister Narendra Modi Embarks on 5-day 5-nation Tour June 4 | The Prime Minister is to Visit Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, US and Mexico from June 4-8 | PM Modi inaugurated Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam in Herat, Afghanistan | Mr Modi Conferred with the Highest Civilian Honour of Afghanistan 'Amir Amanullah Khan Award' | President Ashraf Ghani bestowed the award to PM Modi after inauguration of the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam | India Signs Hague Code against Missile Proliferation | India, US Sign Arrangement for the Exchange of Terrorist Screening Information June 2 | The Arrangement Signed by US Ambassador Richard Verma and Indian Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi |
  US 'pays-off' Pakistan to fight terrorism:
Congressmen skeptical
 
 
By Mahendra Ved Published : August 2007
 
     
New Delhi. Sceptical about the way Pakistan is using American money, US Congressmen have asked the Bush Administration to ensure that the money is used to fight terror and not to train guns at India.
 

American law-makers remain sceptical of the Bush administration's Pakistan policy. Congressman John Tierney urged the administration to ensure that the military support money went towards supplying equipment to fight terrorism, as opposed to bombers and submarines aimed at India.

But US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher told a Congressional panel last month: "We do try to do both...help Pakistan with legitimate defensive needs, with its ability to patrol in the Arabian Sea," and finance equipment and reimburse expenses for the war on terror.

Whatever be President Pervez Musharraf's commitment to combat terrorism, that shows results every time the United States threatens to launch operations from the Pakistani territory, the fact is that Pakistan gets paid more than $ 100 million a month by the US.

The payment is specifically for the deployment of 80,000 Pakistani troops on its border with Afghanistan, ostensibly for the war on terrorism. The situation is no different from what prevailed in the 1980s, when Pakistan was the "frontline" state in the West's anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan.

It is not a mere coincidence that within a week of the US saying that it planned to launch its anti-terror operations from Pakistani territory that Pakistani forces closed in on Abdullah Mahsud who had crossed over from Afghanistan's Helmand province, choosing the Balochistan route to sneak into his home base in the tribal non-man land of South Waziristan.

Mahsud blew himself to avoid being captured on July 24.

It is obvious that the US uses the carrot-and-stick policy with Pakistan: using threats and pressures to get it to act against the terrorists, and then paying off the Pakistani forces to guard their own border with Afghanistan.

However, the Bush Administration has to justify both its actions before its own lawmakers.

The American money is meant to be "reimbursements" to Pakistan "for stationing troops and moving them around, and for gasoline, and bullets, and training and other costs that they incur as part of the war on terror," Boucher told a Congressional panel last month.

"That's a lot of money," He admitted before the panel about what amounts to a $ 1.2 billion per year reimbursement. "I don't know if it comes to the whole amount of their expenses, but we support their expenses, yes."

In all, US aid to Pakistan is now close to $ 2 billion a year, according to figures provided by Boucher, the top U S diplomat for South Asia.

Besides, the $ 1.2 billion reimbursements, Washington also gave Pakistan an addition $ 738 million in 2006 in assistance programs me, including $ 300 million in separate military aid.

The overall figure would put Pakistan on par with Israel and Egypt - with a higher component ($ 1.5 billion) in overall military assistance - of the top three recipients of US aid.

The Pakistan allocations are being met with deep misgivings and scepticism in the US Congress and strategic circles where there are growing demands on the Bush administration to tie aid for Islamabad's military to its performance and delivery in the war on terror.

"There are far more jihadists, extremist madrassas, Al Qaida operatives, Taliban safe havens and international terrorist training camps than Pakistani government officials are willing to admit. Is our current aid package, one in which we are providing at least 10 times more for military aid than for basic education assistance, in the best long-term interest of United States national security?" asked Congressman John Tierney, who chaired a hearing focused exclusively on the Pakistan question.

"And how do we in Congress justify to the American people writing checks for billions of dollars to a regime that may not be the partner against terrorism the United States needs it to be, but may actually be hurting national security interests of the United States and our allies?" added Congressman Christopher Shays, after some of his colleagues pointed out that Pakistan was host to the world's most wanted men like Osama bin Laden, nuclear proliferators AQ Khan, and even gangsters and terrorists.

Boucher maintained that the money was well spent and there was some accountability involved.

"Some of our money that we give Pakistan is reimbursements and so there is, you know, conditions that we pay for things," he said, later elaborating that "Pentagon is in charge of getting receipts and making sure they know how that money is being spent in the right places."

"If they didn't have the 85,000 troops in the border area, God knows what would be going on out there - not anything we could deal with ourselves, I'm sure," Boucher added.

 
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