India concerned about US triple aid to Pak

The announcement to the tripling of annual aid to USD 1.5 billion dollars per annum till 2014, was made by President Barack Obama during his address to a meeting of the 'Friends of Democratic Pakistan' at the UN headquarters in New York, attended by a grouping of 26 countries and international organisations.

Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, called the unanimous vote on Kerry-Luger Bill "a very important step forward" for US-Pakistan ties.
"For the first time in modern era the US congress has made a multi-year commitment to Pakistan," he said.

The Senate's unanimous approval set the stage for action in the House of Representatives, where the measure was introduced hours later for a final vote. It will then be sent to Obama to sign it into law.

Reacting to the Senate's passage of the bill, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in New York that India was concerned about it as Islamabad had in the past diverted American aid to bolster its defences against India.

"Consider the statement that has been issued by the former president of Pakistan Musharraf himself where he has said that the aid provided to Pakistan by the US has been used for directing its hostile operations against India," Krishna, who is participating in the opening session of United Nation General Assembly, said.

"It is that statement of President Musharraf that really bothers us," he said, ahead of his meeting with his counterpart Hillary Clinton.

"With respect to the aid that was given to Pakistan we have brought the attention of the government of the United States that India's concern is only that aid has to be appropriated for the purpose for which it is provided by the United States," Krishna said, urging the US to monitor the use of the aid by Pakistan.

In its early drafts, the bill had a condition that Pakistan would not be a base for terrorist attacks against India, but now it has been replaced with a clause on cooperation with Pakistan's neighbours on war against terror.

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