Military supplies to Pakistan: US 'mindful' of Indian concerns
The US is "mindful" of Indian concerns over military supplies to Pakistan and is "clearly observing" if the arms are only being used to fight terrorism, visiting Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy said today.delhi Updated: Aug 10, 2010 17:08 IST
The US is "mindful" of Indian concerns over military supplies to Pakistan and is "clearly observing" if the arms are only being used to fight terrorism, visiting Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy said on Tuesday.
"We have heard the concerns of our Indian friends and we are mindful of those concerns as we decide, as we take steps to support the equipping of Pakistan for the current counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism purposes," Flournoy told reporters after her separate meetings with Defence Minister AK Antony, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar.
Flournoy, who arrived in New Delhi on Monday after a visit to Pakistan, said the US has also had frank discussions with Pakistan about the purposes and application of the systems that America provides it.
"When Pakistanis request equipment we have a very frank discussion on purposes and applications. We are clearly observing how equipment is actually used. We have choices in what we chose to provide and not provide as well," she said.
India has been raising concerns before US officials that there was a possibility that Pakistan could use American arms to enhance its military capability and create an imbalance in the South Asian region.
Antony had conveyed the apprehensions during the recent visits here of US National Security Advisor James Jones and the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.
The defence minister had also sought a monitoring mechanism to prevent Pakistan misusing US weapons against India.
Flournoy said the US has laid a "clear emphasis" on supporting Pakistan's efforts on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to fight terror groups.
"I think there is clear emphasis on supporting their operations on the Afghan-Pakistan border," she said.
The official, however, said the US had seen a "shift in the political will" in Pakistan since the time the country has suffered terror strikes.
She said the US was considering supply of short-range, unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) like the Shadow and the ScanEagle to help Pakistan in intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance capability in its counter-terrorism operations.