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Pak’s defence minister accuses India of supporting terrorists

world Updated: May 15, 2016 18:16 IST
Khawaja Asif

Pakistani defence minister Khawaja Asif (L) and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai attend the 5th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in Moscow, Russia, April 27, 2016.(REUTERS)

Days after Pakistan alleged that an Indian lobby was making “untiring efforts” to block the sale of F-16 fighter jets from the US to it, a top minister has accused India of “supporting” terrorists and separatists, particularly in restive Balochistan, media reports said on Sunday.

Minister of Defence Khawaja Asif on Saturday said that India was “supporting terrorists and separatist groups in Pakistan especially in Balochistan and the issue of Indian terrorism had been raised internationally by Pakistan”.

Talking to Dunya News, Asif claimed that Pakistan Peoples Party’s Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the US, had lobbied against the provision of F-16s to Pakistan by the US.

Read | US not to subsidise sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan

“The Indian lobby has been making untiring efforts to reverse the US decision, and a strong attempt, through Senator Rand Paul’s resolution, to block the sale itself,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has told the Senate on Thursday.

Congress opposed funding of eight F-16 aircraft through foreign military funding of the United States, he said

The US Congress has initiated a move to block $450 million in aid to Pakistan for failing to “demonstrate its commitment” and taking action against the Haqqani terror network.

Read | NYT calls Pak ‘duplicitous’, backs hold on F-16 subsidy

According to the National Defence Authorisation Act, of the total amount of reimbursement and support authorised for Pakistan, USD 450 million would not be eligible for a national security waiver unless the Secretary of Defence certifies that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations against the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan.

The move comes days after the US told Pakistan to put forward its national funds to buy eight F-16s worth USD 700 million after some top Senators put a hold on the use of American tax payers’ money to partially finance them.