1. Suspension of military aid to Pakistan by US ‘welcoming’ for India, say experts

Suspension of military aid to Pakistan by US ‘welcoming’ for India, say experts

The suspension of military aid to Pakistan by America is "welcoming" for India, experts, including a former Indian envoy tor the US today said.

By: | New Delhi | Published: January 13, 2018 12:34 AM
pakistan, us, india, experts on indo-us ties, india us relations A group of experts drawn from diverse fields participated in a panel discussion on the ‘US India relation under Trump Presidency’ at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. (IE)

The suspension of military aid to Pakistan by America is “welcoming” for India, experts, including a former Indian envoy tor the US today said. A group of experts drawn from diverse fields participated in a panel discussion on the ‘US India relation under Trump Presidency’ at the India Habitat Centre here. “Many former Indian prime ministers sustained the forward trajectory in the Indo-US ties. And, during President Donald Trump’s election campaigning and later after he assumed presidency, there were positivity in ties, so the forward trajectory can be sustained,” former India’s ambassador to the US, Arun K Singh said.

Singh served as India’s ambassador to the US in 2015-16. On the Trump administration freezing of the US military aid, he said, such strong decision on Pakistan swas “welcoming for India.” Geostrategic trends expert Brahma Chellaney, and a fellow panelist, concurred that the step was welcoming for India, “But only sustained pressure (on Pakistan) will yield results.” “On action here and one action there won’t suffice,” he said on the sidelines of the panel.

On January 1, Trump had tweeted that the US had “foolishly” given Pakistan more than USD 33 billion in aid in the last 15 years and had gotten nothing in return but “lies and deceit.” Washington has confirmed that it will withhold nearly USD 2 billion in aid to Pakistan. Trump has accused Pakistan of providing safe havens for terror groups like the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network fighting in war-torn Afghanistan.

The freezing of US military aid to Pakistan also includes USD 255 million due to it for military equipment and training under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) fund, and USD 700 m under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) — paid to the country for conducting operations against militant groups. The event was organsied by the India America Friendship Association in partnership with the University of Chicago Center in Delhi.

Other panelists included Surjit Bhalla, member of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, JNU professor Chintamani Mhapatra and Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd), distinguished fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) here.

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