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US pat for Pak on handling of terror riles India

Coming down strongly on United State’s of America’s certification on aid to Pakistan, the ministry of external affairs on Monday categorically said that India does not believe that Pakistan is showing “sustained commitment” to dismantle the bases of operations of terror organisations like the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters on Monday, “How the government of USA decides to spend US taxpayers’ money is entirely its own prerogative. However, India does not believe that Pakistan is showing either sustained commitment or making significant effort or ceasing support or dismantling bases of operations of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Haqqani network and quite possibly the Al-Qaeda.”

Meanwhile, after reports appeared that the ‘terror’ boat destroyed on New Year’s Eve by Indian Coast Guard was linked to a drug mafia based in Pakistan, defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that “ there was no indication that it was a boat of smugglers, but rather it was linked to terror.”

“The boat was under surveillance for 12 hours. That it was stationed in one position doesn’t indicate smuggling,” he said. “Smugglers won’t stay in touch with the Pakistan maritime authorities. And why would smugglers commit suicide,” he asked. Parrikar also said that he is not speculating that there were explosives, but the activities don’t fit description of a smuggler.

On the other hand, MEA spokesperson added that increased sightings of Punjabi, Urdu speaking elements operating with terrorist groups inside Afghanistan posed a significant threat. “With increasing sightings of Punjabi/Urdu-speaking elements operating with terrorist groups inside Afghanistan, we now also know that these very groups also pose a significant threat to members of the international community, including to Indian diplomatic personnel working in the Indian embassy and our four consulates there,” added Akbaruddin.

The MEA’s stern message came after United States Secretary of State John Kerry praised Pakistan for its action against terrorist organisations like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). He also signed off a certification that made Islamabad eligible for an aid package, reportedly in the region of USD 500 million.
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