Pakistan concerned over growing India-US Relations


Lahore :  Pakistan on Thursday expressed concern over "growing strategic ties" between India and the US, with a top official accusing Washington of using Islamabad "whenever it needs it". The outburst by Sartaj Aziz, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, came after the US strongly backed India's bid for membership to the NSG.

The US backing came at a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday during which the two sides also inked agreements to boost security and defence cooperation. Pakistan will convey its concerns to the US over the latest issues in the bilateral ties,” Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said, adding a high-level meeting is planned here between the two nations tomorrow.

Meanwhile Pakistan is also upset that President Barack Obama has backed India’s bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. “We firmly conveyed it to the US that maintaining effective nuclear deterrence is critical for Pakistan’s security and only Pakistan itself can determine how it should respond to growing strategic imbalance in South Asia,” Aziz said. He said Pakistan has decided to take up the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an alleged Indian spy, with the UN and other international forums.

He claimed that the statement made by Director General of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) that no evidence linked Pakistan to the Pathankot attack has vindicated Pakistan’s position in attack probe. The perpetually oscillating Pak-US relationship is once again at low as reflected by the Congressional restriction on financing of F-16 fighter jet’s sale from Foreign Military Financing programme, due to which Pakistan lost the opportunity to buy the jets, the paper said. The relationship was further strained when the US carried out a drone strike in Balochistan, killing Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, which was termed by Pakistani leadership a violation of the country’s sovereignty.