Diversion of funds: US sends team to Pakistan NDTV Correspondent
, Wednesday September 16, 2009, Washington
Amidst former President Pervez Musharraf's revelation that Pakistan used US military aid to strengthen its defences against India, a top American military official on Tuesday said a team was recently sent to Islamabad to review the reimbursement system under Coalition Support Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/south-asia/26702-diversion-funds-us-sends-team-pakistan.html
In a written reply to Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said the team was sent to review the Coalition Support Funds, which provides reimbursement to Pakistan for incurred while conducting operations against war on terrorism.
However, there was no reference if it had any links with Musharraf's recent claim that US military aid to Pakistan for the war against terrorism was used during his tenure to strengthen defences against India.
"We recently sent a team to Pakistan to review, with the Pakistan military, the CSF and other requirements in order to improve accountability and timeliness of payments," Mullen said. However, he did not say what was the result of the finding or if the team has returned.
Coalition Support Funds, he said, are a key element toward US objectives in the Afghan-Pakistan strategy.
"We continue to work with the Pakistan military to improve CSF processes, and ensure appropriate accountability and transparency for CSF," the Admiral said.
Mullen argued that the US should continue to support the Government of Pakistan to expand their capabilities and help them confront and defeat militant extremism wherever it may be in Pakistan.
"We must continue to work with Pakistan to approach the Taliban as a regional threat to both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Taliban groups throughout the region derive their operational guidance from commanders at the local and tribal level," he said.Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=26702
Responding to a question, he said, the US approach to defeating Al-Qaida must be one that builds trust with Afghans and Pakistanis while applying all instruments of power.
The United States requires diverse instruments to deny sanctuary to Al-Qaida and the Taliban now, and to generate a stable and secure Afghanistan capable of denying Al-Qaida return after the withdrawal of combat forces, and while it sustains and commitment to political and economic development in that nation, he said.
Mullen said defeating the Pakistan Taliban is an important component of the President's regional strategy.
Defeating the Pakistan Taliban will prevent Al-Qaida from collaborating with other extremist allies in the region and is necessary to ensure a stable, democratic Government of Pakistan (GoP), he said.
"Our role in defeating the Pakistan Taliban includes supporting the Government of Pakistan through diplomatic and military means," he said. US slams Pakistan over diverting aid
The US State Department has reacted strongly to the revelation made by former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that US military aid given to Pakistan during his tenure was used to strengthen defences against India.
"I'll just say as a general principle we take very seriously any allegation of using US-origin military assistance for purposes other than we had already agreed to and that we had intended them for," said State Department spokesperson Ian Kelly.
This is the first time that Pakistan has admitted to diverting US aid given to fight the Taliban to strengthen its defenses against India. This is something that New Delhi has long suspected but had no proof of.
Musharraf's admission comes at a time when the Obama administration is asking Congress to approve $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan over the next five years. As Congress debates the terms of aid to Pakistan next month, the former president's admission will only strengthen those voices that believe that US aid to Pakistan should be strictly monitored. (With PTI inputs)
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