India reacts sharply to US certification to Pakistan

New Delhi: Reacting strongly to the US certification that Pakistan has curbed terror leading to more aid to Islamabad, India today asserted that its neighbour was not showing "sustained commitment" or "ceasing support" or dismantling "bases of operations" of terror groups including LeT and al Qaeda.

But it maintained that "How the US government decides to spend US tax payers money is entirely its prerogative", while reacting to the US' signing off a certification that the Pakistan government has "prevented al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e- Mohammad from operating" from its territory.

"However, India does not believe that Pakistan is showing "sustained commitment" or making "significant effort" or ceasing support" or dismantling "bases of operations" of the Laskhar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Haqqani network and quite possibly the al Qaeda.

"Also with increasing citings 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 working in Afghanistan including to Indian diplomatic personnel working in the Indian Embassy in Kabul and our four Consulates," Official Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said.

The certification is a condition for the US to disburse aid to Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar Bill for civilian assistance. This year's grant of USD 532 million to Pakistan will be disbursed shortly, as the Congress gave its nod to President Obama, US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson had disclosed.

The certification comes ahead of visit by Foreign Secretary of State John Kerry to Islamabad later this month.

Significantly, Kerry will also travel to India ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit to attend Republic Day celebrations as Chief Guest. Kerry is scheduled to attend Vibrant Gujarat summit to be held in Gandhinagar from January 11.

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