India denounces US military aid to Pakistan - again

Since the partition in 1947, the US has largely played an honest broker's role in the conflict between India and Pakistan. Even when India's "non-aligned" governments of the 70's and 80's tilted decidedly toward the Soviet Union, on issues like ownership of the Kashmir, the US refused to take sides. This was due to the strategic position occupied by Pakistan as first, a key ally of China who the US was seeking to build better relations, then as a frontline state against Soviet aggression in Afghanistan.

But with India emerging as an economic superpower in Asia, and Pakistan falling further into extremist Islam, it may be time to begin to re-evaluate the strategic equation. We have been supplying Pakistan's military with sophisticated weapons that India says are being used against them. Our support is also apparently enabling the ISI and military to work with terrorists who kill Indian citizens.

And India's patience is growing short. Reuters:

India has again denounced U.S. military aid to Pakistan which it says is being used by Islamabad against Indian interests, local media reported on Saturday.

New Delhi has long accused Pakistan's powerful military of aiding militant attacks on Indian soil, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks, a charge Islamabad denies.

"This (aid) is being used against us, which is not a nice gesture on the part of (the) U.S. and we have raised this issue with them many times," Defense Minister A.K. Antony was quoted as saying by the Indo-Asian News Service.

U.S. aid to Pakistan is viewed with concern in India and has been an irritant as Washington looks to upgrade strategic and economic ties with the emerging Asian power.

India's charges against Islamabad received a boost after the star witness in a Chicago trial linked to the Mumbai attacks testified that Pakistan's spy agency and elements in the military coordinated to plot the raid that killed at least 166 people.

Pakistan has received $20.7 billion worth of U.S. assistance over the past decade, about two-thirds of it military aid.

Whenever Congress tries to attach strings to that aid to prevent it from being used to buttress their forces facing India, the Pakistani military threatens a coup against the civilian government if they accept those restrictions, see such restraints as a violation of their sovereignty. This is after Pakistan admitted in 2010 that they did indeed divert US aid to defense against India, rather than use the money for its intended purpose - fight terrorists.

Both Presidents Bush and Obama have tried to improve relations with India. But as long as we must rely on Pakistan for our Afghanistan mission. the military aid will continue to flow - something that India rightly fears.