Washington: US has said it is taking “very seriously allegations” by former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that aid provided by it for the ‘war against terror´ was diverted during his tenure to strengthen defences against India, but refused to say whether any probe has been ordered.
A state department official said the “allegations were not specific” and as of now the US was not aware of any such violations.
“This is former President who has made these allegations. We take seriously any allegations like this. But simply we don’t have the details to be able to respond to the allegations,” state department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters when asked about the latest revelatioans by Musharraf.
In an interview to a Pakistani news channel, Musharraf admitted that he had violated the rules governing the use of the military aid, but justified his action, saying he had “acted in the best interest of Pakistan”.
Kelly evaded a reply when asked whether any inestigations have been launched in this regard.
“First of all, Musharraf is a private citizen. He provided very few details, so we would refer you to him to get these kinds of details,” Kelly said.
“I would just say, as a general principle, we take very seriously any allegation of using US-originating military assistance for purposes other than we had already agreed to and that we had intended them for,” Kelly said.
Asked whether he was worried about the diplomatic implications of what Musharraf is saying, Kelly said: “It was a very broad statement with no specifics that I know of. And we would just need, I think, to have more details about that.”
To a question whether there are some follow-up implications to this, he said: “Yes.”
Reacting to Musharraf’s statement, India has said the revelation does not come as a surprise to it.
“We have for some years now arguing that the only problem we have with the US military aid to Pakistan is its misuse against us,” minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor had said yesterday in New Delhi.
Political observers here believe the latest revelation from Musharraf would have its implications on the US aid to Pakistan when the issue comes up for consideration before the US Congress.
A large number of lawmakers have been making assertions like this in the past.