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India conveys concerns to France over military supplies to Pak

May 27
03:28 2011

French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet on a two-day visit to India called on his Indian counterpart A.K. Antony in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: India has conveyed its concerns to France over its sale of armament to Pakistan amid apprehensions that such supplies are used for purposes other than fight against terror.

“Yes it was raised,” French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said when asked whether such concerns were conveyed during his meetings with his Indian counterpart A K Antony and Chiefs of Army and Navy.

India is concerned over military supplies by some western countries to Pakistan in the name of fight against terrorism, saying these are used to augment its defense capabilities rather than for the purpose intended.

Longuet argued that the French supplies are to enable Pakistan intercept terrorists.

“I can tell you the military equipment which France is selling to Pakistan is only for interception and electronic purposes to fight terrorists,” he said.

Longuet evaded a direct reply on whether France would stop sale of heavy weaponry to Pakistan in the wake of Osama Bin Laden being found in Abbottabad.

“This part of the world needs some clarification and stability as well. India is an old strategic partner…

Regarding Pakistan we are waiting for clarifications,” he said.

On relationship between France and Pakistan in aftermath of killing of Bin Laden near Islamabad, Longuet said, “I have insisted that terrorism could not be the weapon for anybody and any government. The demise of Bin Laden should be the opportunity to clarify responsibilities and the dialogue between US and Pakistan will pay attention to this.”

He expressed hope that the information Americans get on Pakistan and its war against terrorism would be shared with all members of the coalition against terrorism. -PTI

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