India again denounces U.S. military aid to Pakistan

NEW DELHI Sat May 28, 2011 6:44am EDT

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NEW DELHI (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.

U.S. lawmakers have questioned the continuation of that aid since the discovery and killing by U.S. forces of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a garrison town near Islamabad earlier this month.

(Reporting by C.J. Kuncheria; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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