India,France to discuss misuse of foreign aid by Pak

Pakistan’s alleged routing of international aid for economic development towards terrorism will be...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:July 11, 2009 5:06 am

Pakistan’s alleged routing of international aid for economic development towards terrorism will be one of the key issues that will be on table when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on June 14.

Manmohan Singh,who will be the chief guest at France’s National Day celebrations on July 14 will be the first Indian leader to be accorded such an honour,French envoy Jerome Bonnafont told reporters here on Friday. After the parade,the two leaders will meet for bilateral talks over lunch.

France is of the view that Pakistan needs foreign aid for stability and development but it needs to be ensured that the funds are used only for socio-economic development. The country also wants to see to it that Pakistan lives up to its commitments on ending terrorism emanating from its soil.

India has been pressing for greater international oversight on funds given to Pakistan,which,New Delhi suspects,are used for anti-India activities.

The two countries are expanding their counter-terror cooperation — an issue that will figure in the discussions between Singh and Sarkozy.

Singh’s visit to France takes place against the backdrop of a series of high-profile visits from Pakistan to that country. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani visited Paris recently.

France had also announced 300 million euros as economic assistance and another 12 million euros for rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons during the Pakistan President’s visit.

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