US doesn't want to expose Pakistan's terror links: BJP

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 24, 2010 13:33 hrs

New delhi : Fearing that India would be denied access to David Headley, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday said the US was pursuing the 'help-the-ally-at-any-cost' policy and did not want to expose Pakistan's involvement in terror activities.

'The BJP's apprehension that India will be denied access to the most wanted terrorist, Headley, is possibly becoming a reality,' party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday.

Sitharaman said US Ambassador Timothy Roemer's remark that no decision to provide access to interrogate Headley has been taken 'has only added to our fear'.

The statement comes as officials Wednesday expressed confidence that India would be given direct access to interrogate the Pakistani-born US national who has confessed of having schemed the 2008 Mumbai terror attack with LeT men in Karachi.

India confident of getting 'direct' access to Headley

Headley has also admitted that he attended LeT terror camps in Pakistan on five occasions.

Headley's cooperation with US prosecutors came after he was assured that he would be spared of the death sentence and prevented from being extradited to India or Denmark, where he had also plotted an attack on the Jyllands-Posten newspaper office that published cartoons of the Prophet.

'Pakistan has been and is an ally of the US. Our worry is that the US will not permit revealing anything that projects, in this case without a shred of doubt, Pakistan's involvement in perpetrating terror in the subcontinent,' Sitharaman said.

'This 'help-the-ally-at-any-cost' attitude of the US is seen also in the statement made by (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton,' the BJP spokesperson said.

She was referring to Clinton's statement that the US may consider having a nuclear agreement with Pakistan similar to the one it has with India.

The BJP feared Headley 'may be a rogue agent'.

No U-turn by US on direct access to Headley, says PC

'It is a fact that he was employed as an agent by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the US government and in 1998 as a part of a deal (somewhat similar to the plea bargain now) his 10-year-sentence for drug smuggling was reduced. He has been under FBI surveillance having agreed to work as an undercover operator,' she said.

She said if India was indeed denied access to Headley 'we shall not know about the roles played by the so called state and non state actors (in Pakistan)'.

'This is a failure of Indian diplomacy. (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh is going too much out of his way to befriend the US. We are not being treated as equal partners. The government of India has failed to assert its sovereign right in not obtaining access to have a custodial interrogation of the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack.'

More from Sify: