US to spend one billion dollars of aid money on its 'super' embassy in Islamabad

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Islamabad, Aug.13 (ANI): The United States would spend nearly a billion dollars from its promised 2.4 billion dollar humanitarian aid to Pakistan in the construction of its 'super embassy' in Islamabad.

The amount will be spent on construction, fortification and adding more staff including several marines in the new embassy which is nearing completion in the capital, The Dawn reports.

While Washington sees the massive construction work as a landmark in the diplomatic enclave, Pakistani officials said clubbing of aid money with US' expansion plans in Islamabad would leave them with too little amount for counterinsurgency.

"Closer scrutiny of the much trumpeted aid package shows that the government after subtracting the assistance for IDPs will be getting a mere 482 million dollars and some improved counter-insurgency capacity," a senior Pakistani official said.

However, US officials believe that since the Obama Administration has raised the aid money to Pakistan three-fold, it is necessary to staff more officials in the troubled country.

"We need the capacity to disburse money and exercise oversight," US officials said.

When enquired about attaching the aid package with the construction of the huge embassy, they said: "That's how legislative system works in Washington."

It may be noted that the Obama Administration is about to spend 405 million dollars for the reconstruction and refurbishment of the main embassy building and 111 million dollars for constructing a new complex for 330 personnel. A further 197 million dollars would be spent for construction of a housing unit for about 250 personnel.

18 acres of land has already been acquired by the US for the project for a meager one billion rupees, and a Turkish firm has already built a 153-room compound for the embassy.

The US is also planning to send about 1000 additional staff to Pakistan, where 750 US officials are already stationed against a sanctioned strength of only 350 personnel.

But what is more worrying for Islamabad is that this surge would also boost the number of marines by over 350.

Not only this, the United States is also planning to give its consular buildings in Lahore and Peshawar a new look.

Experts believe that this is a clear cut strategy of the US to augment its presence and establish a control over the region.

Many believe that with this expansion, the United States is planning to use Pakistan for pushing its policies in the region, similar to what it did in Baghdad. (ANI)

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