No military reason linked with US Embassy's expansion, clarifies Patterson

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Islamabad, Aug. 28 (ANI): US ambassador in Islamabad, Anne W Patterson, has clarified that the US embassy in Islamabad is being expanded in order to accommodate the additional staff needed to deal with increased financial aid to Pakistan, and not for any military purpose.

The Daily Times quoted Patterson as saying that reports of an alarming increase in the number of US Marines to be stationed in the premises were baseless.

"There are only nine Marines looking after the internal security of the embassy and after expansion work, scheduled to be completed within seven years, the number of Marines will be less than 20," the report quoted her, as saying.

She added that about 1,000 Marines were responsible for internal security of its 150 embassies and consulates throughout the world; therefore, it was not possible that there could be thousands of Marines in Pakistan only.

She further clarified that Marines were not authorised to conduct combat or security detail outside embassy premises, and their sole responsibility was to ensure the mission's internal security.

The US embassy currently houses 250 permanent staff and the number can go up to 300 to 500 as per needs.

On the US spying on Pakistan, Patterson said the US did not need a bigger embassy "if we want to spy on Pakistan. We do not need to spy on Pakistan." (ANI)

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