US shocked by Pakistani media's hype over Marine deployment

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Islamabad, Sep.20 (ANI): US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson has expressed dismay at the Pakistani media's reports regarding the presence of 1000 Marines in the country, saying the reports of arrival of Marines in large numbers were baseless.

"There are total eight Marines in Pakistan while the Pakistan media is reporting the arrival of 1,000 Marines, which is incorrect," Patterson said.

Commenting on Pakistan's apprehensions over the expansion of the US embassy in Islamabad, she said the issue was being given undue importance and hype without any reason.

"It is regrettable that expansion of the US embassy in Pakistan and talks for purchase of PC Hotel has become such a hyped issue without any reason," Patterson said, adding: "We have rented houses in Islamabad keeping in view the needs of diplomatic staff."

She also clarified the presence of private US security firm, Blackwater's, in Pakistan, saying the company was not operating in any other part of the country as was being reported by the media.

Patterson also out rightly rejected Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin's statement that Islamabad has only received 970 million dollars in aid from the US since the Pakistan People's Party-led government came into office.

"Three billion dollars have so far been given to the Pakistani government. Only 330 million dollars have been given for internally displaced people alone," The News quoted Patterson, as saying. (ANI)

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