U.S'. '10-week training' of Pak paramilitary troops facing hurdles

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Warsak (Pakistan), July 12(ANI): The United States'10-week basic-training course for the Pakistani paramilitary troops is facing hurdles as Pakistani commanders say that they cannot afford to send troops due to the intense situation in its border areas.

The training centre in Warsak, about 20 miles from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, is aimed at providing specialized training required for snipers, platoon and company leaders to fight the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

The initiative, which was started in January 2009, is also designed to help turn the 58,000-member Pakistan's Frontier Corps that patrols the tribal areas from a largely passive border force into skilled and motivated fighters.

However, recently only 250 troops completed the course despite the centre having facilities to train as many as 2,000 soldiers at a time.

Pakistan also restricts the number of American trainers throughout the country to no more than about 120 Special Operations personnel.

"We want to keep a low signature," The New York Times quoted a senior Pakistani officer, as saying.

About a dozen American trainers are assigned to yearlong duty at the training centre, which was built by the US at a cost of 23 million dollars. They have also spent another 30 million dollars for training and equipment requested by the Pakistani military.

The most gifted Frontier Corps marksmen are selected for sniper training, a skill in need against the Taliban.

Much of the training is aimed at building the confidence of the Frontier Corps scouts.

US Colonel Kurt Sonntag believes that the training program is among the first steps to repair the anti-Americanism in Pakistan, which has escalated following the continued campaign of drone strikes in the country's tribal areas. (ANI)

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