Friday, February 12th, 2010
A senior US official says the American military plans to expand new training centers inside Pakistan in a bid to boost its so-called war on terror.
The senior US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the centers would be used to accelerate and expand the training of Pakistani forces, AP reported.
Washington which invaded neighboring Afghanistan more than eight years ago to allegedly destroy the militancy says the Pakistani military is key to rooting out al-Qaeda leaders allegedly hiding along the mountainous Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
According to the official, the plan will build a number of smaller training centers in the Northwest. Senior US officials have said they hope to train more than 9,000 members of the Pakistani Frontier Corps paramilitary force. The plan will also slash their previous four-year training time by half.
This comes at a time when anti-US sentiments are running high in Pakistan. Indiscriminate US drone attacks have killed hundreds of civilians in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas, resulting in a surge in anti-American sentiments.
Anti-US groups have targeted growing numbers of American troops inside Pakistan. Last week, three US special operations soldiers were killed and two others wounded by a roadside bomb inside Pakistan. They were the first known US military fatalities in nearly three years.
Pakistan’s Jamiat Ulema-e Islam Chief Maulana Fazal-Ur-Rehman said Monday that approximately 9,000 agents working for the US-based security firm Xe Services LLC (formerly known as Blackwater) are operating in Pakistan. He said that the number of Blackwater mercenaries exceeds that of Islamabad’s police force, which stands at 7,000.
Fazl-Ur-Rehman condemned what he described as foreign aggression in Pakistan, holding Blackwater responsible for Taliban-like terrorist activities in the country.
Former Pakistani intelligence Chief Asad Durani told Press TV that he was able to confirm the involvement of the infamous US security contractor in US drone attacks on northwestern Pakistan.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik had repeatedly denied the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan. “No such agency named Blackwater is working in Pakistan,” the minister said in January.
This article was posted: Friday, February 12, 2010 at 5:20 am