Islamabad: US diplomats based in Pakistan and other Americans visiting South Punjab are secretly being monitored by the security agencies over their immense interest in the region these days, leading many officials suspicious of their activities.
The Nation quoted knowledgeable official sources as saying that the security agencies have been directed to minutely watch the activities of the so-called foreign lovers of South Punjab.
They believe the US visitors, diplomats or others are apparently trying to gather information about the religious seminaries, something that many believe could be used against Pakistan at a later stage.
Reports also suggest that even ‘journalists’ visiting the area are allegedly undercover agents of the US agencies, and that they take locals with them who facilitate their ‘job’.
Sources claim that the US interaction and engagement in South Punjab has always been multi-pronged, and that apart from gathering intelligence on militancy and extremism, the visitors also hold meetings with prominent people, including politicians.
During recent visits, politicians of the region were asked questions about the establishment of a Saraiki province, development infrastructure in South Punjab and rejection of US aid by the Punjab government.
In the last week of July this year, a number of US officials visited South Punjab, with reports saying that a special US delegation flew to Multan by a special plane and visited Pak Arab Fertilizer and held meeting with its Director Faisal Mukhtar on July 23.
On 24 July, Ambassador Cameron Munter visited Lutafabad Mango Farms and held meetings, and on July 25, Munter, along with Carmella Conroy, visited the shrine of Shah Shamas Tabraiz.