Islamabad: The British embassy says Pakistan has asked the United Kingdom to withdraw some of its military training teams from the country.
Embassy spokesman George Sherriff said on Monday that the withdrawal is temporary and the training teams will be ready to redeploy as soon as possible. He declined to provide further details.
The withdrawal was first reported by the British newspaper the Guardian on Sunday. The newspaper said Pakistan expelled at least 18 British military advisers, deployed as part of a GBP 15 million (USD 23.9 million) program to train the paramilitary Frontier Corps.
The newspaper said the training program began last August and was scheduled to run until at least summer 2013.
The removal of British military trainers is seen as an indirect casualty of worsening relations between Pakistan and the United States over the May 02 Navy Seal raid on Osama bin Laden’s lair in Abbottabad, which was conducted without Pakistani consent.
Although British relations with Pakistan are warmer, the embattled Army - stung by a barrage of public criticism - is keen to demonstrate its independence from all western allies, the report said.
Since bin Laden`s death, Pakistan has sent home at least 120 US military trainers, most of whom were engaged in training the Frontier Corps.
(With Agencies’ inputs)