US, Pak plan a joint military intelligence processing unit

Last Updated: Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 14:42

Washington: The US and Pakistan are planning
to establish a joint military intelligence centre inside
Pakistan, where America is set to increase its "boots on the
ground" by 25 per cent by sending 50 military personnel along
with four new F-16s in June, a media report said today.

Currently, there are about 200 US military personnel
involved in security assistance in Pakistan.

"The scheduled arrival of 50 additional US military
personnel to Pakistan in June, accompanying four new F-16
fighter jets, will increase the official number of American
boots on the ground there by 25 per cent," `The Washington
Post` reported.

The current US troops in Pakistan include a Special
Operations training and advisory contingent, initially set up
with 80 troops, that has twice been enlarged since last year
and now totals up to 140 troops in two Pakistani locations,
the daily said, citing senior US military officials.

"The CIA has sent additional intelligence-gathering
operatives and technicians in recent months. Plans are
underway to establish a joint military intelligence processing
centre.

"After an initial period of tension, Pakistani officers
are using cross-border intelligence compiled at two joint
coordination centres on the Afghan side of the frontier," said
the Post.

Further, the US is scheduled to deliver 18 F-16s this
year and as per the agreement a US military team must be on
hand to ensure that sophisticated, top-of-the-line avionics,
weapons and data systems aboard the aircraft remain secure.

"The planes, which for the first time will allow Pakistan
to conduct nighttime air operations, are far more advanced
than the 30-year-old US aircraft that are the current air
force mainstay," the daily said.

Despite all this, the report said, the suspicion
remain between the two countries.

"Certainly, this is a delicate area," a Pakistani
military official was quoted as saying in reference to the
American presence.

During a recent PowerPoint briefing in Islamabad,
Pakistan`s ISI directorate provided a comprehensive list of US
complaints about them, the Post said.

The Obama Administration, a senior ISI official said,
remains "suspicious of ISI linkages with the Afghan Taliban,
thinks that the ISI is indifferent to the threat posed by
al-Qaeda and that it promotes anti-American diatribes in the
Pakistani media," the daily said.

The US, the official said, "sees Pakistan as incapable of
guaranteeing the security of its nuclear arsenal, irrationally
obsessed with the threat from India and generally not serious
about either democracy or fighting terrorists."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 14:42

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