US planning Guantanamo Bay type prison in Pak?
Islamabad: Speculations are rife that the United States is planning a Guantanamo Bay kind of prison inside Pakistan.
While the media reports have been claiming that the US is planning a massive expansion of its Islamabad Embassy, the latest report regarding establishing of a prison similar to that of Guantanamo Bay has heightened tension in the country.
It is also being reported that Washington is planning to takeover a bombed luxury hotel in Peshawar, capital of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Forbes.com reported.
Sources said the US State Department is searching for a new site for a consulate in Peshawar, long believed to be a key hub for American spies, and are considering establishing the same in the Pearl Continental Hotel.
The five-star hotel was destroyed partially in a suicide attack earlier this year.
Diplomatic sources added the US is mulling to expand its already sprawling Islamabad Embassy compound to accommodate about 400 to 500 apartments.
According to an estimate, Washington is planning to spend a whopping USD 1 billion for revamping its main embassy building in Islamabad and increase the strength of its staff.
The Obama administration is about to spend USD 405 million for the reconstruction and refurbishment of the main embassy building and USD 111 million for constructing a new complex for 330 personnel. A further USD 197 million would be spent for construction of a housing unit for about 250 personnel.
Eighteen acres of land has already been acquired by the US for the project for Rs 1 billion, and a Turkish firm has already built a 153-room compound for the embassy.
The US is also planning to send about 1000 additional staff to Pakistan, where 750 US officials are already stationed against a sanctioned strength of only 350 personnel.
But what is more worrying for Islamabad is that this surge would also boost the number of marines by over 350.
Not only this, the United States is also planning to give its consular buildings in Lahore and Peshawar a new look.
Experts believe that this is a clear cut strategy of the US to augment its presence and establish a control over the region.
Many believe that with this expansion, the United States is planning to use Pakistan for pushing its policies in the region, similar to what it did in Baghdad.
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