The US is planning to invest $1 billion in building a bigger diplomatic presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including a huge new embassy in Islamabad, McClatchy reports. The Obama administration is seeking $736 million from Congress for the embassy and permanent housing for American officials in Pakistan’s capital—further evidence of a long-term commitment to the area.
The US is also looking to expand its embassy in Kabul and purchase a hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan, for a new US consulate. Amid a planned “surge” in civilian officials in the area, the expansion will replace US facilities run down and packed with people, officials said. But some in the region may cite the work as a sign of “imperial designs,” fueling anti-American sentiment.