Boosted US Presence Rankles Pakistan

Military fears too many strings are attached to new $7.5 billion in aid
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2009 1:42 AM CDT
A Pakistani armored vehicle fires toward Taliban positions in Loi Sam, in the Bajur tribal region, Pakistan.    (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, Pool, File)
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(Newser) – The $7.5 billion aid package to Pakistan recently approved by the Senate appears to have triggered more suspicion than goodwill. Many in Pakistan, especially in the military, object that the conditions tied to the aid—which include keeping the military out of politics—are an unacceptable encroachment on national sovereignty. Suspicions have been further exacerbated by US plans to boost America's diplomatic and security presence in Pakistan.

The aid agreement is a "charter for new colonization," charged one opposition lawmaker. Military and intelligence services view US plans to use private contractor DynCorp to provide protection for a huge new American diplomatic facility in Islamabad as an attempt by the Yanks to set up their own shadow security network in Pakistan, officials tell the New York Times. American officials say the expanded diplomatic and security presence is needed to monitor how the aid is being spent.