US military trainers arrive

March 05, 2008

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WASHINGTON, March 4: Pakistan has rejected repeated US requests to embed American military personnel with its troops in the tribal areas, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

The sources, however, confirmed that “less than hundred” US military experts have started arriving in Pakistan for providing counter-insurgency training to the Frontier Corps.

The sources insisted that no US military personnel will participate in combat operations against insurgents in the tribal areas.

According to these sources, Pakistan has thus far resisted direct US involvement with its forces.

“Pakistan has even rejected the suggestion to embed US military personnel as liaison officers with its troops in the tribal areas,” said a diplomatic source. “The Pakistanis insist that it is a bad idea and may backfire.”

The US trainers now arriving in Pakistan will focus on the Frontier Corps, a force of about 8,500 soldiers drawn from various Pakhtun tribes.

The trainers are expected to be in Pakistan for up to two years.