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US to boost CIA presence in Pak

world Updated: Oct 24, 2010 02:28 IST
AFP
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The United States is trying to expand a secret CIA operation designed to eliminate radical Islamic militants' havens located in Pakistan near the Afghan border, The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday.

Citing unnamed senior officials, the newspaper said that in recent weeks the administration of President Barack Obama had asked Pakistan to allow additional Central Intelligence Agency officers and special operations military trainers to enter the country to intensify pressure on militants.

The requests have so far been rebuffed by Islamabad, which remains extremely reluctant

to allow a larger US ground presence in Pakistan, the

report said.

On Friday, the US in a bid to improve its uneasy war partnership with Pakistan offered a two-billion-dollar arms package but warned it will not tolerate human rights abuses.

The five-year assistance plan satisfies a key request of Pakistan's influential military, which assists the US military in Afghanistan and was initially uneasy about a US shift to civilian assistance.

The number of CIA personnel in Pakistan has grown substantially in recent years, The Journal said. But the exact number is highly classified.

According to the paper, there are currently about 900 US military personnel in Pakistan, 600 of which are providing flood relief and 150 of which are assigned to the training mission.

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