Pakistan opens its door to US ops

From Syed Saleem Shahzad

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistani Embassy in Washington has lifted all scrutiny mechanisms for granting visas to defense-related American officials. Under the new procedures, implemented two weeks ago, officials will be granted visas in 24 hours.

Previously, under pressure from the armed forces, all applications for visas by United States defense officials were passed on to Pakistan's Ministry of Defense, which in turn sent them to the directorate of Military Intelligence. After several months of scrutiny, visas were either granted or denied.

The new procedures were laid down on the direct intervention of the office of President Asif Ali Zardari to facilitate the Americans in their quest to directly hunt down militant networks in Pakistani cities, where Washington believes major attacks in Europe are being planned and also from where the insurgency in Afghanistan is being directed. Compared with 2009, US drones have doubled their air-to-ground attacks during 2010, to more than 100 on militant sanctuaries in Pakistan's tribal areas

Hunting season just opened for BIG GAME in the Pakistani cities. This is what has the ISI worried it seems..
"A three-pronged American strategy is visible for Pakistan that clearly concerns Pakistan's security establishment," a senior security official told Asia Times Online on the condition of anonymity.

"The Americans increasingly want to have direct intervention and control in counter-terrorism operations and want to expand their operations from the tribal regions into the cities," the official said. He added that the US also aimed to broaden its influence through local private security contractors as well as by investing in think-tanks to motivate the Pakistani intelligentsia in favor of a regional anti-insurgency campaign.

"In this new campaign, the Americans aim to reduce the role of the Pakistani security forces and they want to directly deal with the insurgents," the official said.

And the hunt just got BIGGER..

Posted by: Newbie at 04:37 AM

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