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State Department revises Pay Scale & Lodging rates for US personnel in Islamabad

US State DepartmentWith effect from 1st July 2009 the US State Department has revised the pay scale of all US personnel and contractors stationed within USG civilian compounds in Islamabad from high of a $289/day to a present low of $110/day, while the lodging rates have dropped even more significantly from $213/day to a paltry $70/day. This is compounded with a 35% Danger Pay which is to-date the highest in the world going shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan and Iraq, while Yemen and Lebanon come as second most dangerous place for US contractors and personnel receiving 30% danger pay

The sudden fall in lodging rates may suggest a massive acquiring of housing locations in Islamabad, while the simultaneous reduction in the ‘per deim’ pay scale for US personnel and contractors may suggest that they maybe living inside a ‘secure compound’. Such low rates across the world are seen in locations where the Americans have a proper base and a secure compound, while interestingly Karachi and Lahore fetch the same high living rates like before. Somethings definitely cooking in Islamabad

It seems all these reports quite apparently points towards a definite buildup of US military personnel and subsequent a good security cordon around them as well which may hint towards the presence of BlackWater / Xe, the American rogue militia

The following table is the present pay scale and lodging rates for US Personnel in Pakistan, as published on the State Department’s website, while the previous rates prior to 1st July 2009 can be found here for comparison, special attention to Islamabad

Post Name Lodging Rate Misc. & Incidental Rate Per Deim Rate Footnote Effective Date
Faisalabad 133 46 179 View 01/01/2007
Islamabad 70 40 110 View 07/01/2009
Karachi 231 79 310 View 10/01/2008
Lahore 188 57 245 View 01/01/2007
Other 154 63 217 N/A 10/01/2008
Peshawar 156 45 201 View 03/01/2004
Quetta 154 63 217 View 10/01/2008

It would be safe to say that somethings definitely cooking in Islamabad


  • Our ruler have either sold out the soul or are the idiots

  • Though we started hearing about Black water and American army presence in Islamabad just now but they are working on various projects since 2007.

  • Danial Burki

    This is a classic case of why one should never visit a blog for analysis.

    "It is safe to say that somethings [sic!] definitely cooking in Islamabad"? Really? That's the best you can do in terms of analysis? The post is littered with "may suggest" and "maybe".

    And here's the thing, so what if they are housing personnel in a secure compound that has been secured after being cleared by the Interior Ministry? Are you suggesting that they DON'T secure themselves given that terror-monkeys are running around trying to chop off any gora's head to seek a corner plot in heaven? And if you are suggesting that they don't, then you are either implying that there is no threat to them OR you are implying that these infidels deserve to die by the hands of the righteous militias.

    Second, the rising number of contractors is due to the amount of projects that are being initiated with American money. Further, most of the contract work being done in Pakistan is staffed 80 percent (yes EIGHTY PERCENT) by Pakistani citizens.

    This is the "blatant interference" in Pakistani affairs that you are talking about? Are these USAID projects going to "take over Pakistan"? And even if we talk about the rumours of an infidel army of Marines being stationed at the embassy in Islamabad, how can any rational person think that a few hundred Marines is all it takes to pack up all of Pakistan's nukes and ship them off to the US, let alone take over the whole country?

    Our nukes are safe; and most of the bullshit sensationalism that is spread about them is spread by Pakistanis themselves. Consider that it is these very Pakistani blogs that moan about the US complaining about nuke safety in Pakistan; and then these very blogs shit bricks when they hear rumours of Marines being stationed at Islamabad to steal our nukes. And in addition, ref contractors, these very blogs moan about how "the US abandoned us after 1989"; and then moan about how it is NOT abandoning us.

    Hilarious. I know you're seeking hits; but have some standards, please.

  • @Danial – your points well taken – but whatever the analysis one may come across on, the official bureaucratic position is that there is NO increase in US personnel. The reports of increased houses being taken on rent across ISB and a potential build up of marines is an eye opener.

    this update from the state dept does verify that they have a secured compound, definitely more then before, something which was not available before 1st July.

    My sources also confirm that the nukes are safe, but the resentment of a potential US presence is multi-fold part to do with sticking a stick up into China, showing them the finger that they have just lost out, Gawadar and Pakistan big time

    I dont know if we should celebrate, scream or cry at having the Americans come in big time – for now I prefer to keep them out – but sadly our politicians lick up to them far more then the king himself

  • Danial Burki

    See, there it is again: US officials, from the State Dept as well as the US embassy in Islamabad have confirmed that there is going to be increased presence of US personnel. So I don't know which bureaucrats you've been talking to.

    Further, nearly all of the additional personnel will be working with rehabilitation and reconstruction contracts based on the money that's coming in from the US. As for the military personnel, I've met some of them (US army engineer corps) who were recently touring Bajaur to survey destroyed houses, schools and basic health units. They were being supervised by a major-general (can't name him) as well as FC officials. Further, they were unarmed so I doubt they were there to "conquer" Bajaur. Should we tell them to fuck off as we don't want to rehabilitate the area?

    So if reports of increased property rentals in Islamabad by the US are true, then they are "likely" (not "maybe") for such personnel.

    So it's a "potential" buildup of Marines now?

    Riddle me this: the issue of Marines (who were going to take over Pakistan, obviously) was taken up by the Jama'at-e Islami through Liaqat Baloch directly with Richard Holbrooke at a recent meeting, with Ambassador Patterson present. Both Patterson and Holbrooke immediately offered to take Mr Baloch on a tour of the US Embassy and the rumoured Castle Wolfenstein "compound". (The entire embassy is a highly secured "compound", FYI, and the US government is well within its rights to secure it as per international diplomatic law.)

    I'm forced to wonder why Liaquat Baloch still hasn't bothered to take them up on their offer! If I was that apprehensive about an abnormal build-up of "mulk dushman anaasir", I'd have visited the place immediately and then reported on my visit. Nothing of that sort so far!

    As for the "celebrate, scream or cry" comment, we shouldn't do any of those things. Geopolitics and interactions between states should not be based on emotions that translate into citizens forming nightwatch teams to look out for bogeymen named Blackwater, but instead of hard-nosed realist assessments of national interest.

    Under that framework, why do you want to keep them out? You really think that one of the world's largest armies with one of the world's most entrenched intelligence services will simply let some of Eric Prince's mercenaries fuck around where they're not supposed to? Hardly. This isn't Iraq, where there is no state. Nor is it Afghanistan.

    If Americans are helping rebuild areas that have been destroyed, I say let them. They're bringing in the money, they're bringing in the grunts. If we keep watch and they remain within their mandate, what's the problem? It's not like anyone else is helping us. Where are our "Muslim brothers", who were all too willing to fund terror-monkeys and give them weapons but are now shying from helping the IDPs?

    And on that note, why is it that you've been scaremongering about a "possible" "maybe" US invasion while there has been no comprehensive post on the ACTUAL handover of our territory to Arabs?

    Anti-Americanism is now the majority religion in Pakistan.

    • @Danial –

      My position is simple – we cannot stand by watching a foreign power build up its forces within our country. You are acting too naive to say, if they are here rebuilding swat, then we should let them, swat and other relief efforts have been underway since long, thats NOT why these forces are here. Security within their embassy can be beefed-up even without importing 1000 marines.

      America is no angel, it has a set agenda and innocently associating their agenda with mere relief efforts is sdaly being too naive. Get out of your cocoon look at the deeper picture, Asif Zardari has compromised on many issues, quite literally such a dependable man can be exploited to hell and he’d smilingly hand over pakistan’s soul as long as he can get his cut. Thats whats going on, America has his balls in its grasp, a squeeze here and a squeeze there was enough to allow a military buildup in Pakistan. You may never know, a squeeze here and a squeeze there tomorrow he could cough up your favorite city, a squeeze here and squeeze there, –> goes your nuclear arsenal. My friend I’m not extrapolating a conspiracy theory, its a bare reality Zardari is too exploitable

      The military buildup, the establishment of a secure compound, the import of 1000+ marines, the massive construction of the Consulate in Karachi, in my opinion are gradual increase in American dominance within our city, most ABCD’s would love to live and party with an increase American community, but sadly this will result in a big price to pay for Pakistan.

      I maintain my position – id rather have life without an increased american influence, that what we already have had for sometime. Gutt feeling tells me that the increased presence usually mean more guests coming in, and very few returning home. meaning the buildup will continue to increase to an exploding exponential value and YES im hinting towards the possibility of a full fledged American base in Pakistan, grapevine has it that the area has already been demarcated and work underway in full swing [if not already done] and yes the grapevine reports it being ‘close’ to Islamabad – so when you see a sharp fall in lodging fees – meaning staff being housed in a secure compound [not the old American embassy] something is definitely cooking in Islamabad then what merely meets the eye

      Their presence overtly or covertly is unwelcome, unless it fully documented as to their utilization. for now they have been given a free hand – I OBJECT

  • Dehati

    Anti-americanism is one of the pillars on which the Pakistani media is surviving…and now bloggers as well

  • Manto

    "My sources also confirm that the nukes are safe, but the resentment of a potential US presence is multi-fold part to do with sticking a stick up into China, showing them the finger that they have just lost out, Gawadar and Pakistan big time"

    That is by far the most hysterical thing I have read in a long time. Umm, those muse be some "sources" that can not only vouch for nuclear arms safety ("don't worry teethjee the nukes are safe jj") – stick to the day job and stop spreading speculative nonsense and passing it off as true.

  • wow i was expecting the troll brigade to have a field day with this post, but there are actually a lot of insightful comments.

    @ Danial

    i praise your debunking of the american invasion myths. i also agree with you that geopolitics requires realism. but i must say that i can not, on principle, say that i would welcome the presence of the americans.

    the primary reason being that USAID projects and their like are historically well intentioned and quite terrible in practice. i have little personal experience of this in rural settings, but various ADB projects in karachi are testament to this. moreover, my brief experience with the world bank's efforts in the aftermath of the kashmir quake were pretty similar.

    but even if these projects are ineffective, that is not what makes them so bad. what makes them bad is the fact that they operate outside the realm of public decision making and implementation. on a practical level that makes sense given the level of corruption and incompetence in pakistan's government. unfortunately, such service delivery from the private sector, or reliance on the private sector, leads to a weakening of the state. and the last thing pakistan needs is a weaker state.

    ideally speaking, i would like to see a pakistan which deals with health and education out of its own pocket. we clearly have the money to do so, if we stopped being a hyper-paranoid military state that is run through patronage. such a situation would not arrive with the presence of the Americans, who are unmistakeably carrying kipling's white man's burden on their shoulders.

    again, this does not justify the hyperbole regarding the presence of americans in pakistan, but i would side with TM over the fact that pakistan would be better off without EVERY foriegn power, including the Yankees.

  • Danial Burki

    @karachikhatmal

    I absolutely agree that a disappointingly large majority of foreign-funded projects don't function very well in practice, despite noble intentions. I worked for several years as a researcher with a firm that assesses the performance of non-profit/donor/state welfare and development projects (including a comprehensive assessment of the administrative and financial failures during the 2005 earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction process) and indeed saw that donors were throwing money blindly hoping that some random NGO picks it up and gets the job done. Given the sheer size of the donation amounts, the state thought all would be well too. What we saw, though, was the "loss" of tens of millions of dollars (which Pakistan will have to pay back in the long run) and hardly any movement in terms of on-ground reconstruction.

    However, and again this is something that I can vouch for at least based on my research as well as direct monitoring of activities, the current plans DO reflect that the government as well as donors have learned something. According to rehabilitation and reconstruction process in the war on terror, while contractors and consultants are being brought in from abroad, most of the staff is Pakistani (as stated in my first response) and there is a great focus from both the Pakistani government, USAID and the NGOs involved on putting in place projects that actually work. Again, I'm not sure how successful they'll be, but as a former development professional and a full-time researcher, I've very hopeful and that's why I don't mind an expansion of USAID operations.

    Regarding the weakening of the state, I raised this issue with some USAID and JICA members about the nature of projects. Most of the projects that have been financed so far are focusing not on schools and hospitals that will be run by the non-profit or private sector, but involve the reconstruction of state infrastructure, including bridges and roads, that will remain under control of the state. Let's be honest: we simply do not have the financial capacity to accomplish this; and when, in a time of global recession, we are actually managing to attract some aid, why spit at it? Also, please note that I qualified my support for USAID projects by stating: "if we keep watch and remain within their mandate". If that mandate is violated, we are well within our rights to expel individuals or entire project teams.

    I also absolutely agree that in an ideal world, we'd have excellent social services financed by internal revenue. But, again realistically, such reform will take a while; and given the nature of the crisis we face right now in the tribal areas and the NWFP, we simply cannot do without foreign aid. It is the state's responsibility to ensure that we make the best use of it.

    As an aside, I'd like to thank you for a sensible response.

  • Danial Burki

    @Teeth Maestro

    With due respect, yet again your response is riddled with speculation, paranoia and logic-defying jumps.

    Your response begins yet again with the assumption that there is a build-up of forces. HOw? When? Where? A THOUSAND Marines? You think the US can get a THOUSAND Marines into Pakistan without anyone noticing? Anyone who's ever seen any kind of military deployment (even of a 200-strong group of soldiers) would tell you that unless they've all chugged a litre each of Invisibility Potion #9, there is no way it would go unnoticed. There is a reason Covert Ops are handled by extremely small groups of soldiers, and even then they get found out. Case in point, the Angoor Adda attempted strike that was thwarted by a puny FC checkpost (not exactly a fortress). So if a highly classified tactical op can be found out so easily in the ass-end of Pakistan, you think they can sneak in a THOUSAND Marines into Islamabad without anyone noticing?

    Once again, this isn't Iraq or Afghanistan where there is no presence of the state. (And also, the Marine Corps Security Group (the section of the USMC that deals with embassy security) as a GLOBAL TOTAL of around 1000 personnel. All of a sudden they decided to DOUBLE their global deployment with another 1000 in Pakistan?)

    On Zardari, you think that a president that does not even have enough power to force the DG ISI to go to India after Mumbai has the power to hand over our nuclear arsenal to the US? Had you actually looked at the Command & COntrol structure of our arsenal (one of the best in the world), you'd realise that the president has ZERO control or knowledge of our weapons. So this argument is unacceptable; your understanding of "bare reality" is very different from mine.

    On the issue of the expansion of the Karachi consulate and "American dominance within our city", are you serious? How does a large consulate translate into American dominance? We are one of the most rabidly anti-American nations in the world, how and where is the US dominating our cities, any of them? At least I don't see any US patrols on our streets every day after sundown. What do you mean a life without increased American influence? How does US diplomatic and non-profit presence in Pakistan impact the way you live your life? Are you forced to behave like an American, talk like an American, support America on every issue, what? This point makes no sense at all. In fact, you have the space and the opportunity to protest against America (fair on MANY grounds) and even base it on speculation, rumours, "grapevine" and "hints" of invasion without any reprimand. What's the complaint then?

    Your jumps, from the alleged "exploitability" of Zardari to our nuclear arsenal going POOF!, and from the expansion of the consulate to US occupation, completely defy logic.

    Again with due respect, much like 99 percent of the Urdu press and the electronic media, this is a case of you WANTING to believe something to be true rather than basing your belief on facts (or even reasonable, educated conjecture).

  • @D,T $ K, U'S

    You all live in your halluci-Nation thats Y, you're unable to C who'S dA real Sole-Super Power..WANNA KNOW? Then must check dis out…don't miss dis chance to get to know who is sole power
    http://karachi-kool.blogspot.com/2009/09/im-sole-

    NOTE: This is esp for World-Rulers who are sordid-sanctimonious.. They are making us nothing but halluci-Nations..R dey eradicating poverty? U fOOLs..They are spreading poverty(debt)…R dey building a better-World? U f-king-fOOLs…They are building a battle-world leading to all of us 2wards a Final Civil War….(WW1-2-3-4)

    I'm a sole-super-power-lonely and only
    http://karachi-kool.blogspot.com/2009/09/im-sole-

  • Danial Burki

    Uh, what?

  • I have a suggestion, not sure it was already done or not.

    Write a petition(on some online site)which reflects that pakistanis are disturbed and not willing to see Blackwater/XE in Pakistan, the petition should be signed by Pakistanis. Later the URL of the petition should be sent to Us Ambassador, State Department or any other US govt agency so that those people could know that their crimes re being watched by Pakistan.

    My 2 Rs.

  • To all those "American Think Tanks" who are busy in kissing up US here and there, what do you say about recent Raid by Islamabad police at the place of the contractor who is involved in US embassy building? The story has been cited by all major sources like CNN, BBC etc.

  • Cheemus

    yeah,the contractor was Pakistani,ex-military Captain,all the people being questioned are Pakistani http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8265042.stm

  • Danial Burki

    @Adnan Siddiqi: the firm that has been raided is Pakistani. No "evil goras" referenced in numerous articles in the Urdu press. You should've read the cited story on the BBC and CNN before firing that shot.

    Let's assume that this evil crusader army IS in Pakistan, I think your plan is brilliant. They'll have no choice but to lay down their arms and go home! Allah be praised!

  • pk

    ppl saying that pak bloggers being contacted and paid to write in favor of US/war on terror ?

    US Embassy is amassing an "army of bloggers " ?

    http://wccftech.com/forum/current-affairs-parlor/

  • USA = United State of A$$-wholes

    Eid Mubarak to all of U
    http://karachi-kool.blogspot.com/2009/09/eid-muba

  • Eid Mubarak visit my blog where i published Eid Mubarak which link ain't loading here.

  • Danial Most prolly they would hire you to take care of XE/Blackwater activities.

    And you said "Allah"? How come you forgot to mention America be praised here?

    yar ye hamari qom ke "Kalay Angrezo" se kan jaan chutay gi!!!

  • Manto

    Adnan,

    Sorry but a lot of people in Pakistan are no longer falling for this nonsense. Everyone that points out that all the lack of facts in these "reports" gets automatically labelled an "Agent". What a disgrace, why don't you argue facts and stop the personal attacks..is it because you have no facts to support you?

  • farrah shah

    Hi Danial

    Thanks for talking some sense and actually it appeals to my logic as well.

    USA has been thinking for long time not to give funding directly to Pakistani Officials and Land lords because most of it ends up in the foreign banks.

    It was understood from the start that if any US investment for re-habilitation of people will come it will be monitered and distributed personally because USA wants to ensure ,”WINNING THE HEARTS AND MINDS”
    of people.

    After a decade they do not wish to return for Afghan War 111

  • farrah shah

    @gu-yappy
    Eid Mubarak visit my blog where i published Eid Mubarak which link ain’t loading here

    ——–
    Eid Mubarak to you as well.Your invite is the best joke i have read in ages.

  • Danial Burki

    @Adnan Siddiqi: I think the best solution to get rid of Kala Goras is to write a petition, get as many signatures as you can on it, and then send it to the Kala Gora World Domination and US Worshipping Headquarters. (Address: 1857, Rangoon Towers, Bahadur Shah Zafar Road, Delhi)

  • Facts? I don't get why Western Slave mentality makes you guys blind enough that you guys openly say "US can;t harm us" etc? Can you pls identity what facts were provided by those "intellects" who are saying that Pakistanis are idiots enough that they blame every thing to US or Jews? Ignoance should not be an excuse while the Internet is there. The role of US for Pakistan is not a hidden secret. One can't deny the role of US during 71 war and how did it fool Pakistani establishment of that time. Drones are not invisible that you are unable to see them.

    I do agree that there are local traitors involved as well in the destruction of Pakistan but saying that there is no harm by US,Israel or India is like living in fools paradise. You are free to live in it.

    And No, Majority of Pakistanis hate US Influence. mr awab has posted several surveys regarding that, there are online interviews of Pakistanis who do oppose American influence. Yes majority of Pakistanis is not being enslave mentality like desis who are following their ancestors who used to kiss up British Raj 200+ years and never missed the chance to offend their own country men just for sake of few dollars. I think that's why its said for enslave mentality, K angre chalay gye but apne peechay kaalay angrai chor gai

  • Danial Burki

    @Adnan: Since I'm clearly fighting a losing war with a superior intellect such as yourself (since my questions were so stupid you never chose to address them), I'll just put one last thing out there:

    The burden of proof is on whoever makes the assertion. Therefore if you're claiming an evil Jewish, Zionist, Hindu, RAW, Mossad, (Se)XE/Blackwater, US, CIA, Freemasonic, Britney Spearsian conspiracy against the Muslims of the world, isn't the burden of proof on you? You can't simply make these outlandish claims and then expect the sceptics to provide proof that you're wrong. Heh.

    It is telling that folks like you, Dr Awab and Dr Jawwad can only provide "public surveys" that indicate that people "THINK" Blackwater is operating in Pakistan and that the Jews are trying to bring about the apocalypse. Those are not facts, but simply what people WANT to believe.

    And all these rants about US influence and the jews and the Hindus sidetrack from the main, simple question: where is the proof that Blackwater is operating in Pakistan and that too in a deployed military capacity?

    Your personal shot was hilarious, assuming all those who question your pious and fact-filled rants to be true. Let's assume for a second that whoever questions what you say is a British agent and kiss-ass of the Raj, then aren't you a kiss-ass for the Arab, Afghan and Central Asian invaders that colonised India? How exactly was their modus operandi any different from the Brits? In fact, if you've read your history (and not the CSS version, heh), you'd know that they were far more brutal against our people than the Brits. Again, regardless of how you FEEL about the Brits, try to be objective before throwing a personal shot like that.

  • Manto

    "I don’t get why Western Slave mentality makes you guys blind enough that you guys openly say “US can;t harm us” etc"

    – When did I say that? I never have. And I don't believe that. I think the US can definitely be harmful to Pakistan. Do you actually read my posts?

    "Can you pls identity what facts were provided by those “intellects” who are saying that Pakistanis are idiots enough that they blame every thing to US or Jews?"

    – I don't know about everything but surfing the desi blogs + sitting in Pakistani drawing rooms (both of which I have done a lot of) it is very easy to establish that lot of people blame and inordinate amount of things on those two groups. Here is an example – Betullah Meshud – a lot of people were claiming he was a CIA/Israeli agent and that is why the US would never kill him etc etc and now that he is dead, no-one is claiming that.

    "The role of US for Pakistan is not a hidden secret. One can’t deny the role of US during 71 war and how did it fool Pakistani establishment of that time. Drones are not invisible that you are unable to see them."

    – you are confusing the issue. I have never been an a defender of the US, nor a denier of drones. They exist. this has nothing to do with my posts. I was just pointing out that this blackwater issue seems to have no facts behind it only speculation.

    "I do agree that there are local traitors involved as well in the destruction of Pakistan but saying that there is no harm by US,Israel or India is like living in fools paradise"

    – Again I have never said that there is no harm by these countries. I believe we have to watch out for all of them. Why do you insist on putting words in my mouth.

    For the last time, my point is that all this talk of Blacwater, 1,000 marines, taking over of our country seems to me to be NOT supported by facts – it's all conjecture, and rumour-mongering, and selfstyled "reporters" and "analysts". And this is evident by you guys assuming anyone that points this out is 1. an agent, 2. "kala angrez" 3. western slave. Why is that? Why can somebody not point out these things without being a suspect?

    AND LASTLY, YOUR BEST QUOTE

    "Ignoance should not be an excuse while the Internet is there."

    Seriously? Do you know how much utter nonsense there is on the internet? You are right that ignorance is never an appropriate excuse. But the internet is not the best remedy. I'll let you in on a secret…just because it is on the internet does not mean its true.

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  • Aasin

    Unbelievable….some of the arguments here have been nothing short of that. All this anti us propaganda, the delusions of blackweter and an Alcatraz in Islamabad…it's vintage Pakistani thinking, which will never change. The need to hate someone…anyone is a part of the pakstani mindset (already riddled by elementary islamiyat and fabricated history books) Apologies to the intelligent folks who commented here. Not all of us…are so.

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  • You are an outsider who is looking at State Dept documents, mixing it with rumors and prejudices and then declaring that "Blackwater is coming to PAKISTAN!! oooh ! What conspiratorial nonsense, and that also from a dentist ! Whew.

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  • suhaib

    all the kala goras are united in defense of their masters.

    honestly, with ppl like d burki in our midst, the americans hardly need any boots on the ground in pakistan.