Via Jeremy Scahill–
The White House has asked Congress for — and seems likely to receive — $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital. The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.
The U.S. government also plans to revamp its consular buildings in the eastern city of Lahore and in Peshawar, the regional capital of the militancy plagued North West Frontier Province. The consulate in the southern megacity of Karachi has just been relocated into a new purpose-built accommodation. A senior State Department official confirmed that the U.S. plan for the consulate in Peshawar involves the purchase of the luxury Pearl Continental hotel. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The Pearl Contintental is the city’s only five-star hotel, set in its own expansive grounds, with a swimming pool. It’s owned by Pakistani tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani.
Also see Pulse on the amazing civic efforts to look after refugees that are being overwhelmed by the sheer scale -2.4 million refugees- and also the perception this is a war against Pukhtuns.