While replying to a query raised at the Karachi Press Club on August 5 regarding increase in strength of the US personnel at the US Mission, Islamabad, the Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit Khan said a total of 1,000 US marines will be deployed here. He further stated that there was no restriction on the number of personnel that a foreign mission could station at its mission but it is done through mutual understanding. This statement is in stark contrast to the claim made by Gerald. M. Feinrstein, Charge d' Affaires, US Embassy, Islamabad, who claimed in a recently published letter to a newspaper (on August 6) that "assertions regarding hundreds of Marines and APCs are quite simply untrue". The US Charge d' Affaires claims that over the years, the mission will grow to implement plans to treble the aid to Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar legislation, which means that perhaps in future, US consulates will be built all over Pakistan, ostensibly to administer the aid, and actually may be to implement their nefarious agenda. People surely have a right to know the factual position on an issue as sensitive and as worrying as the US military buildup here, knowing fully what the American presence did to Iraq. -S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi, via e-mail, August 6.