WARSAK (Agencies) The recent graduation ceremony here for Pakistani troops trained by Americans to fight the Taliban and Al-Qaeda was intended as show of fresh cooperation between the Pakistani and American militaries, but it said as much about its limitations, according to The New York Times. Nearly 250 Pakistani paramilitary troops in khaki uniforms and green berets snapped to attention, with top students accepting a certificate from an American Army colonel after completing the specialised training for snipers and platoon and company leaders. But this new centre, 20 miles from the Afghanistan border, was built to train as many as 2,000 soldiers at a time. The largest component of the American-financed instruction - a 10-week basic-training course - is months behind schedule, officials from both sides acknowledge, in part because Pakistani commanders say they cannot afford to send troops for new training as fighting intensifies in the border areas. Pakistan also restricts the number of American trainers throughout the country to no more than about 120 Special Operations personnel, fearful of being identified too closely with the unpopular US - even though the Americans reimburse Pakistan more than $1 billion a year for its military operations in the border areas. We want to keep a low signature, said a senior Pakistani officer. The deep suspicion that underlies every American move here is a fact of life that American officers say they must work through as they try to reverse the effects of many years when the US had cut Pakistan off from military aid because of its nuclear weapons programme. Today the American-led war in Afghanistan and its continuing campaign of drone strikes in Pakistans tribal areas have made the US suspect at all levels of the military, and among the Pakistani population, as anti-Americanism has hit new heights. This training programme is among the first steps to repair that relationship. This is the most complex operating environment Ive ever dealt with, said Col Kurt Sonntag, a West Point graduate who handed out the graduation certificates here. Such are the limits on the Americans that dozens of Pakistani enlisted master trainers, taught by the Americans, do the bulk of the hands-on instruction here. Since January 2009, about 1,000 scouts from Pakistans Frontier Corps have completed the training, which is designed to help turn the 58,000-member paramilitary force that patrols the tribal areas from a largely passive border force into skilled and motivated fighters. The personnel training is just one piece of what is now a multi-pronged relationship. With combating Al-Qaeda and the Taliban now the overriding priority, the US provides Pakistan with a wide array of weapons, shares intelligence about the militants, and has given it more than $10 billion towards the cost of deploying nearly 150,000 troops in and around the border areas since 2001 - with the promise of much more to come. By urging Pakistan to embrace counterinsurgency training, the US is trying to steer the Pakistani Army towards spending more resources against what Washington believes is Pakistans main enemy, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, rather than devoting almost the entire military effort against India, American officials said. Central to this approach is an array of training that the Americans tailor to what Pakistani says it needs for the Frontier Corps, its conventional army and its Special Operations forces. About a dozen American trainers are assigned to yearlong duty at this training centre, a cluster of classrooms and dormitories and adjacent training ranges on a large campus, which the US spent $23 million to build, plus another $30 million for training and equipment requested by the Pakistani military. The most gifted Frontier Corps marksmen are selected for sniper training, a skill in need against the Taliban who have been using Russian-made Dragonov sniper rifles to deadly effect against the Pakistani Army. Five two-man sniper teams, trained to use American-made M24 rifles as well as how to work with a spotter, measure wind speeds and camouflage their positions, received awards from Col Sonntag. But five two-man teams were dropped during the training because their math skills were not good enough, another American trainer said. Until a few years ago, the Frontier Corps was widely ridiculed as corrupt and incompetent. But under the leadership of Maj-Gen Tariq Khan, salaries have quadrupled to about $200 a month, new equipment is flowing in, and the scouts are winning praise in combat. Still, Gen Khan acknowledged in an interview that the training here was still settling down and maturing. The scouts face a battle-hardened enemy that has lived in the mountains around here for decades. Weve been here one-and-a-half years, said Col Ahsan Raza, the training centres commandant. They have been preparing for the last 20 years. But simulating the fight with the militants goes only so far, Pakistani officers say. Its good textbook training, but the final training has to take place on the ground and must deal with the idea of a bullet coming at you, said Lt-Gen-Asif Yasin Malik, who commands all Pakistani forces in the tribal areas. After that first encounter, its done. Theyre OK