No Blackwater in Pakistan: ministry


ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior was informed on Monday that there was no Blackwater in the country. Additional Secretary Interior Asif Nawaz Warriach told the committee, which met here at Parliament House with Abdul Qadir Patel in the chair, that the ministry had no information which confirmed presence of Blackwater in Pakistan.
However, when the Chairman committee Abdul Qadir Patel asked the Additional Secretary Interior Asif Nawaz Warriach “Are you sure?’, he replied, “This is what I have been given in writing”. However, the committee chairman Abdul Qadir Patel expressed dissatisfaction over the reply and ruled that some foreign elements (security guards) were seen and reported to be roaming on the roads in different cities.
He directed the ministry of interior officials and minister of state for Interior Tasneem Qureshi to tell the committee as to under which agreement, they were in Pakistan to provide security to the foreign diplomats. The committee observed that despite all the denials by the Ministry of Interior, there were reports of suspicious armed foreigners present even in the federal capital and asked the ministry to submit details to the committee about their identification and the agreement which allowed them to operate in the country.
Earlier, Qureshi categorically rejected the existence of US private security agency -Blackwater in the country saying that no such report from ISI or IB had been received which could confirm the presence of private security agency operating in the country with the name of Blackwater.
The committee also took serious notice of the absence of DG Rangers from the meetring who was supposed to brief the committee on recent incidents of violence and target killings in Karachi. The committee members expressed concerns over the increasing incidents of target killings in the country’s financial metropolitan Karachi and called upon the government to step up efforts to restore law and order in the country particularly in Karachi.
The committee also decided to hold its next meeting in the provincial capital of Sindh to get briefing from Rangers and police over the target killings. The committee also sought details from Interior Ministry over the reported missing record of the arms licenses. Taking up the issue of Bengalis present in the country, the committee recommended the interior ministry to make laws in consultation with NADRA and NARA for legalizing the presence of Bengalis or their repatriation to Bangladesh.