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202 Blackwater Arrived In Pakistan

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  • 202 Blackwater Arrived In Pakistan

    More US military personnel arrive in Islamabad. Is the PPP government seeking US support against a possible Pakistani military action against the unpopular pro-US government in Pakistan?

    Foreigners affiliated with the notorious private military contractor Blackwater, later renamed as Xe Services LLC, arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday through a PIA flight, sources told TheNation.

    “Of the 274 passengers, who boarded Pakistan’s national flag carrier-PIA, flight PK-786 from Heathrow Airport UK, 202 were foreigners but they were fluently speaking Urdu language,” disclosed the sources.

    The officials on duty at Shaheed Benazir International Airport Islamabad said, “We had instructions to allow the foreigners entry without custom procedure.”

    The sources said that the plane reached Islamabad airport at 4:08am PST, and they had received official instructions from the authorities not to inspect any of them and clear them immediately from the airport.

    An official of PIA confirmed that the PIA flight PK-786 from Heathrow reached Islamabad at its destination at 04:08 am and said that the plane had the capacity of 358 passengers but total 274 passengers travelled on the flight.

    He declined to comment the presence of large number of foreigners in the flight saying that they had no information in this regard.

    Former Chief of Army Staff Mirza Aslam Baig has accused former President Pervez Musharraf of giving Blackwater a green signal to carry out its terrorist operations in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Quetta.

    According to a August 20, 2009 report in the New York Times by Mark Mazzetti, the Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret programme to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al-Qaeda.

    “Blackwater employees hired to guard American diplomats in Iraq were accused of using excessive force on several occasions, including shootings in Baghdad in 2007 in which 17 civilians were killed. Iraqi officials have since refused to give the company an operating licence," wrote Mazzetti.

    “Several current and former government officials interviewed for this article spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing details of a still classified programme,” the NYT reported.

    The newspaper report said that despite publicly breaking with it, the State Department continued to award the company, formerly known as Blackwater, more than $400 million in contracts to fly its diplomats around Iraq, guard them in Afghanistan, and train security forces in anti-terrorism tactics at its remote camp in North Carolina.

    Every indication suggests that the US Embassy in Islamabad, which is being expanded into the world's largest US embassy, has brought in Blackwater without clearance from Pakistani security authorities and with direct help from the unpopular pro-US government in Islamabad. [This report was originally published by The Nation] Source - Ahmed Quraishi