Food for thought: PTI quizzes govt over presence of foreign security firms

Food for thought: PTI quizzes govt over presence of foreign security firms

Published: February 7, 2014

Asks what measures are in place to prevent the entry of foreign contractors. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: A key figure of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has called upon Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to limit the presence of foreign security companies and guard against their market penetration in the country.

In her two-page letter to the minister, PTI Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari asked him what he had done to discourage foreign security companies from penetrating the Pakistani market through local partners.

She also sought details of the mechanism in place which ensures that recently retired Pakistani security officers are not recruited by foreign intelligence services or security companies acting as fronts for foreign government intelligence agencies.

She also asked about the measures in place to prevent the entry of foreign security contractors disguised as diplomats, as has “repeatedly happened” with the Embassy of United States of America in Pakistan.

“I have collated the following facts which I would like to present before you in the hope that you would not only take action, as committed to on the floor of the House, to ensure all doubts are cleared but would also inform the House of the same,” stated the letter.

She made two points in the letter. In her first point, she said after initial questions raised by the media during the previous government’s tenure, there was a sudden silence regarding Inter-Risk, the Pakistani front for DynCorp. In her second point, she said: “I had made a reference to Wackenhut Pvt as one example of a foreign company working through a Pakistani partner Security and Management Services (SMS) Pvt Ltd.”

She asked whether the deal/takeover is an internal arrangement made to legalise the operations of a foreign security company in Pakistan, and said that insiders in the security services business seem to suggest that G4S public limited company is an international security services company whose business is too large to be bought by a local Pakistani firm.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2014.

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