Report Suggests Pakistani Envoy In Washington Has Issued 360 Visas To Americans In One Month Without Consulting Islamabad
Blackwater USA is looking for mercenaries fluent in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language, and Punjabi, the language spoken by natives of Pakistan’s largest populated province. The US military already deploys officers and commando units
manned by people fluent in Pashto, spoken in most of western Pakistan and southern Afghanistan. Keeping in view the denials of the US embassy in Islamabad and the expanding American presence on Pakistani soil, these recruitments are obviously not meant for running call centers. Since Washington has unilaterally decided that Pakistan is now a ‘war theater’ after Iraq and Afghanistan, it is only natural that American terrorism will also be unleashed in Pakistan. Blackwater is in Pakistan.
By AHMED QURAISHI
Tuesday, 15 September 2009.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Blackwater USA has concealed its Web presence. If you type www.BlackwaterUSA.com, you will be redirected to the website of an organization called U.S. Training Center , which offers military and personal security courses. The website does not overtly say or indicate it is linked to Blackwater, but on Sept. 12 a media release was posted on the homepage defending Blackwater against accusations the private ‘army’ overbilled the US government for work in Iraq in 2006 and 2007.
The bigger news, however, is that ‘Blackwater USA’ is hiring in Pakistan. While BlackwaterUSA.com does not exist on the Web any longer, I 3an employment form on a secured page of the private security firm’s website that clearly indicates the private mercenary army is hiring Urdu- and Punjabi-speaking agents. This would complement the existing Pashto-speaking agents that both Blackwater private mercenary army and its employer, the US military, have on the ground in Afghanistan and – as reports increasingly indicate – in Pakistan.
Snapshots of the screen from the page titled secure.blackwaterusa.com show that the page is part of the Blackwater Employee and Applicant Resource System (BEARS).
The snapshots shown here indicate that hiring continues as we speak for agents and for people with
military training who can speak Urdu, Pakistan’s national language, and Punjabi, spoken by the natives of Pakistan’s largest populated province.
Obviously, agents with proficiency in the two languages will be operating in and around Pakistan since there is little utility for such agents anywhere else in the world.
This is the latest in a pile of circumstantial evidence that supports the growing concerns within the Pakistani public opinion that private US security firms are setting up shop in Pakistan, bringing to the country the same mayhem that has engulfed Iraq and Afghanistan, possibly with the permission of influential people in the Pakistani government.
A petition has been submitted to the Supreme Court of Pakistan today requesting that the government of Pakistan be ordered to explain why the US embassy in Islamabad is building a fortified embassy the size of an international airport, spread over 52 to 54 acres. The petitioner, who is a private Pakistani citizen, has accused the United States of constructing a military base in the heart of the Pakistani capital in the guise of an embassy.
On Aug. 5, PakNationalists/AhmedQuraishi.com broke the news of how a Washington-incorporated private company that calls itself an NGO and executes contractual humanitarian work for the US government in conflict zones is suspected of acting as cover for Blackwater in Peshawar.
On Jul. 27, the Deutsche Presse-Agentur [DPA] reported that residents of an upscale suburb in Peshawar have formally complained to the Pakistani government that armed private Americans were spreading fear in the area.
We also received a statement issued by Mr. Richard Snelsire, the spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad, denying these reports:
Since 2002, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has committed more than $3.4 billion in humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Pakistan in relief, health, education, and economic development programs.
Creative Associates is one of many organizations USAID engages to deliver this assistance, which also includes the Government of Pakistan, local non-governmental, and international humanitarian institutions. This organization has no link to any international security firm, nor is it affiliated in any way with an intelligence service.
Recent allegations against USAID partners such as Creative Associates are false, and place individuals delivering humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Pakistan at risk.
Despite these denials, the Pakistani government and the US embassy are unable to explain several incidents in Peshawar and Islamabad over the past few weeks that involved privately armed American citizens, especially accounts by private citizens confirming they have seen and interacted with these foreign agents in public places. In at least three incidents, these privately armed Americans were released by police authorities under pressure from the government despite involvement in altercations with local Pakistanis. In one case, an armed US citizen physically assaulted a Pakistani police officer and uttered obscenities against the host country.
The alarming part of this story is that the embassy of Pakistan in Washington is reported to have issued several hundred entry permits and visas to individuals without seeking clearance from the country’s security departments. In one recent report, it is reported that the Pakistani ambassador issued 360 visas to US citizens in one month, sometime this year, from the ambassador’s discretionary quota of visas and again without clearance from Pakistani security departments.
Who are these Americans who are arriving in Pakistan in the tens and hundreds at a time when the US embassy in Islamabad follows a strange practice where a staffer personally calls any US citizen in the United States in order to warn them about coming to Pakistan for personal reasons or pleasure, apparently because of the security situation?
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