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Islamabad Police Raid Inter Risk

Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 07:12 AM EDT

As highly questionable as it was to give security assignments to private military firms in Iraq and elsewhere, it would seem the lessons have not been learned. Cost is the true measure of any conflict, and while mercenaries are never cheap to use initially, they are definitely less expensive in the long run. But there are a number of problems with hiring a private military force, most notably, no one is sure who they actually answer to. But perhaps this is simply looked upon as another benefit.

From Dawn News:

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad police in an early morning raid claim to have recovered 61 illegal guns and nine pistols from the offices of a private security firm providing security to the US embassy.

The raid comes after it was revealed that the Interior Ministry had issued licences of highly sophisticated assault rifles to the company with the Prime Minister’s special permission.

The police has registered a case of fraud against the owner of the company and arrested two persons from the offices of Inter Risk.

US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson had held meetings with Prime Minister Gilani and the Interior Minister Rehman Malik for approval of the licenses.

Although the weapons are owned by the US embassy, they are to be carried by Inter Risk personnel.

The security firm Inter Risk had signed a contract with the US embassy in April to provide security to American employees of the US embassy in Pakistan.


Now it is not clear why the offices were raided, if in fact they had been given licenses for the large-bore weapons, but it is not as if there is any shortage of anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. What bothered me was the reassurance given just days ago by Ms. Patterson, an ambassador for the U.S. in Pakistan. Questioned as to whether or not Blackwater/Xe was to be operating in that country, she said no. But I am not sure that simply hiring other mercenaries instead of Xe is exactly the reassurance the Pakistanis wanted.

From The Globe and Mail:

“I think this recent brouhaha over the embassy expansion has been difficult to beat back,” Anne Patterson, the U.S. ambassador, said in an interview. “I can’t really understand what’s behind this because what we’re doing is actually quite straightforward. We’ve tried to explain it carefully to the press, but it just seems to be taken over by conspiracy theories.”

Briefing Pakistani journalists last month, Ms. Patterson told them that there were only nine marines stationed to guard the embassy in Islamabad and that, even after the expansion, their number would be no more than 15 to 20. Press reports had put the figure at 350 to 1,000. She also stated categorically that “Blackwater is not operating in Pakistan,” referring to the controversial U.S. private security contractor that has changed its name to Xe.


Our tax dollars at work, I suppose.