[Editor’s Note: As noted below, Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services last year, but is commonly still referred to by its former name.]
Not too long ago, a wave of concern had swept through Pakistan when the local media began screaming about Blackwater’s growing infiltration in the country and its dubious activities. The mounting pressure to expel this infamous US defense contractor put the Zardari government in a corner. It could neither ignore public pressure nor displease its benefactors in Washington. In the end, it chose to vehemently deny these stories. Pakistan’s interior minister, Rehman Malik, said publicly he would resign if Blackwater is found operating anywhere in Pakistan, as if his resignation would be a great loss for the people.
These stories were also denounced as false propaganda by US officials. Responding to accusations that the US Embassy was sponsoring Blackwater, the US Ambassador, Anne Patterson, insisted that “Blackwater is not operating in Pakistan.” She claimed that Pakistani journalists were “wildly incorrect,” and blamed them for compromising the security of US personnel in Pakistan. Secretary Clinton, during her visit shortly thereafter, also dodged questions on the subject.
The information that has now emerged proves the fear of the Pakistanis to be correct. Not only has Blackwater been working in Pakistan, but it grows stronger by the day.