Islamabad, Nov 16 (ANI): Former Pakistan Army Chief Mirza Aslam Beg has claimed that ex-President Pervez Musharraf had given Blackwater the green signal to carry out its terrorist operations in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Quetta.
He said that Blackwater was directly involved in the murder of Benazir Bhutto and Lebanese leader Rafiq Hariri.
It is pertinent to note that the foreigners affiliated with the notorious private military contractor Blackwater, whose security company Blackwater was later renamed as Xe Services LLC, arrived in Islamabad during the first week of November.
A wave of fear and insecurity has been felt among residents of the sector due to alleged presence of operatives of Blackwater and the late night movements of suspicious foreigners and some locals clad in suits.
According to frightened residents of the locality, there was fair amount of activity between 11 pm and dawn.
The Nation quoted some residents as saying that that one of the alleged operatives of Blackwater was seen manhandling a local for having a post-dinner stroll.
According to the New York Times August 20, 2009 report 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.
"It has also drawn a controversy. 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," the report said.
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 dollars 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. (ANI)