CONTROVERSIAL US private security firm Blackwater, accused of carrying out secret operations in Pakistan, has hired services of army officers and former employees of intelligence agencies of Pakistan for "handsome" salaries, a retired ISI official claimed.
Khalid Khwaja, who has been at the forefront in raising the issue of "missing persons" or people detained without charges by Pakistani security agencies, said that ex-intelligence personnel hired by Blackwater had been asked to "pick up people with alleged connections to Taliban or al-Qaeda.
" The Supreme Court "has directed the Pakistan government to produce some 1,000 or so missing persons. The Pakistani (intelligence) agencies have expressed inability to comply with the order (on the ground that they do) not have knowledge about the missing persons," he told an Indian news agency Press Trust of India.
"I have written to the Prime Minister and the Interior Minister to investigate the matter," said Khwaja, a retired ISI official. Blackwater, he claimed, has "hired the services of army officers and former employees of intelligence agencies of Pakistan for handsome salaries."
Former Pakistan army chief Gen Mirza Aslam Baig recently alleged on a TV news channel that Blackwater was involved in the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.