Kestral and Black Water Association
Unlike some of my other left leaning friends i had never doubted the presence of backwater in Pakistan. This is because it seemed logical to me since it was being utilized in both Afghanistan and Iraq. What surprised me in thereport in The Nation by Jeremy Scahillwas the connection of Blackwater with Pakistan army and a private company named Kestral in Pakistan. The website of Kestral is currently down, but i retrieved the following from Google cache. Kestral is operating in Pakistan since 1984. At the time of inception the main line of business was Aviation Consultancy. Since then Kestral has grown and diversified its fields of activities. With around 350 experienced employees Kestral is now operating in eleven clusters, each under a company of the Kestral Group, whose ownership vests in Kestral Holding (Pvt.) Ltd. These companies are active in the field of Trading, Logistics, Project Management, Energy, Facilities Management, Air Charter Services, Construction, Information Technology, IT Audit and Security, Security Consultancy, Legal Services and the Glass Industry. Kestral has provided indispensable services in planning and facilitating a number of key projects for its customers,foremost among them being the Armed Forces of Pakistan. This constitutes core activity of Kestral to this day. According to the report by Jeremy Scahill Blackwater owner Erik Prince is close with Kestral CEOLiaquat Ali Baig. The former Blackwater executive, when asked for confirmation that Blackwater forces were not actively killing people in Pakistan, said, “that’s not entirely accurate.” While he concurred with the military intelligence source’s description of the JSOC and CIA programs, he pointed to another role Blackwater is allegedly playing in Pakistan,not for the US government but for Islamabad. According to the executive,Blackwater works on a subcontract for Kestral Logistics, a powerful Pakistani firm, which specializes in military logistical support, private security and intelligence consulting. It is staffed with former high-ranking Pakistani army and government officials. While Kestral’s main offices are in Pakistan, it also has branches in several other countries. Now who is this Mr. Liaqat Ali Baig? What is his company’s connection to Pakistan Army? If we dig deeper we find that almost all defense deals are done through Kestral Trading; which is allegedly a proxy owned by Pervaiz Musharraf’s son Bilal Musharraf. Kestral CEO Mr. Liaqat Ali Baig is a front for his “in law”, Brig. (r) Aftab Siddiqui. I know i am connecting many dots here and some connections need to be further investigated. But if its really true we have a grave problem on our hands.
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