Responding to concerns expressed by Western diplomats about their security, the Pakistan government has quietly allowed them to employ their own nationals for their security, the Dawn reported April 6. A number of foreign missions have also been permitted to bring in advanced security gadgets.
Hitherto diplomats protection was undertaken by Police who have a separate wing for the purpose, besides intelligence agencies, and Frontier Constabulary.Foreign missions have been employing a number of Pakistani private security firms and retired army personnel.
The decision to let diplomats to bring their own security has created a piquant situation. Some of the ‘new’ security personnel arrived with diplomatic passports while others came on official passports. Islamabad has realised that it has no ground rules to deal with these foreign security personnel.
The US is raising a special security squad to protect its missions in Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar. It has set apart $23 million.
The recent disclosure of a plot involving Frontier Constabulary deserters to target diplomats in Islamabad highlights the threat to foreign missions which have been on the list of extremist and terrorist groups.
“There is an understanding among foreign missions that Pakistan has inadequate capacity and resources to protect them and, therefore, they need to develop their own resources,” a foreign diplomat was quoted as saying.