The US embassy on Saturday tried to paper over Defence Secretary Robert Gates’s diplomatic faux pas of confirming Blackwater presence in Pakistan by putting the blame on the media, but it found few takers. Secretary Gates’s impromptu comments in a television interview have renewed the focus on seething rage among Pakistanis about the involvement of private US security companies, particularly Blackwater, in the country.
The embassy, in a statement on Secretary Gates’s remarks, accused the television station and newspapers of inaccurate and dishonest reporting. “The television station and many newspapers chose to inaccurately portray his answer as tacit confirmation on the use of Blackwater in Pakistan instead of as a commentary on use of security contractors in general. At no time did Secretary Gates say that Blackwater is operating in Pakistan,” the statement said.