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private security companies

Private Security

The prime requisite of good governance in any society is the safety and well-being of its citizens but peace and harmony cannot be imposed in isolation by law enforcement agencies alone. A sound economy, an equitable system of justice, affordable utilities, employment opportunities etc are only some of the factors directly contributing to good law and order. The security of the individual may be the general responsibility of the regime in power, personal security whether by guards or by electronic means, remains the responsibility of the individual, group, corporate body, establishment, etc in any country of the world. Increasingly government departments are turning to private security as a cost-effective means in the same manner as individuals and entities. In a historical sense, private security has come a full circle. In a feudal society the concept of private security has not changed in thousands of years, in today’s modern world the same principles apply. Tribal, clan chiefs, etc had private bodyguards paid out of their own pockets, it is the same today. The Swiss Guards at the Vatican were formerly called “mercenaries”, in fact they exist as a living model for private security through the ages. Most monarchs and absolute rulers preferred “mercenaries” from other countries to protect them against their own people. These mercenaries sometimes took control of the State itself, e.g. as recently as in Comoros Island in the Indian Ocean. To distinguish between private security and private armies, that fine line may be blurred. It is therefore understandable why any government would like to regulate the private security services industry, in the wrong hands a weapon designed for personal protection could well become a weapon for coercion or destruction. This business can be a double-edged sword for some entrepreneurs, more often than not those who have reasons to be afraid and/or jealous of will move Heaven and Earth to damage the success of the enterprise as well as the individual himself. Merit will always remain a disqualification in the eyes of the inferior and the incompetent.

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Services Sector

As an agri-based economy it is easy to understand why easy credit was available early on in Pakistan in this sector in the 50 years or so of our existence as a nation. To ease the pressure on agriculture, large-scale diversion into the manufacturing sector was carried out in the 60s and 70s, embarking on a virtual industrial revolution that spent large amounts of money on textile mills as well as a whole range of small, medium and heavy industries. On the Harvard model as applicable in Japan, exports became the key. China and the four Asian Tigers followed the same model. Maximum credit was directed primarily to support industries churning out traditional exports of cotton and cotton-based derivatives and secondly to building up non-traditional exports. Whatever gains were made in the medium and heavy industries was wiped out by the sweeping nationalisation of the early 70s by the Bhutto regime, during late Zia’s regime both industrialists and agriculturists became entrepreneurs. Loan default became a business in its own right despite the authoritarian nature of the regime, there being a lack of street credit control with the advent of controlled democracy in 1985. The years 1998, 1993 and 1997 are landmarks inasmuch as each successive political regime force-multiplied the loan default by interfering politically in the recurring process specifically and in the nationalised banking industry, both with nationalised commercial banks (NCBs) and development finance institutions (DFIs), generally. With the “Day of Redemption”, Nov 16, only a couple of days or so ago, it is time to take stock of why so much credit was showered on virtually one sector alone, with a negligible amount in comparison to the agriculture sector and almost nothing if any, to the services sector.

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