Ikram Sehgal’s Analysis Needs Better Disclosure

May 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: Jang, The News

Ikram Sehgal with Gen. MusharrafThis time last year, Ikram Sehgal wrote a piece for The News suggesting that the Supreme Court should give up trying to enforce the rule of law and consider that military intervention in government may be necessary. Today, The News published another piece by Mr Sehgal calling on the Chief Justice to consider trying another military dictatorship. While we respect Mr Sehgal’s right to support military coups and dictatorships and Jang Group‘s right to publish these views, we believe there is an important piece of information missing from Mr Sehgal’s columns – his business interests in the private security industry.

We noted a few years ago that Mr Sehgal had been praising US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and emphasising the need for Pakistan to accept the $7.5 billion US aid package known as ‘Kerry Lugar’ without informing the public that he had business relations with the American private security and logistics company G4S, formerly known as Wackenhut Corporation, which has contracts in Pakistan.

Actually, Mr Sehgal’s business interests go far beyond a simple association with an American private security company. He is Chairman of Pathfinder G4S, a company that owns defence and logistics businesses across Pakistan including the two largest private security G4S companies in Pakistan Security & Management Services (Private) Ltd and Wackenhut Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, SMS Couriers (Private) Ltd, Pathfinder (Private) Ltd (Trade and Countertrade); other companies in the GROUP are; First Select Pakistan (Private) Ltd, Energy and Resource Services (Private) Ltd (energy-related projects) and Dynavis (Private) Ltd (Group marketing and publications). SMS Land Development (Pvt) Ltd and SMS Construction (Pvt) Ltd.

Here is a clip of Ikram Sehgal himself explaining his business interests on the American talk show Washington Journal:

We applaud Mr Sehgal on his business success, which is truly impressive. And, whether or not we disagree, we respect Mr Sehgal’s right to personally believe that military coups and dictatorships are the best path forward for the nation. But we also believe that more disclosure is needed so that when Mr Sehgal is presenting his views, people are not misled into believing that he is qualified as a trained academic. Ikram Sehgal is first and foremost a businessman who makes his money from defence and security contracts, including contracts with foreign governments. Media groups promoting Ikram Sehgal’s views should disclose this information so that the public can judge his opinions based on all the facts.

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