KARACHI - PACRA, Pakistan Credit Rating Agency, has assigned security grading to Wackenhut Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited, which is a part of the Pathfinder Group. This is the first ever security grading of a private security company in South Asia. This was announced by Adnan Afaq, Managing Director PACRA, at a Certification Ceremony held here the other day.

Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, who was the chief guest, could not reach due to an official engagement. However in his message to the participants, Sartaj Aziz appreciated PACRA’s efforts in developing a comprehensive methodology based on extensive research to develop a structured process of security grading in Pakistan and congratulated Ikram Sehgal, Chairman of Pathfinder Group on the achievement of Wackenhut Pakistan Private Ltd.

Qasim Nawaz, Managing Director of SBP represented Ashraf Wathra, Governor SBP. Ashraf Wathra said though security is of immense concern in today’s time, the agencies providing the service have not received enough attention. But such a rigorous security grading is very important as we must not compromise on safety at any level”. All the speakers at the occasion emphasized the importance of security grading of private security companies in the changing security paradigm in Pakistan.

The other speakers were Federal Minister of State for Privatisation, Mohammad Zubair, Dr Ishrat Hussain, Dean and Director IBA, Tawfiq Husain, Secretary General of PBA and former Deputy Governor SBP, Khalid Mirza, former Chairman of SECP and Adnan Afaq, MD, PACRA.

Mr Adnan Afaq said, “The security grading – the first ever in Pakistan and in South Asia – will go a long way in the development of this very important sector.” He also expressed his views on the “Changing paradigm of private security services in Pakistan.”, shedding light on the process of security grading and why it is extremely necessary in the present security circumstances in Pakistan. “This security grading is basically an opinion on the ability of a company to provide protection services.” He highlighted the fact that there has been a mushroom growth in security companies  which  has  led  to  increased  competition.  Mr Ikram Sehgal said that private security companies are the sum total of their employees, and that it was a matter of satisfaction that Wackenhut employees had impressed such a hard taskmaster like PACRA to give the company a “STRONG” grading. He said there is room for improvement and that security grading will provide a level playing field in the evaluation process, which at present is dependant upon the uneven expertise and evaluation by different experts.