ISLAMABAD - Despite Afghan President Hamid Karzais strong opposition towards the presence of main security companies, infamous Blackwater is not only staying in Afghanistan but also thriving, the sources told The Nation here Friday. The Blackwater, according to well-informed sources, is currently recruiting mercenaries from Mazar-e-Sharif for the support of Libyan rebels but it has also recruited 'cheap mercenaries for some other regional countries to implement Central Intelligence Agencys hidden agenda. In March, President Hamid Karzai through a presidential decree disallowed private security contractors to operate in Afghanistan but nothing happened. His presidential order was not accepted by the US-led Nato and ISAF as far as manpowers recruitment through unlawful manner was concerned. According to information available from Pakistans those traders who frequently operate in Jalalabad and Chaman/Kandhar, Blackwater looks set to survive an Afghan government clampdown on mercenaries after Hamid Karzai was forced by his western partners to abandon a complete disbandment of private security companies. Under plans to be announced by the Afghan government this month many security contractors, whom Karzai regards as being little better than militias, will be allowed to continue operating for another year. As part of a complex new transition strategy, the government is giving them March 21, 2012 deadline before that the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) will take over most of the security for development projects. The APPF is a government security service intended to assume control over the countrys hugely lucrative commercial security industry, which employs around 30,000 guards. Western and Afghan officials say the draft plans drawn up by former Karzai opponent Ashraf Ghani will actually allow companies to keep supplying private guards and security services to development projects indefinitely. According to a list 11 companies operating inside Afghanistan that have a good reputation with government officials will enjoy favoured status in taking over contracts. Blackwater is included in that group despite being banned in Iraq and notorious for its activities in Afghanistan. Seven companies deemed too closely linked to senior Afghan officials have been sent orders to disband within 90 days. They include NCL, which is owned by the son of the defence minister and has interests in a $2.2bn US government transport contract. Another company, Watan, is frantically trying to win a stay of execution by arguing that its owners, the Popal brothers, are not as closely related to the Karzai family as widely believed. Karzai is doing what the Americans are telling him to do because he has no choice, said a senior western diplomat. But if he thought in terms longer than just the next 24 hours he would not have got himself into this mess. Karzai is said to be unhappy with parts of the new plan. He must give it his assent before it is due to come into effect on 21 March, the Afghan new year. David Petraeus, former top US commander in Afghanistan and current head of CIA , has helped to put pressure on Karzai. Afghan officials are acutely aware that without a bridging agreement billions of US aid dollars could be threatened by the generals forthcoming testimony to the US Congress on the security situation in Afghanistan. Karzai had already conceded that embassies and Nato, which rely on private guards to protect supply convoys, could continue to use security companies. But questions remained over development projects, such as road construction, that the US regard as essential for winning over ordinary Afghans. Under the new plan companies guarding reconstruction projects will be able to have 500 of their own guards, or up to 1,000 if they pay a one-off fine. For contracts requiring more than that the companies will be expected to recruit, train, arm and pay new APPF guards who will then take control of the contract after 12 months. If the APPF proves not up to the job the private company will continue to be in control, according to the draft proposal. Many officials think that is likely. Building up Afghan capacity so that it is big enough, is clean and not corrupt is a huge task that I think could take at least two years, said General Manan Farahi, a senior adviser to the countrys interior minister who has been closely involved in the issue. Kabuls expatriate security contractors will be able to reinvent themselves as consultants to the APPF. Theres no incentive in it for the companies who are being asked to train up these guards and then just hand them all over with all their equipment, said a manager for a large security company. According to the sources, for the Nato forces French Foreign Legion (French Group of Mercenaries), is very expensive. This force consists of mercenaries from various countries including Pakistan. The CIA has not hired French Foreign Legion for couple of reasons for its hidden and dirty operations. Out of 52 companies on a list of security providers drawn up by the Afghan government. Blackwater, or Xe Services as the US company is now known, was among nine considered to be in good standing. That is despite a 2009 incident when two allegedly drunk employees working for a subsidiary company killed two Afghans after opening fire on their car. Most of the other companies scrutinised by officials were deemed guilty of considerably less serious crimes, including possession of unregistered guns, having too many guards and tax violations that they will have to rectify in order to keep operating. A US Senate inquiry has found that the Blackwater subsidiary, called Paravant, illegally signed out 500 machine guns from a US military store under the name Eric Cartman, the South Park character. In September a US court declared a mistrial in the case of the two contractors involved in the 2009 Kabul shooting. A jury considering claims that the men were acting in self-defence was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. That the CIA-connected company remains welcome in Afghanistan, where it works on huge contracts to train up the Afghan security forces, is in sharp contrast to Iraq. The Iraqi government refused to renew its operating licence after Blackwater contractors were involved in a notorious 2007 shootout that let 17 civilians dead. It prompted the company to change its name to Xe Services