Chopper Company Frets Over Pakistan Market

     FORT WORTH (CN) – Pakistan’s military market is off limits to an American helicopter company because its senior adviser there has been blackballed by the Pakistani Army, the company claims in Federal Court.
     Bell Helicopter Textron says it hired Islamabad-based Aerotron in 2010 to sell its helicopters and other products in Pakistan, Afganistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. For the last six months, Aerotron and its officer, Azhar Wali Mohammad, have acted as Bell’s senior advisers in Pakistan, according to the complaint in the Northern District of Texas.
     In this capacity, Mohammed and Aerotron were supposed to help “market the Bell AH-1Z Attack Helicopter Program and Model 412EP Upgrade Program to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Pakistan Army Aviation,” the complaint states.
     But Pakistani Army officials recently informed Bell that they and other Pakistani defense organizations have refused to do business with the Aerotron and Mohammad since October 2011 because of “security concerns,” the complaint states.
     “The Director General Procurement has requested that Bell stop all communication with Aerotron and its affiliates pertaining to business with the Army and change its Pakistani representation immediately in order to allow for continued business transactions with the Army,” Bell says.
     Despite the ban, however, billing submissions show that Mohammed and Aerotron met with the Army and other defense organizations throughout this past spring, in contravention of Pakistani law, according to the complaint.
     Bell says this constitutes a breach of contract because Aerotron agreed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
     “The bar imposed on Aerotron and its affiliates makes it impossible to perform the contractal obligations owed to Bell,” the complaint states. “Without the legal ability to access the military in Pakistan, or transact business with the Army – Bell’s principal customer in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan – the fundamental purpose of the contracts is frustrated and cannot be achieved.”
     In light of the Army ban and failure to comply with Pakistani law, Bell sent written notice of termination to Mohammed and Aerotron on Wednesday, the complaint states.
     Bell wants a federal judge to terminate its agreements with Mohammed and Aerotron and rule that the firing is proper. It is represented by John Proctor with Brown Dean Wiseman.

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