Independent contractors, or government?
Statement means nothing of the government isn't involved.
Also what would they be contributing/learning? That matters a lot as well.
There is no formal intergovernmental memorandum of understanding on MMU partnership.
TAI, as a company, has technical office installations and some more future plans within the permission of Pakistani authorities. It also has cooperation protocols with counterpart institutions and technical universities in Pakistan. In other words, TAI will use hundreds of Pakistani engineers, some of whom will be directly employed by TAI itself, to work on the software side of the development program, and it seems that will also outsource some package engineerings to Pakistani institutions and universities. I find it very valuable to establish this culture of coordination and collaboration. There may have been a few specific examples in the past, but this is a multi-billion dollar project involving hundreds skilled force. This is what I draw attention to. The MMU program will indirectly benefit Pakistan's aviation industry even in this form of cooparation. It will also ensure retention of this skilled workforce in domestic institutions.
Other than that, it would be pure speculation whether the Pakistani air force is interested in this aircraft, or what stage the negotiations are at.