Click on the headlines below to read the full texts...
Important note on the dispatches...
Secretary of State
DE RUEHC #7957 1012232
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 102226Z APR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 0000
TAGS: KNNP, MNUC, PARM, PK, PREL
SUBJECT: POSSIBLE RELEASE OF A.Q. KHAN
S e c r e t state 037957
E.o. 12958: decl: 04/10/2018 Tags: knnp, mnuc, parm, pk, prel Subject: possible release of a.q. Khan
Classified By: SCA Richard A. Boucher, Reasons: 1.4 B C AND D
-------------------------- SUMMARY AND Action request --------------------------
1. (C) Washington is concerned that the government of Pakistan may release A.Q. Khan. Washington requests Post to please draw from points in para 4, as appropriate, with senior government officials including the Director General of Strategic Plans Division Lt. Gen (retd) Kidwai.
End summary and action request.
---------- objectives ----------
2. (S/NF) Post should achieve the following objectives:
-- Inquire about the accuracy of press reports indicating that Dr. Khan will soon be released from house arrest.
-- Express Washington,s strong opposition to the release of Dr. Khan and urge the Government of Pakistan to continue holding him under house arrest.,
-- Explain the possible negative consequences that the release of Dr. Khan will have on Pakistan,s image in the international community. Note that it would undermine the positive steps Pakistan has taken on nonproliferation.
-- Urge Pakistan to consider the long-term gains it could garner from the international community by continuing Dr. Khan,s current status rather than the short-term domestic political gains that could result from his release.
---------- background ----------
3. (S/NF) Recent press reports indicate a plan for Dr. Khan,s release was approved for delivery to Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani. We should determine the accuracy of the reports and clearly indicate to the new government, as well as Director General Kidwai, our strong opposition to Khan,s release. Dr. Khan was the central figure in the most egregious violation of nonproliferation norms to date and his release would likely indicate to the international community a disregard by Pakistan for the dire threat still posed to international security by Dr. Khan,s activities. It could also undermine ongoing prosecution efforts underway in other countries to punish Khan associates and would be a setback to our ongoing bilateral nonproliferation efforts with Pakistan.
-------------- Talking Points --------------
4. (S/Rel Pakistan) Begin Talking Points for Pakistan:
-- Pakistan has taken positive steps over the past few years to demonstrate its commitment to nonproliferation, including enacting its 2004 export control law, establishing the Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV), and joining the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
-- We are deeply troubled by press reports that Pakistan may consider releasing Dr. Khan. We hope that these press reports are not accurate.
-- We urge you not to change Dr. Khan,s current status. While the release of Dr. Khan would be viewed positively by some in Pakistan, it would undermine Pakistan,s broader nonproliferation efforts and signal to the international community that Pakistan is no longer concerned about the harm caused by Dr. Khan and his network.
-- When Dr. Khan was pardoned by President Musharraf, Pakistan was widely criticized in the international community for not having prosecuted him or anyone else associated with his proliferation activities.
-- The damage done to international security by Dr. Khan and his associates is not a closed book. Other countries continue efforts to prosecute those involved. The U.S., and other countries, as well as the IAEA, are expending enormous amounts of time and resources to address the threats that resulted from Dr. Khan,s engagement with Iran, North Korea, and possibly other states.
-- Because of Khan,s actions, the international community must contend with the reality that the uranium enrichment technology and nuclear weapons designs that were sold to Libya are now available to other states and non-state actors. This will make it much harder to combat nuclear proliferation in the future.
-- The U.S. and Pakistan have worked together to address the problems caused by Dr. Khan,s proliferation to other countries and we look forward to our continued close cooperation on this and other related issues.
End talking points for Pakistan.
------------------ reporting deadline ------------------
5. (U) Please report response if possible by April 17, 2008.
---------------- point of contact ----------------
6. (U) Department point of contact is Chris Herrington ISN/CPI, 647-5035. Please slug all responses for ISN, T, and SCA. Washington appreciates Post,s assistance. Rice
XXXXXX: Redacted by the editors.
Important note on the dispatches...
OO RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #3248/01 2870943
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 130943Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9233
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 9238
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 8856
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3873
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 0440
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 6180
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 5010
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHWSMRC/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
TAGS: PREL, PTER, PGOV, PK
SUBJECT: PAKISTAN'S PARLIAMENT BEGINS TERRORISM DEBATE
C o n f i d e n t i a l section 01 of 03 islamabad 003248
E.o. 12958: decl: 10/13/2018
Tags: prel, pter, pgov, pk
Subject: pakistan's parliament begins terrorism debate
Classified By: CDA Jerry Feierstein, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d)
1. (C) Summary. The October 8-9 closed joint session of
parliament convoked by President Zardari to address the
security situation has been widely praised as a good first
step in convincing Pakistan's elected leadership to take
ownership of the fight against extremism; this effort now
should be extended to reach the general public. Director
General of Military Operations LtGen Pasha's briefing to the
group consisted largely of graphic video and other footage
demonstrating what one parliamentarian called the inhumane
and anti-Islamic nature of the militants. Pasha reportedly
blamed India, Russia and the UAE for supporting Baloch and
Taliban militancy and defended Pakistani sovereignty against
incursions by U.S. forces, but reportedly he also spoke
positively about what he termed the U.S. use of drones,
noting the vast majority of those killed in drone attacks
were foreign fighters or Taliban.
2. (C) The joint session has been extended by another four
days, beginning October 13 when Information Minister Sherry
Rehman will present the GOP's strategy to fight extremism.
The session increasingly promises to be a lively debate with
the Interior, Defense, Finance and Foreign Affairs Ministers
lined up to answer parliamentarians' questions. NSA Durrani
shared with Charge October 10 a draft of that presentation
that follows classic counter-insurgency strategy. It does
say the GOP has not given the U.S. a green light to do
cross-border operations, but uses that as a launching pad to
attack the presence of foreign militants and their violations
of Pakistani sovereignty. It goes on to call on the tribes
to eject the foreigners and support the government and offers
them development assistance if they come around.
3. (C) Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz
Sharif attended the briefing but left it to his Opposition
Leader Chaudhry Nisar to criticize the government, mostly on
procedural terms so far, by demanding that the civilian
government explain their strategy and how it differs from
that of the former Musharraf government. End Summary.
4. (C) President Asif Zardari convoked a joint session of
parliament on October 8 to be briefed by the military on the
current security situation. This was the third time in
Pakistan's history that a joint session of parliament was
formed as a committee of the whole to hear outside testimony
(the first was in 1974 to discuss religious riots; the second
was in 1988 to debate whether to sign the Geneva peace accord
on Afghanistan). Chief of Army Staff General Kayani attended
but newly promoted LtGeneral Pasha delivered the military's
brief as Director General of Military Operations (Pasha moved
over to become Director of Inter-Services Intelligence on
5. (C) Lending a sense of urgency to the proceedings, on
October 9, suicide bombers attacked an Anti-Terrorism Unit of
Islamabad Police injuring a dozen and set off a roadside bomb
in Dir, Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) killing 12. Also
on October 9, a bearded man in a burqa was arrested at
Islamabad airport on suspicion of terrorism; across Pakistan
there have been numerous hoax bomb threats since the
September 20 Marriott bombing. On October 10, over 60 (the
death toll is still rising) members of an anti-Taliban jirga
were killed in Orakzai, Federally Administered Tribal Areas
(FATA), and in Bajaur, FATA, the Taliban beheaded four elders
of the Charmang tribe. Also on October 10, the Taliban blew
up the house of another Awami National Party leader in Dir
and kidnapped a nazim (mayor) in Swat, NWFP. Earlier in the
week, explosions at several juice shops in Lahore were
blamed, not on the Taliban, but on conservative groups
reportedly seeking to discourage "immoral" behavior (the bars
were allegedly trysting places for unmarried couples). These
attacks followed the October 2 suicide bombing targeting
Awami National Party leader Asfundyar Wali Khan in Wali Bagh,
NWFP, and the October 7 attack on a Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz parliamentarian in Bhakkar, Punjab. Overall,
there have been 40 suicide bombings in Pakistan so far in
6. (C) The joint session was held "in camera" without press
but parliamentarians have been providing bits and pieces of
information about the briefing, which was followed by a
question and answer session. The original Q&A session,
Islamabad 00003248 002 of 003
scheduled for 30 minutes, lasted over four hours. The
parliament then convened in joint session on October 9 to
continue questions; it agreed to meet for another four days
beginning October 13, when Information Minister Sherry Rehman
will brief the group on the Pakistan People's Party (PPP)
strategy to tackle terrorism.
7. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx that Pasha's
briefing consisted in large part of videos and photos of
Taliban and other terrorist organization activities that
demonstrated the militants were both inhumane and un-Islamic.
At several points, xxxxxxxxxxxx said female parliamentarians asked
the Army to stop showing disturbing footage, including a gory
beheading. Members were told that India has established nine
training camps along the Afghan border, where they are
training members of the Baloch Liberation Army. According to
xxxxxxxxxxxx Pasha also claimed that India and the UAE (reportedly
due to opposition to construction of the Gwadar port) were
funding and arming the Baloch. Pasha also claimed that the
Russian government was directly involved in
funding/training/supporting the insurgency.
8. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx said Pasha briefed members on what he termed
USG drone incursions and missile strikes. According to
xxxxxxxxxxxx , Pasha praised the U.S. for its support through these
methods and showed statistics to parliamentarians that
demonstrated the vast majority of those killed in these
attacks were either foreign fighters or Taliban. xxxxxxxxxxxx
believed that the military had made a good-faith effort to
portray USG activities as positive. According to xxxxxxxxxxxx
Pasha barely mentioned the threat from local Taliban leader,
9. (C) Other parliamentarians at a dinner hosted October 10
by Charge for SCA/PB Director Hartley, including Pakistan
People's Party (PPP) Senators Babar Awan and Enver Baig,
Pakistan Muslim League Assembly member Donya Aziz, Awami
National Party Senator Haji Muhammed Adeel, FATA
parliamentarians Shaukat Ullah and Munir Khan Orakzai and
Muttahdia Quami Movement (MQM) leader Farouq Sattar, were
less impressed by Pasha's brief. They all said the brief was
a good beginning, but characterized it as being largely
descriptive and adding little information they did not
already know. They noted that Pasha, unsurprisingly,
defended Pakistan's sovereignty against U.S. incursions.
They agreed that Pasha had defended Pakistan's relationship
with the U.S. but did not share details from the briefing
about foreign fighters killed in alleged U.S. drone attacks.
10. (C) Both the FATA parliamentarians and MQM said during
the Q&A session they pointed out that not all terrorists were
tribals and that the GOP needed to address growing extremism
in the Punjab. They noted that Punjabis increasingly are
moving to fight with militants in FATA and that there is
growing Talibanization of Karachi.
11. (C) Also attending the dinner was Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal.
Iqbal echoed comments made publicly by PML-N Opposition
Leader Chaudhry Nisar; both denigrated the briefing as being
merely descriptive and called for the civilian government to
explain its strategy to fight the militants. Nisar asked how
the GOP's strategy differed from that of the former Musharraf
government. Nisar told the press "It is noteworthy that no
suicide attack had taken place before the country became an
ally of the U.S. in the war on terror." PML-N leader Ishak
Dar told the press that it was imperative that a joint
session of parliament be apprised of all agreements executed
with the U.S. Interestingly, Nawaz Sharif, who attended the
joint session, did not comment on it publicly. Several
newspaper editorials criticized the PML-N leaders for jumping
the gun on their criticism before the session was complete.
12. (C) Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Fazlur Rehman at a news
conference October 12 claimed his party had the vision to
lead the country of the present crisis. He blamed the entire
military leadership, not just former President Musharraf, and
demanded they explain the agreed-upon rules of engagement
with U.S./ISAF coalition forces in Afghanistan. He
reiterated his view that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan was
the root cause of Pakistan's problems in the tribal areas and
said foreign troops must leave Afghanistan for the sake of
Islamabad 00003248 003 of 003
peace in the region. He also said his party had serious
reservations about the ongoing military operations in Bajaur.
13. (C) The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party and the Pukhtunkhwa
Milli Awami Party, both of which oppose use of force in the
tribal areas, boycotted the session. JI leader Qazi Hussain
has this week been leading a largely ignored "train march" to
protest GOP policies in the FATA.
14. (C) We expect Sherry Rehman will brief the now
established GOP strategy of: (1) political engagement, but
not with terrorists; (2) economic development; and (3) use of
force when necessary. National Security Advisor Durrani
provided Charge October 10 with a draft of the GOP's
presentation to the joint body, which follows classic
counter-insurgency strategy. It does say the GOP has not
given the U.S. a green light to do cross-border operations,
but uses that as a launching pad to attack the presence of
foreign militants and their violations of Pakistani
sovereignty. It goes on to call on the tribes to eject the
foreigners and support the government and offers them
development assistance if they come around.
15. (C) Comment: The long-promised joint session is a
welcome first step in bringing Pakistan's elected leadership
on board with the government's counter-terrorism strategy.
The session is being extended to accommodate a great deal of
pent-up opinion and emotion that has amassed over the past
few years when the leadership kept parliament in the dark on
security issues. The government understandably wants to keep
as much of that emotion contained in a closed-door session as
possible, and surprisingly little of the briefing content has
been leaked to the press. At some point, however, there
needs to be a public airing of views and concerns if the GOP
is going to increase public acknowledgment that this is
16. (C) Comment cont'd: In other welcome developments, at
least one Pakistani group (perhaps bankrolled by the owner of
the bombed Marriott Hotel in Islamabad), Yeh Hum Naheen (Say
No to Terrorism) has been placing newspaper and TV ads in the
Urdu and English language press; the group's aim is to
collect the largest number of signatures ever on an
anti-terrorism petition. We understand the Information
Ministry is responsible for placing other anti-terrorism ads
in recent days. On October 11, Information Minister Malik
spoke at an anti-terrorism seminar organized in Lahore, again
as part of a long-promised outreach campaign by GOP ministers.
Important note on the dispatches...
INFO LOG-00 AF-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 INL-00 PERC-00 PDI-00
DS-00 EUR-00 E-00 FBIE-00 VCI-00 H-00 TEDE-00
INR-00 IO-00 L-00 MOFM-00 MOF-00 VCIE-00 NSAE-00
ISN-00 NIMA-00 GIWI-00 ISNE-00 FMPC-00 SP-00 SSO-00
SS-00 SCRS-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
FA-00 SRAP-00 SWCI-00 PESU-00 SRMC-00 SANA-00 /000W
------------------D6CDB4 111521Z /38
O 111413Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5896
INFO AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
NSC WASHINGTON DC
CIA WASHINGTON DC
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL
TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, PK
SUBJECT: INTERIOR MINISTER SEEKS USG HELP IN PROTECTING
C o n f i d e n t i a l islamabad 002716
E.o. 12958: decl: 11/10/2034 Tags: pgov, kdem, pk Subject: interior minister seeks usg help in protecting president zardari
Classified By: ANNE W. PATTERSON, REASONS 1.4 B AND D
1. (C) Summary: In a November 9 meeting with Ambassador Patterson, Interior Minister Rehman Malik requested that the USG issue a public statement in support of Pakistani democracy. He suggested that such a statement would be useful in protecting President Asif Ali Zardari from military-induced pressure for Zardari to leave office. In addition, it would help dispel persistent charges from the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) that the United States and the United Kingdom had urged it to withdraw support for the National Reconciliation Ordinance, thereby placing Zardari at-risk. Malik assessed that Saudi Arabia and the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) were cooperating with the military and MQM to bring down President Zardari. Despite these charges, Malik was optimistic that the Supreme Court would not/not strip Zardari of his presidential immunity and suggested that even if it did, the government would simply cease prosecution of Zardari's cases, thereby allowing him to continue to hold office. End Summary.
2. (C) Interior Minister Rehman Malik met November 9 with Ambassador Patterson to provide a read-out of his meetings with senior officials of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) in Dubai. Throughout the meeting, Malik was clearly nervous that the USG was distancing itself both from him and President Zardari. Malik claimed that during the course of his Dubai meetings, the MQM had repeatedly stated that both the United States and the United Kingdom had urged the party to oppose the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) -- a move that led the government to withdraw the legislation from parliamentary consideration and placed the future of President Zardari at-risk. Malik claimed that the MQM stated it had received this message during the Sindh Governor's recent trip to the United States and that Altaf Hussain had been approached by the British government in London. Ambassador strongly denied these allegations, stating that the USG had not/not had any such discussions with the Sindh Governor.
3. (C) Interior Minister Malik further expressed concern that the Secretary was displeased with the civilian government upon her return from her recent trip to Pakistan. Malik attributed this impression to rumors from unspecified sources. Ambassador emphasized to Malik that she had heard no such thing and that in contrast, she was confident that the Secretary had been very pleased both with her visit and with her meetings with Pakistan government counterparts.
4. (C) Minister Malik inquired as to whether the Ambassador was aware that the "establishment" -- local short-hand for the military and the intelligence services -- was involved in working against the NRO and for President Zardari's departure. Ambassador told Rehman that we were aware of such allegations. Minister Malik reported that the MQM had told him directly in the Dubai meetings that the military was involved, although Malik personally did not/not believe that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani was involved in the plotting. Malik also claimed that the MQM was meeting regularly with the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) and that PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif was, in turn, pressuring Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to disqualify President Zardari. Malik also assessed that Saudi Arabia was working to unseat President Zardari. Malik intended to visit Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, Chief of Saudi General Intelligence, in Saudi Arabia and then travel on to London to meet with MQM Convener Altaf Hussain.
5. (C) Malik suggested that the best way to deal with military pressure would be for President Zardari to make internal changes within the military hierarchy. Malik proposed that Zardari recreate the Deputy Chief of Army Staff position and move Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Ahmad Shuja Pasha into that position in March 2010. Zardari could then commit to elevating Pasha to COAS in October 2010 on the expiration of Kayani's term. Malik suggested that Kayani could then be moved to Chairman of the Joint Staff. Comment: Malik seemed to believe that ISI DG Pasha was unilaterally behind the push to oust Zardari -- which we know is not/not the case. End Comment.
6. (C) Despite these concerns, Malik reiterated the government's line that Zardari is not in any real danger on expiration of the NRO. He asserted that the Chief Justice would not/not revoke Zardari's presidential immunity. Even if he did, Malik claimed that the Interior Minister can instruct prosecutors to dismiss charges in any court case. He shared that, in one of his own corruption cases, this had been done, and that in another case, the Supreme Court had ruled his imprisonment illegal. Malik also added that President Zardari had the ability to pardon anyone.
7. (C) Malik pressed the Ambassador for issuance of a strong statement from the United States. Ambassador inquired as to the content and the audience. Malik suggested that it be a public statement saying that the United States supported democracy in Pakistan.
8. (C) Comment: Malik was clearly worried that President Zardari and his inner circle of advisors -- including Malik -- had lost the support of the international community. Malik appeared to believe that such support was essential for their survival in the face of military plotting against them. Malik's view that ISI DG Pasha is behind the moves against President Zardari and that COAS Kayani is not involved is either naive or intentionally misleading. It would be impossible for Pasha to move without Kayani's acquiescence. Malik's views on Zardari's legal troubles presuppose that Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry will be bound by normal interpretations of the law and precedent. Such an assumption ignores Chaudhry's penchant for ignoring both in recent rulings and his personal animosity towards Asif Ali Zardari. End Comment. Patterson