Friday, December 03, 2010

Wikileaks and Pakistan: Various Perspectives

From WikiLeaks to PakiWeaks
By Cyril Almeida, Dawn, Dec 3, 2010

WIKILEAKS has vindicated at least one American diplomat: Anne Patterson. The recent US ambassador to Pakistan comes across as one sharp cookie, learning quickly on the job, and soon enough cutting through much of the fog of Pakistani politics and security to get to the bottom lines.

Sometimes the outside observer can tell a lot more about a place than those immersed in it for long years. And so it is that Patterson hones in on many truths.

My personal favourite, her comment about the Pakistani psyche after Nawaz Sharif thanked the Americans for ‘selecting’ Kayani: “The fact that a former prime minister believes the US could control the appointment of Pakistan’s chief of army staff speaks volumes about the myth of American influence here.”

But there is another little passage in a cable in the run-up to the lawyers’ long march last year which is remarkably revealing, and perhaps goes to the heart of what is the problem in Pakistan:

“Kayani hinted at disquiet among his corps commanders who believe Zardari is corrupt and has not been paying enough attention to Pakistan’s economic and security challenges…. Kayani told ambassador he has talked directly to Zardari, but he does not appear to have conveyed the seriousness of army concerns about Zardari or the security situation vis-à-vis the march. (Note: Kayani may be seeking to avoid a confrontation that would prompt Zardari to make a disastrous decision to try and oust the COAS.)”

The last sentence is, if you think about it, quite amazing. Here is the US ambassador to Pakistan musing about the possibility that if the Pakistan army chief told the Pakistani president what he thought of the said president, the president may try and sack the COAS, historically and unquestionably the most powerful office in the country.

That’s your transition to democracy right there, that’s how tenuous this whole thing really is.

For complete article, click here
Wikileaks Actually Shows US-Pakistan Relations Are Strong - By Syed Yahya Hussainy, Huffington Post
Diplomats saw no ISI link in Mumbai attack - Dawn
Pakistan media full of WikiLeaks - CNN
WikiLeaks and Pakistan’s dysfunctional state - By Raza Rumi, Express Tribune

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