Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wikileaks Bombshell - Latest Information about Pakistan - III

General Assessment - Lessons for the US and Pakistan: From the latest revelations, it appears that US diplomats and officials based in Pakistan routinely spend a lot of time discussing, analyzing and reporting domestic political issues in Pakistan that are of little consequence for the US interests. That explains why they often fail to understand and project major developments in Pakistan and South Asia in a timely fashion. Many of the conspiracy theories popular in Pakistan about US efforts to get a pardon for Musharraf in 2008 and undue interference in domestic political developments are substantiated by these revelations.  

WikiLeaks cables: Pakistani army chief considered plan to oust president
Army chief considered pushing President Zardari from office to prevent opposition leader Nawaz Sharif taking power - Daclan Walsh, Guardian, Nov 30, 2010

Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, considered pushing President Asif Ali Zardari from office and forcing him into exile to resolve a political dispute, the US embassy cables reveal.

Kayani aired the idea during a frantic round of meetings with the US ambassador Anne Patterson in March 2009 as opposition leader Nawaz Sharif rallied thousands of supporters in a street movement that threatened to topple the government.

Kayani said that while he disliked Zardari, he distrusted Sharif even more, and appeared to be angling for a solution that would prevent the opposition leader from coming to power.

The cable illustrates the strong behind-the-scenes hand of Pakistan's military in civilian politics only six months after the last military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, resigned.

It also highlights the central role of western diplomats in Pakistani power games – as the Americans spoke with Kayani, British diplomats forged their own plan to broker a political deal between warring factions.

For complete article, click here

....Zardari is frank about the strength of the Taliban – "I'm sorry to say this but we are not winning" the war against extremists he told the US vice-president, Joe Biden, in 2009 – and his own limitations.
But some dispatches make it clear that the Americans do wield great clout. After General Pervez Musharraf resigned as president in 2008, ambassador Patterson pressed Zardari to grant him immunity from prosecution. "We believed, as we had often said, that Musharraf should have a dignified retirement and not be hounded out of the country," she said.
(for original cable, click here)


WikiLeaks cables expose Pakistan nuclear fears: Guardian

US diplomats in Islamabad were told Pakistan was working on producing smaller, tactical nuclear weapons that could be used on the battlefield against Indian troops. "The result of this trend is the need for greater stocks of fissile material … Strategic considerations point Pakistan in the direction of a larger nuclear force that requires a greater amount of fissile material, Pakistani officials argue."

The US conducted its own secret analysis of India's military contingency plans, which are codenamed Cold Start. India has said that if sufficiently provoked, it would mount a rapid invasion of Pakistan.

The US said in a cable that it doubted the Indian army was capable of doing so: "It is the collective judgment of the mission that India would likely encounter very mixed results. Indian forces could have significant problems consolidating initial gains due to logistical difficulties and slow reinforcement."

But the US ambassador to India, Tim Roemer, warned in February that for India to launch Cold Start, would be to "roll the nuclear dice". It could trigger the world's first use of nuclear weapons since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"Indian leaders no doubt realise that, although Cold Start is designed to punish Pakistan in a limited manner without triggering a nuclear response, they cannot be sure whether Pakistani leaders will in fact refrain from such a response."

Also see, U.S. Opposed Release of Nuclear Dealer: New York Times; Nuclear Fuel Memos Expose Wary Dance With Pakistan - NYT; Unstable Pakistan Has US on Edge: Spiegel Online


WikiLeaks cables: Pakistan opposition 'tipped off' Mumbai terror group: Guardian

Pakistan's president alleged that the brother of Pakistan's opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, "tipped off" the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) about impending UN sanctions following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, allowing the outfit to empty its bank accounts before they could be raided....

Ambassador Meets with Generals Kayani and Pasha: Guardian

Kayani said we should talk to President Zardari about moving forward the back-channel with India, starting with the provisions agreed to in 2006....DGISI Pasha asked Ambassador to convey to Washington that he had followed up on threat information that an attack would be launched against India between September-November. He had been in direct touch with the Israelis on possible threats against Israeli targets in India. He had also gone to Muscat and Tehran to engage those intelligence services on threats, and they were alerted and working with Pakistan. He reminded Ambassador that information about an attack on India had come his way and he had asked CIA to convey it to the Indians through CIA channels. ...  He emphasized that ISI was doing everything possible to reduce the possibility of an attack on India.

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