Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Pakistan Allows Americans Special Operations Forces inside Pakistan- WikiLeaks

Pakistan Allows Americans Special Operations Forces inside Pakistan- WikiLeaks
 
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Islamabad Tonight – 30th November 2010 : Pakistan Issues in WikiLeaks II:

Wikileaks latest leaks of diplomatic cables regarding concerns on Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, Army Chief Gen Kayani and his influence and "manipulation" of the civilian PPP govt. and the parliament particularly national uproar on Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill. Guests: Lt. Gen (R) Hameed Gul (Ex-DG ISI), Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan (Nuclear Scientist), Dr. Samar Mubarakmand (Nuclear Scientist) in Islamabad Tonight with Nadeem Malik
 
 

 
http://www.awaztoday.com/playvideo.asp?pageId=11885
 
http://www.friendskorner.com/forum/f247/video-islamabad-tonight-30th-november-2010-a-209532/
 
Islamabad Tonight 30th November 2010
 
http://pkpolitics.com/category/media/islamabad-tonight/
 
http://www.zemtv.com/2010/11/30/islamabad-tonight-30th-november-2010/

 
http://pakistanherald.com/Program/Islamabad-Tonight-November-30-2010-Nadeem-Malik-5614
 
http://www.yanabi.com/forum/Topic401187.aspx
 
WikiLeaks Documents on Pakistan
 
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 SANTIAGO 000324
SIPDIS
 
03-04-2009
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/03/2019
TAGS: OVIP (BIDEN, JOSEPH), PREL, ECON, PGOV, SOCI, UK, PK,
AF
SUBJECT: VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN'S MARCH 27 MEETING WITH
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN

SANTIAGO 00000324 001.2 OF 003
Classified By: Ambassador Paul Simons for reasons 1.4 (b/d).
1. (U) March 28, 2009; 8:30 am; Vina del Mar, Chile.
2. (U) Participants:
U.S.
Joseph Biden, Vice President
Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the
Vice President
Brian McKeon, Deputy National Security Advisor to
the Vice President
Brian Harris (notetaker), Political/Economic
Officer, U.S. Embassy Guatemala City

United Kingdom
Gordon Brown, Prime Minister
Thomas Fletcher, Private Secretary to the Prime
Minister
Stuart Wood, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister
Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for
International Development

3. (C) Summary: During a bilateral meeting on the margins
of the Progressive Governance Leaders Summit in Chile, Vice
President Joseph Biden and British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown discussed the economic crisis in terms of the upcoming
G-20 Summit and Afghanistan and Pakistan. On economic
issues, Brown pressed Vice President Biden to push the
Germans to move forward with $250 billion in special drawing
rights (SDRs) for the IMF, to use IMF gold sales to support
poorest countries and to take the initiative to restart
sectoral negotiations related to Doha. On Pakistan and
Afghanistan, Vice President Biden noted our increased troop
commitment to Afghanistan and the need to lower expectations
as to what is achievable in Afghanistan given enormous
governance issues. End Summary.

-------------------------
TRADE AND ECONOMIC ISSUES
-------------------------

4. (C) PM Brown opened the meeting by thanking Vice
President Biden for recent statement on revising the
supervisory structure for the G-20.

5. (C) Vice President Biden asked whether capital flight
from developing countries would be high on the G-20 agenda
and noted that Argentinean President Fernandez has requested
additional assistance without the usual IMF conditionality.
Brown responded that he was worried about capital flight,
particularly in Eastern Europe. The current financial crisis
will test whether Eastern European nations have developed
sufficiently strong institutions since the fall of communism
to withstand the downturn politically and socially as well as
economically. It is a test of whether freedom can be
successfully combined with economic stability. IMF
conditionality has long been an area of contention for Latin
America and it is not surprising that Argentina would ask for
preventative funds without conditions.

------------------------------
BROWN PRESSES ON IMF AND TRADE
------------------------------

6. (C) Prime Minister Brown delivered several requests on
economic issues to Vice President Biden. The first was the
need to secure financing for an additional $250 billion in
Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for the IMF to help vulnerable
economies withstand the economic downturn. Brown commented
that his understanding was this was an amount that the
administration could support without the need to consult
Congress. U.S. support on the issue would be particularly
helpful with the Germans who, as yet, do not support
additional SDRs. Parallel discussions were going on with
China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and several other Gulf nations to
secure $400 billion in additional financing. Rapid approval
of the IMF portion would help catalyze these parallel
negotiations.

7. (C) PM Brown also noted that the IMF was being forced to
sell gold to raise funds to pay its administrative staff.
There had been far fewer loan programs this decade than in
the 1990s. The result was reduced revenue from countries
repaying loans and a consequent budget shortfall. There is a

SANTIAGO 00000324 002.2 OF 003
pending sale of $11 billion in IMF gold that should be used
to help the poorest countries rather than pay IMF staff. The
U.S. position had been that interest from gold reserves could
be devoted to IMF programs, but that capital sales should
not. PM Brown asked Vice President Biden to reconsider this
position.

8. (C) PM Brown said successfully concluding the Doha round
would be difficult but the Obama administration should agree
to deal with environmental and labor commitments outside the
formal trading framework in relevant institutions such as the
ILO. Brown suggested that if the United States allowed
resumption of the next round of sectoral discussions, it
would create momentum for the rest of the world, including
India, to re-engage in the discussions. Opening new sectoral
discussions on Doha would garner the Administration
international support without needing to make difficult
political compromises or commitments for the time being.

9. (C) UK Secretary of State for International Development
Douglas Alexander said it was important to find a way to move
forward on the Doha Agreement. Trade discussions are like
riding a bike, i.e., you have to keep moving forward or you
fall down. If we do not proactively move forward and
eventually come to a successful conclusion to the Doha round,
the United States could be blamed in some quarters. The Doha
round was meant to be the &development8 round of
negotiations with significant aid from donor nations
contingent upon the agreement's successful conclusion. If it
did not pass, some governments that stand to lose aid, such
as Brazil, would likely blame the United States.

10. (C) Vice President Biden did not commit on any of these
issues but noted that labor interests in the United States
were not satisfied and were looking to the Administration to
establish its labor &bona fides.8 In a year, he said,
movement on economic and trade issues would either be easier
or impossible depending on the direction of the world
economy.

--------------------
AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN
--------------------

11. (C) Turning to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Vice President
Biden described the importance of combating terrorism and
noted the different elements of the Obama administration's
policy. First, the focus in Afghanistan is on Al Qaida. The
Obama administration will not make an open-ended commitment
to building freedom and democracy in Afghanistan because it
is not realistic. Second, there is no real possibility of
defeating Al Qaida without also dealing with Pakistan.
Third, he recognized that the United States cannot solve the
problem on its own. The whole world needed to engage.

12. (C) Vice President Biden said he worried that NATO
countries in Europe underestimated the threat from the region
and viewed the problem as an economic development issue
rather than a security issue, despite the fact that Afghan
opium is primarily exported to Europe and Europe has been the
victim of several terrorist attacks originating from the
region. Vice President Biden described the complex nature of
the security problem in Afghanistan, commenting that
&besides the demography, geography and history of the
region, we have a lot going for us.8

13. (C) Vice President Biden noted that the current U.S.
commitment of 63,000 troops to Afghanistan is the result of a
vigorous internal policy debate and would not be sustainable
politically for more than two years without visible signs of
progress. After two years, the extraordinary cost of
maintaining a robust military presence in Afghanistan would
make additional commitment increasingly difficult. After
Afghan elections the Administration intends to review the
situation again. Currently there is little capacity for the
Afghan government to execute many of the functions of
government. In many areas of the country, local officials
have close to no knowledge of how to govern or even basic
knowledge of payroll or budget. Part of the reason the
Taliban is strengthening is since the Taliban has the local
capacity to settle basic disputes quickly while central
government courts can take six to eight months to process a
case.

14. (C) The idea of a strong rule of law under a centralized
SANTIAGO 00000324 003.2 OF 003
Karzai government was not realistic. New policy towards the
Taliban should reflect the reality of the Afghan government's
lack of capacity. Our policy should first aim to stabilize
the urban areas and surrounding rural communities and then
seek to exploit divisions within the Taliban, co-opting
moderate elements rather than simply defeating militarily all
elements of the Taliban.

15. (C) On Pakistan, Vice President Biden commented that it
was difficult to convince Pakistan to commit to developing
its counter-insurgency potential. The threat from India
leads Pakistan to devote the bulk of its defense spending to
conventional warfare capabilities. However, something must
be done in the meantime. We need to develop our relationship
with Pakistan beyond its current transactional nature to a
long-term strategic partnership. We should begin with $1.5
billion per year in economic assistance that is unconditional
and supplement that with military assistance that is
conditioned on the modernization of its command structure and
active action in the field to combat insurgents. It would be
difficult to convince Congress to support such a plan,
particularly the unconditional civilian component.

16. (C) Vice President Biden noted that the United States
wants to empower the UN and wants active European
participation in resolving the threats in Pakistan and
Afghanistan. With the exception of the UK and a few others,
very few Europeans are taking action. Germany completely
dropped the ball on police training but NATO countries should
continue to provide assistance that is within their capacity
to deliver.

17. (C) Brown agreed that there was a significant terrorist
threat emanating from the region. More than 30,000
Pakistanis travel back and forth to the UK each year and
two-thirds of the terrorist threats that UK security forces
investigate originate in Pakistan -- including one on-going
investigation. The roots of terrorism in Pakistan are
complicated and go beyond the madrasas to, in some areas, a
complete societal incitement to militancy. Zedari's
commitment to combating terrorism is unclear, although he
always says the right things.

18. (C) Brown agreed on the need for a shared commitment and
noted that the only way to reduce the threat and eventually
draw down NATO's commitment to the region was by increasing
the capacity of Afghanistani and Pakistani security services.
Dividing the Taliban would greatly reduce its effectiveness,
though doing this made the Iraq problem look easy by
comparison.

19. (S) Vice President Biden commented that Zedari had told
him two months ago that ISI director &Kiyani will take me
out.8 Brown thought this unlikely and said that Kiyani did
not want to be another Musharraf, rather he would give
civilian leadership scope to function. However, he was wary
of the Sharif brothers and Zedari.

20. (U) The Office of the Vice President cleared this
message.
SIMONS

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-cables-viewer.html#report/pakistan-09SANTIAGO324

 

 

 

 

 

2009-02-06 15:03:00

Source Embassy Islamabad

Classification SECRET

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ISLAMABAD 000270
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/06/2034
TAGS: PREL, PTER, MARR, PGOV, PK
SUBJECT: CODEL BIDEN'S MEETING WITH COAS KAYANI AND ISI
PASHA

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (S) Summary: Senators Biden and Graham met with Chief of
Army Staff (COAS) Kayani and Director General of ISI LTGen
Pasha on January 9 to underscore bipartisan support for the
U.S.-Pakistan relationship. Senator Biden emphasized the
need for the American people to see results soon in
Afghanistan, and he wanted to be sure the U.S. and Pakistan
had the same enemy as we moved forward. Senator Biden sought
Kayani's views about what kind of Afghanistan would represent
success for Pakistan.

2. (S) Kayani said the U.S. and Pakistan were on the same
page, but there would be tactical differences. Cooperation
with U.S. military, with whom he had excellent relations, had
improved. Kayani stressed the military's support for
Pakistan's civilian government. He described his campaign in
Bajaur and plans to confront the insurgents in the rest of
the tribal agencies. Kayani said he urgently needed help for
internally displaced persons (IDPs). Kayani was candid that
the government has essentially abandoned the Swat valley.
Senator Graham emphasized the need to prosecute the
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leaders involved in the Mumbai attacks
and to incorporate the tribal agencies into Pakistan's legal
system. End summary.

3. (S) Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Senator Lindsey
Graham (R-SC), accompanied by Ambassador and Senate Foreign
Relations Committee Staff Director Antony Blinken, met with
COAS Kayani and DG ISI Pasha January 9 for ninety minutes.
Senator Biden asked Kayani to describe his view of a stable
Afghanistan.

4. (S) Senator Graham added his presence emphasized
bipartisan support for Pakistan. (He had just visited
Pakistan three weeks ago.) Senator Graham said he was going
to support the Biden-Lugar bill, but he needed to convince
his constituents of the value of investing in schools in
Pakistan instead of South Carolina. Pakistan needed to
prosecute those involved in the Mumbai attacks and be seen as
a country that observed the rule of law.

5. (S) Kayani replied that Pakistan and the US had a
convergence of interests. Kayani's goal was a peaceful,
friendly and stable Afghanistan. Kayani said he had no
desire to control Afghanistan. In fact, he said, anyone who
wanted to control Afghanistan was ignorant of history, since
no one has ever controlled it. Kayani noted there had been
confusion about the policy of "strategic depth" but for him
"strategic depth" meant a peaceful Afghanistan "on his back."
But the Pashtuns have to be accommodated, Kayani added.
Biden asked if Kayani made a distinction between the Pashtuns
and the Taliban. Kayani replied that the Taliban were a
reality, but the Afghan government dominated by the Taliban
had had a negative effect on Pakistan.

6. (S) Kayani recalled he told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Admiral Mullen that the U.S. needed realistic expectations of
what the Pakistani military could achieve and that these
expectations had to be clearly articulated. Kayani described
his campaign in Bajaur and his plans to confront the
insurgents in other tribal agencies, but he repeatedly said
he had capacity problems, particularly regarding equipment.
Kayani said he needed urgent support for the 150,000 people
displaced from the fighting. He said the military had
undertaken hundreds of sorties in Bajaur, and the population
of Bajaur was so far supportive of the military efforts.
Senator Graham mentioned the success of the CERP program in
Iraq and Afghanistan which had put money in the hands of
commanders for urgent community needs.

7. (S) Kayani recounted the situation in Swat in which the
provincial government had made accommodations with the
militants, requiring the army to retake the area repeatedly.
Kayani also said the population, once it saw the army pull
out, was far less likely to support it the second time
around. The military had to be followed by civilian agencies
or the local support would diminish.

8. (S) Kayani said military efforts needed the political
support of the civilian government. He recalled that when

ISLAMABAD 00000270 002 OF 003
the Federal Investigative Agency headquarters in Lahore had
been hit by suicide bombers, the citizens of Lahore had
demonstrated against the government rather than against the
suicide bombers. While the army had sent the message in
Bajaur that it meant business, there had to be follow-up
support from the civilian agencies. Kayani said as his
campaign moved through the tribal agencies, the army should
ideally need to use diminishing force. When they have to
fight for the same ground repeatedly, it becomes increasingly
difficult and demoralizing to the troops.

9. (S) Senator Biden asked Kayani if he had the capacity and
could obtain sufficient resources, would he then move against
Taliban leaders like Baitullah Mehsud, Commander Nazir, and
the Haqqanis? Senator Biden asked Kayani if he were prepared
to move into the Waziristans.
10. (S) Kayani replied that Bajaur had been the "hardest nut
to crack" militarily: the Pakistani military had undertaken
an operation in South Waziristan last October, but the army
had moved out because of the elections. The Pakistani
military had also had a fort in the middle of Waziristan
which had been cut off by militants. Kayani said he was
painfully aware that the army had to retake South Waziristan
since ninety percent of the suicide bombers came from
Baitullah Mehsud. "He has to be cut down to size," said
Kayani.

11. (S) But, Kayani said, the Pakistani military could not
fight everyone at once. They would have to go after Mehsud
and Nazir sequentially (a point Pasha confirmed). Biden said
it was important to be in agreement on this issue. Pasha
said the United States and Pakistan needed to have confidence
in each other. Pasha said he was hurt about the inference
that he did not have a relationship of trust with CIA. He
had gone to Washington for a frank talk with CIA Director
Hayden and he often briefed, and sought the advice of, the
RAO Chief in Islamabad. Senator Biden repeated he was not
going to revisit the past. Pasha replied that there was no
reason for ISI to be protecting "these people" and he had no
interest in saving them.

12. (S) Senator Biden said he needed to know that the
situation had changed. Senator Biden said he understood that
the Pakistani military lacked capacity, but would the
situation change if they had additional resources? It was
important to know if we had the same enemy: the U.S. needed
to be able to make an objective assessment of Pakistan's part
of the bargain.
Graham added that "General Musharraf had cut deals, but those
deals didn't work out."

13. (S) Kayani repeated there had been considerable
cooperation on the technical level with U.S. forces. But
this did not mean that there would not be differences of
opinion on tactics. On Afghanistan, Kayani stressed )
"past, present, and future" -- we are on the same page.

14. (S) Regarding LeT, Kayani said Pakistan would not allow
small groups to dictate state policy. Pakistan had not
waited for evidence and they had moved immediately. The
information they had now was based on confessions. Pakistan
needed Indian cooperation to move the investigation forward.
Kayani also insisted that any information available about
upcoming attacks be shared with Pakistan. He understood that
information about the attack had been provided to India but
not to Pakistan. He said repeated discussion about "the next
attack and all bets were off" only provided an incentive for
another attack. Biden said that what was important was
Pakistan's action against LeT and similar organizations.
Senator Biden said he would share what he had heard with
Admiral Mullen and emphasized the need for results.

15. (S) General Kayani said he appreciated the Senators'
frank response. He repeated his need for help with IDPs.
Senator Biden said the system of reimbursement through
Coalition Support Funds would be reexamined. Kayani said
that the military had only received about $300 million of the
$1 billion ostensibly reimbursed for military expenses. He
was not implying that the money had been stolen, but had been
used for general budget support.

ISLAMABAD 00000270 003 OF 003
16. CODEL Biden has cleared this message.
PATTERSON

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-cables-viewer.html#report/pakistan-09ISLAMABAD270

 

 

 

2008-04-10 22:26:00

Source Secretary of State

Classification SECRET

S E C R E T STATE 037957
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
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.

End objectives.
----------
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.

End background.
--------------
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

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-cables-viewer.html#report/pakistan-08STATE37957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date 2009-05-27 16:32:00

Source Embassy Islamabad

Classification SECRET

S E C R E T ISLAMABAD 001152
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/27/2019
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PTER, PARM, KNNP, MNUC, PK
SUBJECT: U.S. REMOVAL OF PAKISTAN RESEARCH REACTOR FUEL ON
HOLD

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson for reasons 1.4 (b) (d)
1. (S) Kamran Akhtar, Disarmament Director in Pakistan's
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Poloff on May 26 that the
recent spate of media attention on Pakistan's nuclear
security has led the GOP to delay an important
nonproliferation effort, the removal of U.S.-origin
highly-enriched uranium spent fuel from a Pakistani nuclear
research reactor. The GOP agreed in principle to the fuel
removal in 2007, but has been slow in scheduling a visit by
U.S. technical experts to discuss logistical and other
issues. In recent months, the Strategic Plans Division and
Ministry of Foreign Affairs both indicated progress on the
matter and a proposed visit for late May was under review.
However, according to Akhtar, a recent GOP interagency review
of the program concluded that the "sensational" international
and local media coverage of the security of Pakistan's
nuclear weapons made it impossible to proceed at this time.
If the local media got word of the fuel removal, "they
certainly would portray it as the United States taking
Pakistan's nuclear weapons," he argued. The visit will have
to be delayed for 3-4 months or until the political climate
makes it more conducive to hosting a U.S. visit, he stated.

2. (S) Comment: As noted in previous post reporting, the GOP
is extremely sensitive to media focus on Pakistan's nuclear
program. In a sign of their growing defensiveness, the
Foreign Office Spokesman took significant time out of his May
21 press conference to address nuclear security, stating
categorically, "there is simply no question of our strategic
assets falling into the wrong hands." To a question about
reported offers of U.S. help with nuclear security, he
responded, "we do not need this assistance." With the
postponement of the nuclear fuel removal, it is clear that
the negative media attention has begun to hamper U.S. efforts
to improve Pakistan's nuclear security and nonproliferation
practices. End Comment.
PATTERSON

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-cables-viewer.html#report/pakistan-09ISLAMABAD1152

 

 

 

 

Nuclear Fuel Memos Expose Wary Dance With Pakistan

By JANE PERLEZ, DAVID E. SANGER and ERIC SCHMITT

This article is by Jane Perlez, David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Less than a month after President Obama testily assured reporters in 2009 that Pakistan's nuclear materials "will remain out of militant hands," his ambassador here sent a secret message to Washington suggesting that she remained deeply worried.

The ambassador's concern was a stockpile of highly enriched uranium, sitting for years near an aging research nuclear reactor in Pakistan. There was enough to build several "dirty bombs" or, in skilled hands, possibly enough for an actual nuclear bomb.

In the cable, dated May 27, 2009, the ambassador, Anne W. Patterson, reported that the Pakistani government was yet again dragging its feet on an agreement reached two years earlier to have the United States remove the material.

She wrote to senior American officials that the Pakistani government had concluded that "the 'sensational' international and local media coverage of Pakistan's nuclear weapons made it impossible to proceed at this time." A senior Pakistani official, she said, warned that if word leaked out that Americans were helping remove the fuel, the local press would certainly "portray it as the United States taking Pakistan's nuclear weapons."

The fuel is still there.

It may be the most unnerving evidence of the complex relationship — sometimes cooperative, often confrontational, always wary — between America and Pakistan nearly 10 years into the American-led war in Afghanistan. The cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations, make it clear that underneath public reassurances lie deep clashes over strategic goals on issues like Pakistan's support for the Afghan Taliban and tolerance of Al Qaeda, and Washington's warmer relations with India, Pakistan's archenemy.

Written from the American Embassy in Islamabad, the cables reveal American maneuvering as diplomats try to support an unpopular elected government that is more sympathetic to American aims than is the real power in Pakistan, the army and intelligence agency so crucial to the fight against militants. The cables show just how weak the civilian government is: President Asif Ali Zardari told Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. that he worried that the military might "take me out."

Frustration at American inability to persuade the Pakistani Army and intelligence agency to stop supporting the Afghan Taliban and other militants runs through the reports of meetings between American and Pakistani officials.

That frustration preoccupied the Bush administration and became an issue for the incoming Obama administration, the cables document, during a trip in January 2009 that Mr. Biden made to Pakistan 11 days before he was sworn in. In a meeting with Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the army chief of staff, Mr. Biden asked several times whether Pakistan and the United States "had the same enemy as we move forward."

"The United States needs to be able to make an objective assessment of Pakistan's part of the bargain," Mr. Biden said, according to a Feb. 6, 2009, cable.

General Kayani tried to reassure him, saying, "We are on the same page in Afghanistan, but there might be different tactics." Mr. Biden replied that "results" would test that.

The cables reveal at least one example of increased cooperation, previously undisclosed, under the Obama administration. Last fall, the Pakistani Army secretly allowed 12 American Special Operations soldiers to deploy with Pakistani troops in the violent tribal areas near the Afghan border.

The Americans were forbidden to conduct combat missions. Even though their numbers were small, their presence at army headquarters in Bajaur, South Waziristan and North Waziristan was a "sea change in thinking," the embassy reported.

The embassy added its usual caution: The deployments must be kept secret or the "Pakistani military will likely stop making requests for such assistance."

Within the past year, however, Pakistan and the United States have gingerly started to publicly acknowledge the role of American field advisers. Lt. Col. Michael Shavers, an American military spokesman in Islamabad, said in a statement that "at the request of the Pakistanis," small teams of Special Operations forces "move to various locations with their Pakistani military counterparts throughout Pakistan."

Moreover, last week in a report to Congress on operations in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said that the Pakistani Army had also accepted American and coalition advisers in Quetta.

The cables do not deal with the sharp increase under Mr. Obama in drone attacks against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the tribal areas with Pakistan's tacit approval. That is because the cables are not classified at the highest levels.

A Deep Skepticism

Over all, though, the cables portray deep skepticism that Pakistan will ever cooperate fully in fighting the full panoply of extremist groups. This is partly because Pakistan sees some of the strongest militant groups as insurance for the inevitable day that the United States military withdraws from Afghanistan — and Pakistan wants to exert maximum influence inside Afghanistan and against Indian intervention.

Indeed, the consul general in Peshawar wrote in 2008 that she believed that some members of the Haqqani network — one of the most lethal groups attacking American and Afghan soldiers — had left North Waziristan to escape drone strikes. Some family members, she wrote, relocated south of Peshawar; others lived in Rawalpindi, where senior Pakistani military officials also live.

In one cable, Ms. Patterson, a veteran diplomat who left Islamabad in October after a three-year stint as ambassador, said more money and military assistance would not be persuasive. "There is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance levels in any field as sufficient compensation for abandoning support for these groups, which it sees as an important part of its national security apparatus against India."

In a rare tone of dissent with Washington, she said Pakistan would only dig in deeper if America continued to improve ties with India, which she said "feeds Pakistani establishment paranoia and pushes them closer to both Afghan and Kashmir focused terrorist groups."

The groups Ms. Patterson referred to were almost certainly the Haqqani network of the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group financed by Pakistan in the 1990s to fight India in Kashmir that is accused of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.

The highly enriched uranium that Ms. Patterson wanted removed from the research reactor came from the United States in the mid-1960s. In those days, under the Atoms for Peace program, little thought was given to proliferation, and Pakistan seemed too poor and backward to join the nuclear race.

But by May 2009, all that had changed, and her terse cable to the State and Defense Departments, among others, touched every nerve in the fraught relationship: mutual mistrust, the safety of the world's fastest-growing nuclear arsenal, broken promises and a pervasive fear that any talk about Pakistan's vulnerability would end whatever cooperation existed.

The reactor had been converted to use low-enriched uranium, well below bomb grade, in 1990, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, or I.A.E.A. But the bomb-grade uranium had never been returned to the United States and remains in storage nearby. Ms. Patterson's cable noted that Pakistan had "agreed in principle to the fuel removal in 2007."

But time and again the Pakistanis balked, and she reported that an interagency group within the Pakistani government had decided to cancel a visit by American technical experts to get the fuel out of the country. She concluded that "it is clear that the negative media attention has begun to hamper U.S. efforts to improve Pakistan's nuclear security and nonproliferation practices."

Any progress, she suggested, would have to await a "more conducive" political climate.

On Monday, Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement confirming that "the US suggestion to have the fuel transferred was plainly refused by Pakistan." It said that the United States had provided the fuel but did not mention that, under the terms of such transfers, the United States retained the right to have the spent fuel returned.

The ambassador's comments help explain why Mr. Obama and his aides have expressed confidence in Pakistan's nuclear security when asked in public. But at the beginning of the administration's review of its Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, a highly classified intelligence report delivered to Mr. Obama said that while Pakistan's weapons were well secured, there was deep, continuing concern about "insider access," meaning elements in the military or intelligence services.

In fact, Ms. Patterson, in a Feb. 4, 2009, cable, wrote that "our major concern is not having an Islamic militant steal an entire weapon but rather the chance someone working in GOP [government of Pakistan] facilities could gradually smuggle enough material out to eventually make a weapon."

Mr. Obama's review concluded by determining that there were two "vital" American interests in the region. One was defeating Al Qaeda. The second, not previously reported, was making sure terrorists could never gain access to Pakistan's nuclear program. That goal was classified, to keep from angering Islamabad.

Asked about the status of the fuel at the research reactor, Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the Energy Department, said, "The United States supplied Pakistan with fuel for a research reactor decades ago for the purpose of producing medical isotopes and scientific research." Implicitly acknowledging that the material remains there, Mr. LaVera said "the fuel is under I.A.E.A. safeguards and has not been part of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program."

One secret cable offers another glimpse into another element of the nuclear gamesmanship between the United States and its Pakistani allies: Even while American officials were trying to persuade Pakistani officials to give up nuclear material, they were quietly seeking to block Pakistan from trying to buy material that would help it produce tritium, the crucial ingredient needed to increase the power of nuclear weapons.

After providing specific details of the proposed sale, a Dec. 12, 2008, secret cable to the American Embassy in Singapore, seeking help to stop a transaction that was about to take place, concluded, "We would have great concern over Pakistan's potential use of tritium to advance its nuclear weapons program."

Reports of Army Abuses

The cables also reveal that the American Embassy had received credible reports of extrajudicial killings of prisoners by the Pakistani Army more than a year before the Obama administration publicly acknowledged the problem and before a video that is said to show such killings surfaced on the Internet.

The killings are another source of tension, complicated by American pressure on Pakistan to be more aggressive in confronting militants on its own soil.

In a Sept. 10, 2009, cable labeled "secret/noforn," meaning that it was too delicate to be shared with foreign governments, the embassy confronted allegations of human rights abuses in the Swat Valley and the tribal areas since the Pakistani Army had begun fighting the Taliban a few months earlier.

While carefully worded, the cable left little doubt about what was going on. It spoke of a "growing body of evidence" that gave credence to the allegations.

"The crux of the problem appears to center on the treatment of terrorists detained in battlefield operations and have focused on the extrajudicial killing of some detainees," the cable said. "The detainees involved were in the custody of Frontier Corps or Pakistan army units." The Frontier Corps is a paramilitary force partly financed by the United States to fight the insurgents.

The Pakistani Army was holding as many as 5,000 "terrorist detainees," the cable said, about twice as many as the army had acknowledged.

Concerned that the United States should not offend the Pakistani Army, the cable stressed that any talk of the killings must be kept out of the press.

"Post advises that we avoid comment on these incidents to the extent possible and that efforts remain focused on dialogue and the assistance strategy," the ambassador wrote. This September, however, the issue exploded into public view when a video emerged showing Pakistani soldiers executing six unarmed young men in civilian clothes. In October, the Obama administration suspended financing to half a dozen Pakistani Army units believed to have killed civilians or unarmed prisoners.

The cables verge on gossipy, as diplomats strained to understand the personalities behind the fractious Pakistani government, and particularly two men: General Kayani and President Zardari.

Often, the United States finds that Mr. Zardari, the accidental leader after the assassination of his wife, Benazir Bhutto, is sympathetic to American goals — stiff sanctions on terrorist financing, the closing down of terrorist training camps — but lacks the power to fulfill his promises against resistance from the military and intelligence agencies.

Mr. Zardari's chief antagonist, General Kayani, emerges as a stubborn guarantor of what he sees as Pakistan's national interest, an army chief who meddles in civilian politics but stops short of overturning the elected order.

Early in the Obama administration, General Kayani made clear a condition for improved relations. As the director general of the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, from 2004 to 2007, he did not want a "reckoning with the past," said a cable in 2009 introducing him to the new administration.

"Kayani will want to hear that the United States has turned the page on past ISI operations," it said. General Kayani was probably referring to the peace accords with the Taliban from 2004 to 2007 that resulted in the strengthening of the militants.

If the general seems confidently in charge, the cables portray Mr. Zardari as a man not fully aware of his weakness.

At one point he said he would not object if Abdul Qadeer Khan, revered in Pakistan as the father of its nuclear weapons program, were interviewed by the International Atomic Energy Agency but tacitly acknowledged that he was powerless to make that happen.

Mr. Zardari, who spent 11 years in prison on ultimately unproved corruption charges, feared for his position and possibly — the wording is ambiguous — his life: the cables reveal that Vice President Biden told Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain in March 2009 that Mr. Zardari had told him that the "ISI director and Kayani will take me out."

His suspicions were not groundless. In March 2009, a period of political turmoil, General Kayani told the ambassador that he "might, however reluctantly," pressure Mr. Zardari to resign and, the cable added, presumably leave Pakistan. He mentioned the leader of a third political party, Asfandyar Wali Khan, as a possible replacement.

"Kayani made it clear regardless how much he disliked Zardari he distrusted Nawaz even more," the ambassador wrote, a reference to Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister.

By 2010, after many sessions with Mr. Zardari, Ms. Patterson had revised the guarded optimism that characterized her early cables about Mr. Zardari.

"Pakistan's civilian government remains weak, ineffectual and corrupt," she wrote on Feb. 22, 2010, the eve of a visit by the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III. "Domestic politics is dominated by uncertainty about the fate of President Zardari."

That assessment holds more than eight months later, even as Mr. Obama in October extended an invitation to the Mr. Zardari leader to visit the White House next year, as the leader of a nation that holds a key to peace in Afghanistan but appears too divided and mistrustful to turn it for the Americans.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/world/asia/01wikileaks-pakistan.html?pagewanted=print



 
 
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Nadeem Malik Live is a flagship current affairs programme of Samaa.TV. The programme gives independent news analysis of the key events shaping future of Pakistan. A fast paced, well rounded programme covers almost every aspect, which should be a core element of a current affairs programme. Discussion with the most influential personalities in the federal capital and other leading lights of the country provides something to audience to help them come out with their own hard hitting opinions.


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