Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Zardari and Nawaz Secretly Agreed To Dump CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry

Zardari and Nawaz Secretly Agreed To Dump CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry


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PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Zardari told US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson a day after signing the Murree Declaration with PML-N head Nawaz Sharif that he and Mr Sharif "had agreed (very privately)" that Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry would not be restored but that he was worried about the optics of the jurist`s continued detention. He also told her he had already reassured the then incumbent CJ Abdul Hameed Dogar that he need not worry about the Declaration.


Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, President Zardari

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SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/10/2018
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PK
SUBJECT: ZARDARI'S VIEWS ON AGREEMENT WITH NAWAZ

REF: A. ISLAMABAD 1070
B. ISLAMABAD 970
C. ISLAMABAD 924

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, Reasons 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (C) Summary: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Asif
Zardari told Ambassador March 10 that yesterday's agreement
with Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif was
less than it seemed regarding the restoration of the judges
(Ref A). Zardari reiterated his desire to work with
Musharraf as President. He and Nawaz have agreed, privately,
that former Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry
will not be restored and that the current Chief Justice will
remain. Zardari said his choice for Prime Minister was
Yousef Gillani (Ref B). Zardari has selected Sherry Rehman
as Minister of Information and Syed Naveed Qamar as Minister
of Finance (Ref C). Embassy cautions there is more ground to
travel before these issues are resolved. Zardari seems
sincere and has shown some political courage, particularly on
the Kashmir issue. He has good ideas, especially on the
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and on economic
issues. But it remains to be seen how he will handle the
parliament )- and his coalition partners — once the
sessions get underway. End Summary.

2. (C) Ambassador called on Asif Zardari March 10 to get his
version of the ""deal"" with PML-N head Nawaz Sharif. Zardari
said he and Nawaz had agreed (very privately) that the former
Chief Justice would not be restored, nor would current Chief
Justice Dogar be removed. Zardari said he had to do
something about the judges: a new civilian government could
not keep the former Chief Justice and his family, including
two disabled children, in confinement two blocks from the
parliament, and Zardari had conveyed this view to ISI head
Nadeem Taj and NSA Tariq Aziz. He had asked the government
to move the former Chief Justice to his family home in
Quetta, but the government had refused, arguing that the CJ
""had a gun"" and would forcibly resist being moved. (Comment:
No one wants the black eye of moving the former Chief Justice
and his family under the glare of international publicity.
End Comment.) When Ambassador asked about the 30 day
deadline for the parliamentary resolution which would
supposedly reinstate the judges, Zardari laughed and said in
politics thirty days could become eighty or ninety. He
reiterated his commitment to working with Musharraf and
especially Tariq Aziz, with whom he felt particularly
comfortable. He wanted Musharraf to ""relax"" and not be so
concerned about the former Chief Justice.

3. (C) Zardari revealed he had been in touch with Chief
Justice Dogar to assure him he would not be removed.
Zardari was less clear about the legalities of the
restoration of the other judges, although he implied some
phased-in system might be employed. He noted Aitzaz Ahsan
was campaigning for President now, a job that Nawaz Sharif
would also like to have. Zardari said he would not welcome
Aitzaz back into the PPP fold.

4. (C) Ambassador asked about the choices for Prime Minister.
Zardari reiterated that he was angry Amin Faheem had spent
virtually the entire campaign in Dubai ) engaging his ""weak
libido (sic)"" and ignoring his party responsibilities in the
middle of the campaign. Zardari argued that Faheem was
simply not up to the demands of the office of the Prime
Minister. Ambassador asked about the possibility of a split
in the party and the general perception that Faheem was a
popular party stalwart with IOUs in the party structure.
Zardari said Faheem would only take two deputies with him if
he split from the party. In the meantime, he was being
courted by the PML-Q. Zardari confirmed he would have been
willing to work with the PML-Q if they had dumped the
Chaudharys — which Musharraf had been reluctant to do. Now,
Zardari said, he did not trust Faheem. Zardari said he was
going to wait until the very last minute, after the assembly
was convened, to announce the choice for PM.

5. (C) Zardari said he had made a deal with Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) leader Fazlur Rehman to enter the
coalition. While he only has six seats in the national
assembly, Rehman still has fourteen senators. Ambassador
asked if ANP leader Walid Khan had agreed to this: Zardari

ISLAMABAD 00001072 002 OF 002


said he had.

6. (C) Zardari said he planned to run in a by-election if he
were permitted to do so. Ambassador said we would like to
work with the PPP and other parties on the reform of the
electoral commission, to make it truly independent. Zardari
concurred with this idea.

7. (C) Zardari said he had floated Ahmed Mukhtar,s name as a
possible candidate for Prime Minister, but Mukhtar had not
done well in the subsequent glare of international publicity.
Zardari said his current choice was Yousef Raza Gillani (Ref
B) who is also a vice chairman of the party. Zardari argued
he needed someone from the Punjab as PM, since that populous
province was the backbone of the party's future. He said
Sherry Rehman would be Information Minister and that Syed
Naveed Qamar would become the Minister of Finance, although
he would be advised by a strong group of businessmen.
Zardari said he was at pains to rebrand the PPP as friendly
to business and to encourage American investment.

8. (C) Comment: Party infighting seems to continue unabated.
Tariq Aziz told us a few days ago that while the government
would have preferred Amin Faheem, any of the four major
candidates would be acceptable to them. Embassy will get an
update from him March 11. At this point we do not believe it
realistic to try and put together any coalition with the
PML-Q. One of the main outstanding questions is whether
Zardari plans to run for Prime Minister himself if allowed to
run in a by-election. End comment.

PATTERSON



http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/24/2008-zardari-nawaz-agreed-not-to-restore-chief-justice-iftikhar-chaudhry.html




Zardari says govt without Nawaz would be weak



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RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 4867
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SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/31/2018
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, PK
SUBJECT: ZARDARI EXAMINING A COALITION WITH NAWAZ SHARIF

REF: (A) ISLAMABAD 226 (B) 07 ISLAMABAD 4997 (C)
LAHORE 84

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d)

1. (C) Summary: In the wake of the losses suffered by
Musharraf's Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and the religious
parties, scenarios for the next government are being debated.
Bhutto widower Zardari described the Pakistan People's Party
(PPP) as supporting a government of ""national unity,"" but he
is leaning toward a coalition with Nawaz Sharif which
excludes the leadership of the pro-government PML.
Musharraf's advisors have tried to convince Zardari to
exclude Nawaz Sharif in any PPP-led government, but Zardari
argues he does not need a party that was resoundingly
defeated and whose winners are (allegedly) defecting in
droves. Zardari argues that a government without Nawaz would
be weak, short-lived, and ultimately damage the PPP. Zardari
claims he does not intend to force a confrontation with
Musharraf nor allow Nawaz to do so.

2. (C) Zardari fears the GOP (""the agencies"") will attempt
to split the PPP by backing Amin Faheem, who Zardari does not
want to become Prime Minister. Zardari floated the idea of
allowing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart Javed
Hashmi – whom he claims is on the outs with Nawaz – or the
head of the Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party (ANP),
Asfandyar Wali Khan to become Prime Minister. Ambassador
emphasized the need to look toward the future, not to revisit
old issues, and stressed our concerns about Nawaz's seeming
desire to focus the new assembly on getting rid of President
Musharraf instead of on the insurgency and the economy.
Zardari candidly said he knew he had to deal with Musharraf
because of Musharraf's influence with the military and his
own lack of credibility with that institution. End summary.


3. (C) Ambassador met alone with Bhutto widower and party
head Asif Zardari February 20 for ninety minutes to discuss
his plans for the PPP's participation in government. Not
surprisingly, Zardari sought to send the right messages to
the USG about fighting terrorism, PPP's long alliance with
the U.S., and the need for a long-term strategy in the tribal
areas. As had NSA Tariq Aziz, he noted that Nawaz had
benefited from a last-minute infusion of Saudi money and
support, ostensibly taking votes away from the PPP (Ref A).

4. (C) Zardari had met February 19 with NSA Tariq Aziz and
DG ISI General Nadeem Taj about the formation of the
government. Zardari said he wanted a ""government of
national unity"" with Nawaz Sharif, ANP, independents, and
probably the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) party.
Ambassador asked about Nawaz Sharif's desire to unseat
Musharraf. Ambassador said the Embassy had good relations
with Nawaz and his party, but we were concerned by recent
public statements in which he seemed to look toward the past.
This strategy would not solve Pakistan's critical economic
challenges and the insurgency.

5. (C) Zardari said he would not accept Sharif's public
conditions. If Nawaz joined the PPP coalition, Zardari
planned to meet Nawaz's demands on the judiciary by burying
them in committee, which he thought might satisfy Nawaz. He
said that if the PPP left Nawaz out of its coalition, the
government would be weak, would fail quickly, and Nawaz would
win the next election. Zardari said it was even possible
they could agree to give the PML-N the Prime Minister
position, but neither Nawaz nor his brother Shahbaz will be
in the parliament. One possible candidate, he mused, was
PML-Q stalwart, Javed Hashmi. According to Zardari, Nawaz
had assigned Hashmi to the closest races in hopes that he
would lose. ""What is Nawaz going to tell me,"" Zardari
laughed, ""that he doesn't want Javed Hashmi to be Prime
Minister?"" (Ref B)

6. (C) Another option, Zardari mused, was to give the PM
post to the ANP leader, Asfandyar Wali Khan, who could be a
compromise candidate. Zardari said he was afraid the
""government forces"" (ISI, etc) would try and split the PPP
and make Amin Faheem Prime Minister. Zardari noted Faheem
has never done a day's work in his life,"" and that ""he had
been in Dubai five times since Benazir's death for rest and

ISLAMABAD 00000745 002 OF 002


recreation."" Benazir was fond of him and he was loyal,
Zardari recounted, but Faheem was incompetent. Zardari
described Faheem as ""not happy"" with the Prime Minister post
slipping away from him. As reported reftel, Zardari said he
would be more inclined toward PPP Punjab leader, Shah Mehmood
Qureshi.

7. (C) Ambassador asked Zardari about rumors that he
planned to put his sister Azra Pechuho – a respected
physician with a reserved seat from Sindh – into the Prime
Ministership until he could take the job himself. Zardari
replied Benazir had come up with this scheme at one point,
but he knew it was not viable.

8. (C) Zardari said he was trying to convince Musharraf's
advisors that Nawaz would be better off ""inside the tent""
than outside. He said that he would not work with PML leader
Pervaiz Elahi. ""Why,"" he asked ""should I include someone
who has just had an embarrassing defeat at the polls when I
can attract many of his assembly members to my side. They
are already calling us."" Zardari added that he would have a
hard time bringing along his party stalwarts if the PML were
in the coalition. Zardari said he was trying to convince
Musharraf he would work with him. He knew the Army would
never see Musharraf humiliated, that Musharraf still had
power within the Army, and he recognized his own reputation
within the Army was not good.

9. (C) Comment: Zardari is far less emotional than his
late wife. He seems both ruthless and practical but his
political skills have not really been put to the test. The
process of forming a government will go through several,
emotion-laden versions over the next few days.
PATTERSON

http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/24/2008-zardari-says-govt-without-nawaz-would-be-weak.html







 
 
 
 
 
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