Original Articles

Wikileaks reconfirm the Taliban support in Pakistani establishment

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Wikileaks on General Kayani and his ‘democratic’ puppets

King Abdullah, the great-grandson of Abu Jahl – by Omar Khattab

The whistle-blowing site Wilileaks has released a cache of 250,000 secret messages sent by US diplomatic staff. Here are some of the key issues the documents reveal related to Pakistan, as reported by the New York Times and Guardian newspapers.

According to ANI, WikiLeaks has reportedly released about 94 documents about Pakistan. The documents mainly contain telegrams sent by the US Embassy in Islamabad to the State Department in Washington. Some of these papers relate to US observations about Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan, the debate within Pakistan on the war against terror, Islamabad’s cooperation with Washington, US reservations about Pakistan’s nuclear programme and other military and intelligence matters. Sources said that an anti-war activist gained access to over 400,000 secret documents following changes in the US communication system, and handed them over to WikiLeaks.

In July this year, WikiLeaks had published the Afghan war logs, disclosing that the US was operating a secret assassination squad in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that a Pakistani intelligence agency was helping the Taliban, besides throwing light on the alleged crimes committed by the coalition troops in Afghanistan. (ANI)

28 November 2010 leaks (working draft)

  • Pakistani (ISI trained) jihadis
  • 070230z TF PROFESSIONAL ASSASSINATION TF PROFESSIONAL GARBOZ 2007-05-06 20:30:00
    AFG: Assassination, RC EAST, 2 casualties… Province. Most of the fighters are reported to be from the Wazri Tribe in Pakistan. End of report. Headquarters International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan …
  • D1 020330Z TF Professional Assasination of Deputy Chief of Eduction 2007-07-01 21:30:00
    AFG: Assassination, RC EAST, 2 casualties… COMMENT-THE PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT WANTS THE CHILDREN OF AF TO BE UNEDUCATED SO THAT THEY ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO AL QAEDA INFLUENCE.) (FIELD COMMENT-ASSASSINATION CONFIRMED IN TF PROFESSIONAL INTSUM, DATED …
  • The Deobandi Madrassah Connection
  • 040849JAN08 TF Diamondback reports LN video taping convoy movements 2008-01-04 02:49:00
    AFG: Detained, RC EAST, 0 casualties… numbers, a calendar, a phone number book, a Tascara ID card, and an ID card from the Charsada madrassa in Pakistan. On his phone are three video clips of coalition convoys and one of a column of armed men …
  • (FRIENDLY ACTION) DETAINED RPT TF EAGLE 1-503 IN : 3 UE DET 2008-02-06 10:00:00
    AFG: Detained, RC EAST, 0 casualties… , arrested three men suspected of facilitating improvised explosive device operations near the Pakistan border in the Bermel District of Paktika Province, Afghanistan, Feb. 6. Shkin ANP also discovered three …

Sectarian and ethnic violence

  • (THREAT REPORT) IED THREAT RPT Kabul 2006-11-06 18:00:00
    AFG: Sectarian Violence, RC CAPITAL, 0 casualties… / PAKISTAN (NFI) prior to coming to KABUL, via KHOST. One of the suicide bombers is a Pakistani native of WAZIRISTAN / PAKISTAN, approx 30 years old, tall, has white skin, has a short red beard, and wears …
  • (THREAT REPORT) IED THREAT RPT Kabul 2006-11-20 18:00:00
    AFG: Sectarian Violence, RC CAPITAL, 0 casualties… . They have been trained in the area of CHORAT (PAKISTAN) adjacent to PESHAWAR and at this time, they might live in the vicinity of the bazaar of POL-E CHARKHI (around 20 km to the east of KABUL …
  • (THREAT REPORT) OTHER RPT Khawjabahawddi 2008-08-26 18:00:00
    AFG: Sectarian Violence, RC NORTH, 0 casualties… information about the return of approximately 250 Pashto refugees from PAKISTAN to KHVAJEH BAHAV OD DIN district, TAKHAR province (NFI). Obviously the Tajik population in this area wants to prevent …
  • (THREAT REPORT) ATTACK THREAT RPT Jaberi 2009-08-16 18:00:00
  • AFG: Sectarian Violence, RC EAST, 0 casualties… IN THEIR AREA. THE WISE PEOPLE SAY WITHOUT THE AMERICANS THERE IS NO JUSTICE, WITHOUT THE PAKISTAN PEOPLE THERE WOULD BE NO BRIBES, AND WITHOUT THE AFGHANISTAN PEOPLE THERE WOULD BE NO OPPRESSION.) 6. (S …
  • (THREAT REPORT) ATTACK THREAT RPT Tag Ab 2009-09-11 18:00:00
    AFG: Sectarian Violence, RC EAST, 0 casualties… ((QARI BARYAL)) ASKED HIM TO COME TO PAKISTAN, DOING LIMITED ANALISYS THIS INDICATES TO THE REPORTING OFFICER HE IS AN IMPORTANT FIGURE. IT IS UNKNOWN WHY FARID WANTS SHUKUR KILLED.) AS OF 12 SEPTEMBER …

  • Propaganda of ISI and ISI-sponsored Mullahs
  • PROPAGANDA Other 2004-02-26 18:00:00
    AFG: Propaganda, RC WEST, 0 casualties… PROPAGANDA Other PROPAGANDA BEING DISTRIBUTED IN LASHKAR GAH, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN: MULLAH FAZUL RAHMAN, LEADER OF THE JAMIAT UL-LAHMAN PARTY IN PAKISTAN, NFI, IS PAYING UNIDENTIFIED …
  • Al-qaida video 2007-02-16 13:27:00
    AFG: Propaganda, RC EAST, 0 casualties… at night … The people are very happy about the coming of the Taliban," he says. Ali Mohammed Jan Aurakzai, the governor ofPakistan''s North West Frontier Province which …
  • News story – Al-Qaida posts video showing purported suicide bomber in Afghanistan 2007-02-18 18:20:00
    AFG: Propaganda, RC EAST, 0 casualties… , the traditional dress of long shirt and baggy pants common in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Another shot shows him cutting wires in what appears to be a bombmaking process. The video also shows munition boxes …
  • Taliban kidnappings
  • (CRIMINAL EVENT) KIDNAPPING RPT AED LN QA : 0 INJ/DAM 2008-08-07 12:00:00
    AFG: Kidnapping, RC EAST, 0 casualties… will report this event to CSTC-A Mentors for further reporting. UPDATE: On 4 Sep 08, LN QA Deen Mohammad was released after ransom was paid to a Pakistan Taliban element. Believe that amount was approximately …
  • (CRIMINAL EVENT) KIDNAPPING RPT AED CONTRUCTION CONTRACTOR : 0 INJ/DAM 2008-10-02 06:00:00
    AFG: Kidnapping, UNKNOWN, 0 casualties… happened and WHERE it happened Provide Grid) Mr. Abdul Wali and Zainullah were kidnapped while on holiday for EID in Peshwar, Hyatabad District,Pakistan. A gang or maybe the Taliban surrounded the house …
  • (CRIMINAL EVENT) KIDNAPPING RPT B CO 1-501 PIR : 0 INJ/DAM 2009-06-29 22:30:00
    AFG: Kidnapping, RC EAST, 0 casualties… AND ALSO HAVE 2 ADDITIONAL PAKISTAN SIM CARDS. THEY HAVE 25,000 PAKISTAN RUPEES AND PHONE NUMBERS OF RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS UPDATE: 0904z THE NAMES OF THE FOUR PAX ARE 1. HALIM 17 YOA 2. PEER MOHAMED 30 YOA …

  • PSYOPS
  • POTF-AF INTSUM 05 MAR 07 (MOD) 2007-03-04 18:00:00
    AFG: PSYOP, RC EAST, 0 casualties… ) Ghazni: Two suicide bombers from Pakistan are in Ghazni province, Afghanistan and will target district governors, police chiefs, and coalition forces. SPOT-THT10-0011-07 (DOI 20070304 DECL 20170304) (S …

Friday, 31 August 2007, 12:45
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 TEL AVIV 002652
SIPDIS
EO 12958 DECL: 08/24/2017
TAGS PREL, PTER, MARR, MASS, KNNP, UNSC, PK, IR, IZ, ZP”>ZP,
JO, EG, RS”>RS, CH, LE, SY, IS
SUBJECT: U/S BURNS’ AUGUST 17 MEETING WITH ISRAELI MOSSAD
CHIEF MEIR DAGAN

Classified By: Ambassador Richard H. Jones. Reasons: 1.4 (b)(d).
PAKISTAN: ISRAEL WORRIED ABOUT MUSHARRAF
—————————————–
16. (S) On Pakistan, Dagan said that President Musharraf is losing control, and that some of his coalition partners could threaten him in the future. The key question, Dagan said, is whether Musharraf retains his commander-in-chief role in addition to his role as president. If not, he will have problems. Dagan observed that there has been an increase in the number of attempts on Musharraf’s life, and wondered whether he will survive the next few years. Under Secretary Burns replied that South Asia has assumed vital importance in American foreign policy since September 11. The U.S. is committed to denying Afghanistan as a safe-haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda activity. The USG will continue to support Pakistani President Musharraf, and is seeking to boost his military defensive capabilities. At the same time, the U.S. is encouraging Pakistan and Afghanistan to work with each other militarily. Turning to India, Under Secretary Burns noted that U.S.-Indian economic cooperation is growing, and that the USG is working effectively to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden: creation of a folk hero in Pakistan OBL has been a bugbear for American officials in Pakistan since long before the 9/11 attacks. In 1999 the Islamabad embassy noted that Bin Laden posters were hitting the streets for just 30 cents – “a bit more than the cost of a sidewalk haircut”.

An Osama bin Laden ‘wanted’ poster distributed by the US after the bombing of its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on 7 August 1998. Photograph: AFP
The posters, officials wrote despairingly, were proving more popular than the US government’s “wanted” posters, which risked proving counter-productive. New wanted posters and matchboxes “may increase [Bin Laden]’s stature as a kind of folk hero”, they said.

Even the Taliban, “in sharp contrast with their ordinary execrable public relations performance”, was doing better than the US, the message continued. “We face a formidable foe among those churning out pro-Osama propaganda.”

The message urged Washington to consider a new raft of anti-Bin Laden propaganda through the Voice of America radio station, interviews with Bin Laden victims, “commissioned articles” in the local press and an anti-Bin Laden website.

“Although that would appear to be counterintuitive – that the masses don’t use the internet – almost all Islamic and Islamist groups do indeed have internet access and use it extensively.” (Source)
….

Pakistan Nuclear stand-off

The cables show US concern over radioactive material in nuclear power stations in Pakistan, with fears it could be used in terror attacks. They reveal the US has been attempting to remove highly enriched uranium from a research reactor in Pakistan since 2007.

In a May 2009 cable, US ambassador Anne W Patterson says Pakistan had refused a visit from US experts. She quotes a Pakistani officials as saying removing the fuel would be seen in Pakistan “as the United States taking Pakistan’s nuclear weapons”.

Saudi King on Pakistan, Iraq and Iran

The cables released by Wikileaks, the whistle-blower, disclose that aging monarch of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, as speaking scathingly about the leaders of Iraq and Pakistan. Speaking to another Iraqi official about Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, King Abdullah said, “You and Iraq are in my heart, but that man is not.” The king called President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan the greatest obstacle to that country’s progress. “When the head is rotten,” he said, “it affects the whole body.”

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme, according to leaked US diplomatic cables that describe how other Arab allies have secretly agitated for military action against Tehran. The revelations, in secret memos from US embassies across the Middle East, expose behind-the-scenes pressures in the scramble to contain the Islamic Republic, which the US, Arab states and Israel suspect is close to acquiring nuclear weapons. Bombing Iranian nuclear facilities has hitherto been viewed as a desperate last resort that could ignite a far wider war. The Saudi king was recorded as having “frequently exhorted the US to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons programme”, one cable stated. “He told you [Americans] to cut off the head of the snake,” the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir said, according to a report on Abdullah’s meeting with the US general David Petraeus in April 2008. (Source)

Report by daily Telegraph, UK (based on the July 2010 release of the Wikileaks)

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency retains links with militants to gain influence in the region. They are thought to have collaborated with terrorist leaders to order suicide bombings over the last six years. Vehicles were allegedly filled with explosives in Pakistan before being driven across the border into Afghanistan, sometimes with ISI collusion.

Wikileaks: Pakistan accused of helping Taliban in Afghanistan attacks
Pakistan has armed, trained and coordinated Taliban and al-Qaeda attacks in Afghanistan, according to the military reports.

The documents detail a 2006 meeting with senior Taliban leaders in which Pakistani officials pushed for an attack on Maruf, a district of Kandahar that lies beside the Pakistan border. An offensive began later that year.

The files also link active and retired ISI officers to some of the conflict’s most notorious leaders. According to the reports, in 2007, they sent also 1,000 motorbikes for use in suicide attacks.
The reports name former ISI chief General Hamid Gul as a go-between and claim he regularly met al-Qaeda and Taliban commanders to order suicide attacks.

In one classified “threat report”, Gul is described ordering magnetic mines to be planted in snow on roads used by military vehicles.
“Gul’s final comment to the three individuals was ‘make the snow warm in Kabul’ basically telling them to set Kabul aflame,” the report said.
Another accuses him of meeting Arab “elders” in Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt to plan a series of suicide bombings.

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  • US embassy cables: Diplomats bemoan Bin Laden’s ‘folk hero’ status

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    guardian.co.uk, Sunday 28 November 2010 20.25 GMT
    Article history
    Tuesday, 26 January 1999, 03:32
    C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ISLAMABAD 000495
    USIA
    FOR NEA, I/GNEA
    STATE FOR SA/PAB, D, PA
    EO 12958 DECL: 01/23/09
    TAGS PREL, PTER, KISL, PK, AF
    SUBJECT: PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: USAMA BIN LADIN
    REF: PESHAWAR 031

    Summary
    US officials in Pakistan urge the stepping up of the propaganda war in the press and online against Osama Bin Laden two years before 9/11. Key passage highlighted in yellow.

    Read related article
    1. CLASSIFIED BY PUBLIC DIPLOMACY COUNSELOR RICHARD HOAGLAND FOR REASONS 1.5(D)

    2. (C) SUMMARY: IT IS OUR IMPRESSION THAT THE USG IS NOT DOING AS WELL AS IT MIGHT PROJECTING PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ON USAMA BIN LADIN (UBL). WE WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT WASHINGTON CONSIDER A REVIEW OF THIS PUBLIC DIPLOMACY EFFORT. END SUMMARY.

    ———————

    PUBLIC OPINION TRENDS

    ———————

    2. (C) WE NOTE THE FOLLOWING PUBLIC OPINION TRENDS:

    — THE PRO-TALIBAN AL-RASHID TRUST IN KARACHI CONTINUES TO CHURN OUT PRO-UBL — AND CORRESPONDINGLY ANTI-U.S./ANTI-WESTERN — BOOKS, NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, AND POSTERS IN URDU, ENGLISH, AND AFGHAN LANGUAGES AT NOMINAL COST OR FOR FREE DISTRIBUTION. E.G., THE TRUST RECENTLY INTRODUCED A 3′ X 2′ FOUR- COLOR PRO-UBL POSTER WITH PHOTOS, MAPS, AND IDEOLOGICAL TEXTS AVAILABLE FOR 15 RUPEES, ABOUT 30 CENTS — JUST A BIT MORE THAN THE COST OF A SIDEWALK HAIRCUT. THIS POSTER BEAT THE USG’S UBL “WANTED” POSTER TO THE STREET.

    — WE FREQUENTLY HEAR REPORTS THAT SOME IN THE LOWER-MIDDLE AND LOWER CLASSES, BOTH URBAN AND RURAL, CONSIDER UBL AN ISLAMIC HERO BECAUSE THE U.S. HAS NAMED HIM “PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE.” THAT SAID, IT’S OUR IMPRESSION THAT THE MAJORITY OF MUSLIMS, AT LEAST IN PAKISTAN, DO NOT NECESSARILY SUPPORT THIS VIEW. THE PENDING USG DISTRIBUTION OF UBL “WANTED” POSTERS AND MATCHBOOKS IN PAKISTAN MAY INCREASE UBL’S STATURE AS A KIND OF FOLK HERO.

    — U.S. AND BRITISH EFFORTS TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN TERRORISTS, LIKE BIN LADIN, AND “GOOD MUSLIMS” ARE SOMETIMES PORTRAYED IN THE MEDIA AND BY RELIGIOUS FIGURES IN THEIR WRITINGS AND SERMONS AS ATTEMPTS TO DIVIDE ALL MUSLIMS BY CO-OPTING WESTERNIZED — MEANING (TO THEM) “MORALLY CORRUPT” — MODERATES. (NOTE: THIS REPRESENTS THE PHILOSOPHICALLY ROMANTIC VIEW THAT ISLAM PER SE ERASES ALL DIVISIONS, THAT THE MUSLIM UMMAH IS “ONE,” AND THAT AN ATTACK ON ONE IS AN ATTACK ON ALL. END NOTE.)

    — IN SHARP CONTRAST TO THEIR ORDINARY EXECRABLE PUBLIC RELATIONS PERFORMANCE ON THE BIN LADEN QUESTION, THE TALIBAN HAVE PRE- EMPTED US CONSISTENTLY SINCE AUGUST, FIRST BY ANNOUNCING THEIR WILLINGNESS TO HAVE AFGHANISTAN;S SUPREME COURT EXAMINE THE CHARGES AGAINST BIN LADIN AND THEN BY ANNOUNCING THAT NO “EVIDENCE” (BY WHICH THEY MEANT HARD FACTS IN PROOF OF THE CHARGES) HAD BEEN PRESENTED. OUR RESPONSE IN EACH CASE WAS MUTED AND DELAYED. CONTINUING THIS TREND ON THE TALIBAN’S PART, EARLY IN JANUARY, THE TALIBAN SPONSORED A SEMINAR IN KABUL, REPORTED BY RADIO SHARIA, ON THE LIFE, TIMES, AND THOUGHTS OF UBL (REFTEL).

    — ACCORDING TO RECENT PRESS REPORTS, PAKISTANI TALIBS WHO HAVE SERVED IN AFGHANISTAN, ALONG WITH AFGHAN TALIBS, ARE BEGINNING TO ENFORCE THEIR DOGMAS AND SOCIAL CONTROLS IN PAKISTAN’S TRIBAL TERRITORIES AND IN SOME PLACES IN BALOCHISTAN AND NWFP PROVINCES. ALSO, LAST WEEK, THE GOP ENFORCED ISLAMIC LAW BY DECREE IN MALAKAND DIVISION AND IN A PART OF KOHISTAN. ALTHOUGH THESE DEVELOPMENTS ARE RELATIVELY ISOLATED AS YET, THEY SUGGEST A DISTURBING TREND. INDEED, THE FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE PAKISTANI CONSTITUTION ESTABLISHING SHARIA AS THE SUPREME LAW OF PAKISTAN — AN AVOWEDLY HIGH PRIORITY OF THE NAWAZ SHARIF GOVERNMENT — HAS BEEN PASSED BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND IS PENDING BEFORE THE SENATE.

    ——————–

    WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

    ——————–

    4. (C) WE ARE UNLIKELY EVER TO MAKE MUCH INROAD WITH UBL’S HARD-CORE SUPPORTERS BECAUSE THEY ARE TRUE-BELIEVER ABSOLUTISTS AND TEND TO THINK AND REACT LARGELY EMOTIONALLY: FACTS ARE LESS IMPORTANT TO THEM THAN EMOTIONS. THEY ARE NOT OPEN TO PERSUASION. FURTHER, WE FACE A FORMIDABLE FOE AMONG THOSE WHO ARE CHURNING OUT AND WIDELY DISSEMINATING PRO-UBL PROPAGANDA AND TAKING OTHER ACTIVE MEASURES.

    5. (C) HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A LARGE MIDDLE GROUND, IN PAKISTAN AND IN AFGHANISTAN, WHICH IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY ANTI- U.S./ANTI-WESTERN AND WHICH IS NOT IDEOLOGICALLY COMMITTED TO UBL AND HIS PAN- ISLAMIST REVOLUTION. THIS MIDDLE GROUND, SOMEWHAT SUSCEPTIBLE TO REASON, OR AT LEAST TO OTHER INFORMATION, SHOULD BE OUR PRIMARY TARGET. THE MESSAGE CRAFTED FOR THEM WOULD ALSO BE WELCOMED BY THE EDUCATED, WESTWARD- LOOKING ELITE OF BOTH PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN WHO FEEL THREATENED BY UBL’S ADVOCACY OF VIOLENCE AND THEOLOGICAL OBSCURANTISM.

    6. (C) THE FOCUS OF ANY ENHANCED USG PUBLIC DIPLOMACY EFFORT SHOULD BE TO PORTRAY UBL AND OTHERS AROUND HIM AS CRIMINALS, BOTH BY INTERNATIONAL AND BY ISLAMIC STANDARDS. WHERE POSSIBLE, RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MOVEMENT “AL-QAIDA” SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED, NOT JUST UBL AS AN INDIVIDUAL.

    — WHEN WE FOCUS ON BIN LADIN, AND ESPECIALLY FOR AFGHAN CONSUMPTION, WE SHOULD MAKE THREE POINTS: 1) THE U.S. IS NOT AGAINST AFGHANISTAN AND THE AFGHAN PEOPLE, 2) THE U.S. IS NOT AGAINST ANY PARTICULAR AFGHAN POLITICAL FACTION, AND 3) THE U.S. WANTS UBL EXPELLED FROM AFGHANISTAN TO A PLACE WHERE HE CAN BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.

    — THE BROADER PUBLIC DIPLOMACY EFFORT COULD INCLUDE, TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, A “CHARGE SHEET” OF THE CRIMES COMMITTED BY UBL, BY HIS CLOSEST ASSOCIATES, AND BY HIS FOLLOWERS, NOTING THE FACT THAT MANY OF THEIR VICTIMS HAVE BEEN MUSLIMS OF VARIOUS NATIONALITIES.

    — RECOGNIZING THE NEED TO PROTECT SOURCES AND METHODS AND NOT TO COMPROMISE ON-GOING INVESTIGATIONS AND JUDICIAL PROCESSES, WE SHOULD BE FORTHCOMING TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE ABOUT THE DETAILS OF THE NAIROBI AND DAR ES SALAAM BOMBINGS, AS WELL AS ABOUT UBL’S AND HIS MOVEMENT’S OTHER CRIMES.

    — THIS INTENSIFIED PUBLIC DIPLOMACY EFFORT SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE VALIDATION FROM ISLAMIC SOURCES THAT THESE CRIMES ARE INDEED RECOGNIZED AS CRIMES UNDER ISLAM. RATHER THAN STATEMENTS BY U.S.- OR UK-BASED ISLAMIC SCHOLARS, IT WOULD BE MORE EFFECTIVE TO USE THE TEACHINGS AND PUBLIC STATEMENTS OF MAJOR ISLAMIC SCHOLARS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS FROM SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, AND ELSEWHERE. IN SELECTING/ELICITING SUCH CITATIONS, IT SHOULD BE KEPT IN MIND THAT UBL AND THE PAN- ISLAMISTS DISMISS SAUDI ARABIA AND EGYPT AS ONLY NOMINALLY ISLAMIC STATES CAPTIVE TO U.S.-TOADYING, DESPOTIC, AND APOSTATE LEADERS.

    — KEEPING IN MIND THAT IN HIS DECEMBER 23 INTERVIEW UBL JUSTIFIED KILLING MUSLIMS IN HIS JIHAD AGAINST “CRUSADERS AND JEWS,” AND RECOGNIZING THE EMOTIONAL ASPECT OF OUR TARGET AUDIENCE, WE SHOULD PREPARE FOR DISSEMINATION MORE HUMAN INTEREST STORIES OF UBL’S VICTIMS, ESPECIALLY HIS MUSLIM VICTIMS OF VARIOUS NATIONALITIES. U.S. MEDIA REPORTS OF BLINDED KENYANS, FOR EXAMPLE, RECEIVED GOOD COVERAGE IN THE PAKISTANI PRINT MEDIA.

    7. (7) EFFECTIVE METHODS WOULD NATURALLY INCLUDE THE TRADITIONAL USG PUBLIC DIPLOMACY TOOLS: VOA LANGUAGE SERVICES, INCLUDING INTERVIEWS WITH UBL’S MUSLIM VICTIMS; CAREFULLY TARGETED WORLDNET INTERACTIVES; WIRELESS-FILE TEXTS AND FACT SHEETS FOR TRANSLATION INTO LOCAL LANGUAGES; AND COMMISSIONED ARTICLES FOR PRESS PLACEMENT.

    8. (C) CONSIDERATION COULD ALSO BE GIVEN TO PRODUCTION OF A BOOKLET IN LOCAL LANGUAGES ON THE CRIMES OF BIN LADIN AND HIS ASSOCIATES, ALONG WITH VICTIMS’ STORIES, FOR NON- CONVENTIONAL DISTRIBUTION IN MOSQUES, MADRASSAS, ISLAMIC STUDY CENTERS, ISLAMIA DEPARTMENTS OF UNIVERSITIES, AND BOOKSTORES.

    9. (C) A NON-USG-IDENTIFIED WEB SITE COULD ALSO BE CREATED TO POST THE ABOVE MATERIAL AND THE URL WIDELY DISTRIBUTED. ALTHOUGH THIS WOULD APPEAR TO BE COUNTER-INTUITIVE — THAT THE MASSES DON’T USE THE INTERNET — ALMOST ALL ISLAMIC AND ISLAMIST GROUPS DO INDEED HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AND USE IT EXTENSIVELY.

    HOAGLAND

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/987

  • Wikileaks on Pakistan
    NOV 28, 2010 15:58 EST

    AFGHANISTAN | INDIA | IRAN | NUCLEAR | PAKISTAN | SAUDI ARABIA | UNITED STATES
    In the State Department cables released by Wikileaks and so far reported, the most eye-catching as far as Pakistan is concerned is a row with Washington over nuclear fuel.

    According to the New York Times, the cables show:

    “A dangerous standoff with Pakistan over nuclear fuel: Since 2007, the United States has mounted a highly secret effort, so far unsuccessful, to remove from a Pakistani research reactor highly enriched uranium that American officials fear could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device. In May 2009, Ambassador Anne W. Patterson reported that Pakistan was refusing to schedule a visit by American technical experts because, as a Pakistani official said, “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 Pakistan Army is deeply sensitive about any questions on the safety of its nuclear weapons. The country is also often awash with conspiracy theories accusing the Americans of harbouring secret plans to dismantle the nuclear weapons.

    That said, the row reported by the NYT appeared to have been about HEU at a nuclear research reactor rather than the weapons themselves, so it may turn out to be less dramatic than it appears. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are considered to be well-guarded although analysts have cited a risk of militants trying to seize nuclear material which they might use to make a dirty bomb. (For a factbox on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, see here).

    Of potentially huge significance for Pakistan are cables, reported in The Guardian, saying that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme.

    “The Saudi king was recorded as having ‘frequently exhorted the US to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons programme’, one cable stated. ‘He told you [Americans] to cut off the head of the snake,’ the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir said, according to a report on Abdullah’s meeting with the US general David Petraeus in April 2008.” The Guardian reported.

    Pakistan has traditionally had a very close relationship with Saudi Arabia. But it has also been building bridges with Iran, whose cooperation it needs to secure a settlement in Afghanistan.

    Rival India earned Tehran’s opprobrium by voting against it at the International Atomic Energy Agency over its nuclear programme. Though India has since been trying to repair the damage it does not seem to have got very far, since Iran has started speaking out publicly about Kashmir – angering New Delhi, which dislikes outside interference in Kashmir as much as Pakistan welcomes it. India has meanwhile been trying to improve its own relationship with Saudi Arabia.

    Well worth watching how Pakistan and India handle their relationships with Saudi Arabia and Iran in the event of heightening tension between the two.

    The New York Times also quoted cables showing King Abdullah speaking scathingly about President Asif Ali Zardari.

    The king called President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan the greatest obstacle to that country’s progress. ‘When the head is rotten,” it quoted the him as saying “‘it affects the whole body.’”

    Meanwhile there might be more later in the details on U.S. distrust of Pakistan. But that is hardly new.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/11/28/wikileaks-on-pakistan/

  • http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-wikileaks-iran-20101129,0,4288707.story

    Reporting from Beirut — Leaders of the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula monarchies repeatedly have beseeched the United States to attack Iran and take out its nuclear facilities, according to a series of classified diplomatic cables released to news organizations by the website Wikileaks.

    King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia and King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, were among the Arab leaders lobbying the U.S. for an attack on Iran. One Saudi official reminded Americans that the king had repeatedly asked them to “cut off the head of the snake” before it was too late.

    “That program must be stopped,” one Nov. 4, 2009, cable quotes Khalifa as telling Gen. David H. Petraeus, then head of U.S. Central Command. “The danger of letting it go is greater than the danger of stopping it.”

  • اسی طرح تئیس جولائی دو ہزار نو کے ایک دستاویز میں ابو ظہبی کے ولی عہد محمد بن زید کا کہنا ہے ’زرداری بدعنوان ہے لیکن خطرناک نہیں۔ اس کے مقابلے میں نواز شریف خطرناک ہے بدعنوان نہیں۔یہ پاکستان کی سیاست ہے۔ نواز شریف پر وعدہ نبھانے کا بھروسہ نہیں کیا جا سکتا۔‘

    ایک دستاویز میں پاکستان ایٹمی پروگرام کے حوالے سے کہا گیا ہے کہ امریکہ نے سنہ دو ہزار سات سے پاکستان کا افزودہ یورینیئم اپنے قبضے میں لینے کا ایک خفیہ منصوبہ بنایا ہوا ہے۔ تاہم یہ منصوبہ ابھی تک کامیاب نہیں ہوا ہے۔ امریکی حکام کو ڈر ہے کہ یہ افزودہ یورینیئم غلط ہاتھوں میں جا سکتا ہے۔
    اس دستاویز کے مطابق ولی عہد نے کہا کہ ایک نئی شخصیت پاکستان میں سامنے آ سکتی ہے لیکن اس وقت تک متحدہ عرب امارات وزیر اعظم کی حایت جاری رکھے گا۔

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2010/11/101129_wikileaks_pakistan_zardari_nawaz_rh.shtml

  • This level of detail is hilarious. I wonder if the poor rickshaw walla is in Gitmo or is he in an ISI’s safe house in Sadda?

    سنہ دو ہزار نو مئی میں اس وقت کی امریکی سفارتکار این ڈبلیو پیٹرسن نے ایک خفیہ دستاویز میں کہا

    اس پیغام میں یہ بھی کہا گیا ہے کہ لاہور میں امریکی قونصل خانے کے باہر گھومنے والے رکشہ ڈرائیور کے بارے میں یہ معلوم نہیں ہے کہ آیا وہ اپنے کرائے کا انتظار کر رہا ہے یا قونصل خانے کی طرف جانے والی سڑک کی نگرانی کر رہا ہے۔

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2010/11/101129_wikileaks_pakistan_zardari_nawaz_rh.shtml

  • US embassy cables: XXXXXXXXXXXX PROVIDES GRIM ASSESSMENT OF SITUATION IN THE NWFP AND FATA

    Share

    guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 November 2010 21.30 GMT
    Article history
    S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 PESHAWAR 000002
    SIPDIS
    E.O. 12958: DECL: 1/3/2019 TAGS: PTER, MOPS, ASEC, PGOV, PK SUBJECT: XXXXXXXXXXXX PROVIDES GRIM ASSESSMENT OF SITUATION IN THE NWFP AND FATA
    CLASSIFIED BY: Michael A. Via, Acting Principal Officer, Peshawar, Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d) Summary

    Summary
    Pakistani officials from the tribal areas discuss the gravity of the situation in their region. They say nearly all girls schools will be closed by January 2009, adding that the central government does not understand the extend of the threat posed by the Taliban. They offer private support for CIA Predator attacks.
    Read relevant article
    – – – –

    1. (C) A senior Federally Administered Tribal Areas official told Acting Principal Officer (APO) that nearly all girls’ schools in the FATA would be closed by the January 15, 2009 deadline set by militants; since then, the militants have relented marginally and allowed girls to attend school up to grade four. XXXXXXXXXXXX believes the GOP has given up on Swat, Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) for now. The current Khyber operation was launched to counter local militants who had set up operations near Peshawar as well as to secure truck convoys.

    2. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX said he believes the GOP does not understand the gravity of the situation in FATA. The predominantly Shi’a town of Hangu may be attacked by Sunni militants during Muharam celebrations. He believes that if the taliban began to control the NWFP, they could not administer it and XXXXXXXXXXXX might need to join their ranks just to survive. XXXXXXXXXXXX’s assessment is less hopeful than most of post’s contacts but accurately reflects a growing pessimism and frustration among some concerning the future of the FATA and NWFP. End Summary.

    3. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX provided his assessment of the situation in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) XXXXXXXXXXXX

    Closure Of Girls Schools?

    ————————-

    4. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX said some girls schools will likely try to remain technically open after the January 15 deadline set my militants for their closure. However, the practical effect will be that almost all government girls’ schools and probably all private girls’ schools in the FATA will either close or have no students attending them. He said this was because of the widespread fear of the taliban XXXXXXXXXXXX. (Note: Since this meeting, the local militants have agreed to allow girls to attend school up to grade four.)

    Troop Redeployments

    ———————

    5. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX stated that the decision to pull troops out of Swat was less about needed troops on the border with India as alleged in the press and more about a decision by the GOP to “give up on Swat for now.” He asserted “we have given the taliban the north of Swat, so why not give them the city of Mingora too.” XXXXXXXXXXXX who has only anecdotal information about other troop pullouts from FATA and the NWFP, opined that these would likely be “token as a show of force for the India situation.”

    Khyber Operation – FATA A Priority?

    ———————————–

    6. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX stated what other post contacts have told us, namely the current operation in Khyber was about more than simply insuring the safety of truck convoys between Peshawar and Torkham. Local unnamed militants had set up kidnapping for ransom operations near Peshawar to fund their operations. He claimed funding operations through kidnapping had become a major source of revenue for the taliban in FATA, where previously they had relied more on “outside funding.” He reasoned that this was an indication that the militancy had become a true insurgency that had wider implications for Pakistan outside the NWFP, but the GOP in Islamabad did not appreciate the gravity of the situation. He asserted that “FATA as a federal priority has dropped of the list since the India situation has come to light.”

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    North Waziristan Location Of Hostages?

    ————————————–

    7. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX—————-

    8. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX said he wanted to say in an unofficial capacity that he and many others could accept Predator strikes as they were surgical and clearly hitting high value targets. He mentioned that fear among the local populace in areas where the strikes have been occurring was lessening because “everyone knew that they only hit the house or location of very bad people.” He wondered why the strikes did not seem to target more of the taliban which he reasoned was needed. He said “our house is on fire and we need to take drastic actions.”

    In Camera Session And ISI

    ————————-

    9. (S) XXXXXXXXXXXX confided that ISI, (Note: Pakistan’s military intelligence. End note), during the in camera session of the parliament recently, had briefed lawmakers and senior GOP officials concerning the virtues of some taliban elements versus the “real militants.” They reasoned small numbers from some of the militant groups could be useful in future operations in Kashmir or elsewhere. XXXXXXXXXXXX said although not everyone present agreed with the assertion it was this line of reasoning that contributed to his fear of the future.

    The Future

    ———-

    10. (C) The future, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX, was likely to include an attack by Sunni militants on the predominantly Shi’a town of Hangu during the Muharam celebrations. (Note. After Kurram, Orakzai Agency, where Hangu serves as the administrative headquarters, has the second highest concentration of Shi’a in the region, at almost 10 per cent. End note.)

    11. (C) In six to twelve months, XXXXXXXXXXXX predicted, a lack of focus from Islamabad could leave the taliban in control of both FATA and NWFP. If that happened, the taliban would need help administering the area. He said the prospect was causing him and others to begin to figure out how to individually survive the coming taliban. He said “for one I am thinking that the taliban could capture the NWFP but they don’t know how to administer it so they might need administrators like me and I might have to join the taliban at some point to just survive.”

    Comment

    – – – –

    12. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX’s concerns for the future are not widely expressed by other post contacts, at least not in the dark terms he describes, but accurately reflect a growing pessimism and frustration concerning the future of the FATA and NWFP. Most view the current deteriorating security situation as reversible; for example, XXXXXXXXXXXX is hopeful of being able to defeat the militants in the short term. Others point to the relative successes of recent engagements in Bajaur to support their view that the GOP can turn the tide in both the short and long term.

    13. (C) The new level of pessimism from XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Nevertheless, it is disturbing that XXXXXXXXXXXX believes the militants are winning in both FATA and NWFP. VIA

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/185598

  • Thursday, 19 February 2009, 16:17
    S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 06 ISLAMABAD 000365
    SIPDIS
    EO 12958 DECL: 08/04/2018
    TAGS PREL, PTER, PGOV, MOPS, MARR, EAID, PK
    SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR GENERAL KAYANI’S VISIT TO
    WASHINGTON
    Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d)

    3. (C) But we need to lay down a clear marker that Pakistan’s Army/ISI must stop overt or tacit support for militant proxies (Haqqani network, Commander Nazir, Lashkar-e-Taiba). We should preface that conversation with an agreement to open a new page in relations; Kayani, who was ISI Chief from 2004-2007, does not want a reckoning with the past. Given the GOP surrender of Swat to local taliban, we need to press Kayani to commit his now reluctant Army to retake the area after the “peace deal” inevitably fails.

    The Big Strategic Questions

    —————————

    11. (S) Zardari and Gilani agree that Pakistan’s biggest threat comes from a growing militant insurgency on the Pak-Afghan border. The military and ISI have not yet made that leap; they still view India as their principle threat and Afghanistan as strategic depth in a possible conflict with India. They continue to provide overt or tacit support for proxy forces (including the Haqqani group, Commander Nazir, Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, and Lashkar-e-Taiba) as a foreign policy tool.

    12. (S) The single biggest message Kayani should hear in Washington is that this support must end. It is now counterproductive to Pakistan’s own interests and directly conflicts with USG objectives in Afghanistan–where Haqqani is killing American soldiers and Afghan civilians–and the region–where Mumbai exposed the fruits of previous ISI policy to create Lashkar-e-Taiba and still threatens potential conflict between nuclear powers.

    13. (S) Kayani will want to hear that the U.S. has turned the page on past ISI operations (he was ISI chief from 2004-2007). We should ask for his views on what political end state in Afghanistan would convince him to end proxy support for militants and probe for what would be required by India to allow him to redeploy forces from the Indian border for the fight in FATA. The reality is that, without a redeployment, he does not have the forces (however poorly trained) to combat the insurgency in FATA.

    Pakistani Will. . . .

    ———————

    14. (C) The good news is that the Army/Frontier Corps are engaged in combat in Bajaur and Mohmand, FATA. Zardari is committed to the fight; he knows that Osama bin Laden has publicly targeted Pakistan and admits “the militants are

    ISLAMABAD 00000365 003 OF 006

    after me and my job.” The bad news is that the militants increasingly are setting the agenda.

    15. (C) The government’s anti-terrorism strategy is based on “dialogue, deterrence and development;” however, it lacks the military capacity to deter militants and the financial resources to develop the FATA and NWFP. Its historic fallback has been to play for time by conducting negotiations with militants, a disastrous tactic that only has made the extremists stronger. The government insists it will negotiate with tribal leaders but not with militants.

    16. (C) However, in the latest agreement in Swat (once a tourist resort approximately 90 miles from Islamabad), the provincial government agreed to negotiate for peace in exchange for imposition of Shari’a law with the Taliban. This was recognition of de-facto Taliban control, which produced beheadings, closure of girls’ schools, a growing exodus of terrified citizens, and the desertion of outgunned and outmanned police. Ham-handed military tactics, which included indiscriminate artillery bombardment, have further alienated a population that simply wants the fighting to end. Under international pressure, Zardari has not yet signed off on the deal pending assurances it really will deliver peace; a similar negotiation in 2008 failed.

    17. (C) Kayani, who supported the Swat deal, will argue that he does not have the forces to battle on multiple fronts, so he is picking his battles and negotiating to preserve later options. We should push back hard, noting that it will be difficult for international donors to support a government that is not prepared to go all-out to defend its own territory.

    . . .vs Capability

    ——————

    18. (S) Now absorbing combat losses against formidable militants, Pakistan’s Frontier Corps (FC) and military finally have begun to accept more USG training and assistance in support of counter-insurgency (COIN). Kayani will appreciate U.S. recognition of the casualties his men have suffered, and this is an opening we should exploit to press for expanded FC and special forces (SSG) training. Kayani remains leery of too large a USG military footprint in Pakistan, but to win he must be able to fight without creating the level of civilian casualties his forces’ blind artillery and F-16 bombardments are now producing. We are responding to Pakistan Air Force requests for Close Air Support training to improve the precision of F-16s they are using in FATA. We should probe for the possible introduction of U.S. military observers/advisors to improve the COIN capability of this 1940’s force.

    19. (S) Kayani will repeat his requests for increased intelligence sharing, notably SIGINT, in support of ongoing military operations in FATA. Pakistan has agreed to build additional tripartite Border Coordination Centers (BCCs), and this month we will expand real-time tactical/target-focused intelligence sharing through the Torkham BCC. We continue to work on delivering Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aerial capability (two B350-ERs) that Kayani has raised with all his high-level visitors.

    20. (C) The Bush administration’s commitment to provide Pakistan with $300 million annually in FMF expires in 2009, and we need to come to agreement with Pakistan on how to restructure its FMF program to meet its long-term COIN needs. The Pakistan military has requested $1B per year for five years (FY10-14) in FMF.

    21. (C) Kayani may request additional U.S. support for Pakistan’s F-16 program, the flagship symbol of post-9/11 re-engagement. We are about to send to Congress notification for an additional $142 million in FMF support for one part of this complex program. But we do not believe Pakistan can afford to complete a $2 billion plus program to buy 18 new F-16s, upgrade 35 older aircraft, upgrade a new base, and fund a munitions package. Given the funding and production

    ISLAMABAD 00000365 004 OF 006

    line implications of either bailing out the GOP or canceling the program, U.S. agencies are reviewing our options.

    22. (C) We could not agree more with Kayani on the need to modernize Pakistan’s helicopter fleet; on any given day, they have perhaps 2-3 attack helos flying in support of COIN operations. We now are delivering spare parts for their Cobra and Bell 412s, overhauling and upgrading their MI-17s, and assessing ways to improve overall helicopter maintenance.

    U.S. Strikes

    ————

    23. (S) As recent media reports indicate, the U.S. has eliminated 10 of the top 20 al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan over the last year. However, the strikes have put increasing political pressure on the Pakistani government, which has struggled to explain why it is allowing an ally to violate its sovereignty. The GOP so far has denied recent media reports alleging that the U.S. is launching the strikes from bases in Pakistan. Kayani knows full well that the strikes have been precise (creating few civilian casualties) and targeted primarily at foreign fighters in the Waziristans. He will argue, however, that they undermine his campaign plan, which is to keep the Waziristans quiet until the Army is capable of attacking Baitullah Mehsud and other militants entrenched there. In recent meetings with Special Representative Holbrooke, a variety of Pakistani interlocutors (and now the press) suggested that the U.S. work jointly with Pakistan and target Mehsud or other militants who are killing Pakistanis.

    Afghanistan

    ———–

    24. (C) Pakistan-NATO/Afghan cooperation and coordination across the border has improved dramatically in recent months. This includes exchanges of tactical intelligence that allows NATO forces to block passes in support of Pakistani operations and has helped lower attacks on U.S./NATO forces. In recent meetings with ISAF Commander McKiernan, Kayani raised concern about the effect of a U.S. troop build-up in southern Afghanistan, which could push militants and refugees across the border into Balochistan and prompt an influx of foreign fighters. Pakistan currently has only one Army brigade and perhaps 15 Frontier Corps wings stationed along the vast and largely unpopulated Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan.

    25. (C) Following embarrassing militant attacks on U.S./NATO convoys last year, Pakistan has made efforts to secure Khyber Agency/Torkham Gate, through which U.S./NATO trucks deliver 30% of the fuel and 80% of the dry goods for our forces in Afghanistan. The troop surge will require us to send additional supplies through the Chaman (Balochistan) border crossing in Afghanistan; CENTCOM is now evaluating ways to improve delivery of supplies through Pakistan.

    Bio Notes

    ———

    29. (U) General Ashfaq Kayani was born in Punjab in 1952, grew up in a working-class family and is the son of a former junior officer. He was commissioned in the Pakistan Army after graduating from the Pakistan Military Academy in 1971. His long career has included command at every level from Company to Corps. He has served in key staff positions, to include Military Assistant to the Prime Minister under Benazir Bhutto from 1988-1990, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), 2000-2003, Director General, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) from 2004-2007, and Vice Chief of Army Staff in 2007. In November 2007, he became Chief of Army Staff (COAS). He is the only officer ever to have served as both DG-ISI and COAS. His term as DGMO coincided with the intense military standoff with India of 2001-2002.

    30. (C) C) In interactions with post, Kayani is often direct, frank, and thoughtful. He has fond memories of his IMET training at Fort Leavenworth and values his personal relationships, particularly with U.S. military leaders. Kayani is married and the father of two children, a son and a

    ISLAMABAD 00000365 006 OF 006

    daughter. An avid golfer, he is President of the Pakistan Golf Association. He smokes heavily and can be difficult to understand as he tends to mumble.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/192895

  • Campaign Desk — November 29, 2010 12:23 PM
    Spy vs. Spy
    Times and Guardian differ on WikiLeaks “spying” revelations

    By Joel Meares

    The New York Times copped flak in October for what some perceived to be a watered-down reporting of the WikiLeaks Iraq war logs dump and an accompanying negative profile of WikiLeaks front man Julian Assange. Salon’s Glenn Greenwald led the charge, calling the Times’s reporting and its decision not to highlight America’s blind-eye treatment of Iraqi torture “government subservient” and “sleazy.”

    The fire is likely to continue today when critics dig into the Times’s package on the latest WikiDump: 250,000 leaked state department cables showing, among other things, that the U.S. had ordered diplomats to effectively spy on high-level U.N. figures. And yet the Times, once more, makes milquetoast of what should be a brawny, pin-you-back-in-your-seat report. (Previous treatments might explain why WikiLeaks did not give its cables directly to the Times in this latest leak).

    The Guardian, which among those publications given early access to the organization’s leaks has so far provided the most aggressive and outraged coverage of the three WikiLeaks dumps, highlighted the development in a report from Robert Booth and Julian Borger titled “US diplomats spied on UN leadership.” The first three paragraphs are full of punch and revelation. Check out the lede (our emphasis):

    Washington is running a secret intelligence campaign targeted at the leadership of the United Nations, including the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon and the permanent security council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

    A classified directive which appears to blur the line between diplomacy and spying was issued to US diplomats under Hillary Clinton’s name in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks for official communications.

    It called for detailed biometric information “on key UN officials, to include undersecretaries, heads of specialised agencies and their chief advisers, top SYG [secretary general] aides, heads of peace operations and political field missions, including force commanders” as well as intelligence on Ban’s “management and decision-making style and his influence on the secretariat”. A parallel intelligence directive sent to diplomats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi said biometric data included DNA, fingerprints and iris scans.
    The reporters suggest—though, to be fair, it is more speculation than evidence-backed reporting—that such information could be used for further spying. “The level of technical and personal detail demanded about the UN top team’s communication systems could be seen as laying the groundwork for surveillance or hacking operations,” write Booth and Borger. “It requested ‘current technical specifications, physical layout and planned upgrades to telecommunications infrastructure and information systems, networks and technologies used by top officials and their support staff’, as well as details on private networks used for official communication, ‘to include upgrades, security measures, passwords, personal encryption keys and virtual private network versions used’.” And Booth and Borger include a graf to explain the potential illegality of the UN spying directive.

    The UN has previously asserted that bugging the secretary general is illegal, citing the 1946 UN convention on privileges and immunities which states: “The premises of the United Nations shall be inviolable. The property and assets of the United Nations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by executive, administrative, judicial or legislative action”.
    Der Spiegel ran a similarly outraged piece, which talks of “Clinton’s wish list” of information from the UN. And many of the same details can be found in a Times report by Mark Mazzetti, “U.S. Expands Role of Diplomats in Spying.” However, the details in the Times report are, once again, watered down and diluted into a story that runs with a different, and softer, angle. Rather than focusing on the directive to spy on UN officials, the Times focuses on the new expectations placed on diplomats and state department personnel to involve themselves in increased intelligence gathering. A story? For sure. But the story here? The Times piece feels like a buried lede in need of a thorough edit.

    The United States has expanded the role of American diplomats in collecting intelligence overseas and at the United Nations, ordering State Department personnel to gather the credit card and frequent-flier numbers, work schedules and other personal information of foreign dignitaries.

    Revealed in classified State Department cables, the directives, going back to 2008, appear to blur the traditional boundaries between statesmen and spies.

    The cables give a laundry list of instructions for how State Department employees can fulfill the demands of a “National Humint Collection Directive.” (“Humint” is spy-world jargon for human intelligence collection.) One cable asks officers overseas to gather information about “office and organizational titles; names, position titles and other information on business cards; numbers of telephones, cellphones, pagers and faxes,” as well as “internet and intranet ‘handles’, internet e-mail addresses, web site identification-URLs; credit card account numbers; frequent-flier account numbers; work schedules, and other relevant biographical information.”
    The Times report does provide some context that the Guardian’s lacks, such as how information has been used in the past, and could be used in the future.

    The cables… provide no evidence that American diplomats are actively trying to steal the secrets of foreign countries, work that is traditionally the preserve of spy agencies….the more intrusive personal information diplomats are now being asked to gather could be used by the National Security Agency for data mining and surveillance operations. A frequent-flier number, for example, could be used to track the travel plans of foreign officials.
    But the revelation that the U.S. sought to gather information about UN officials as senior as Ban Ki-moon is left to the thirteenth paragraph of an eighteen paragraph story. And no explanation is given as to what “biometric information” might be involved—the Guardian reveals it includes DNA and iris scans through cross-referencing cables. Here is what the Times offers on the UN information-gathering.

    One of the cables, signed by Mrs. Clinton, lists information-gathering priorities to the American staff at the United Nations in New York, including “biographic and biometric information on ranking North Korean diplomats.”

    While several treaties prohibit spying at the United Nations, it is an open secret that countries try nevertheless. In one 2004 episode, a British official revealed that the United States and Britain eavesdropped on Secretary General Kofi Annan in the weeks before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
    One could argue that the Times’s choice of angle is a concession to a local audience; that readers will be more interested in expanded roles for diplomats than security threats to the UN. But as other outlets have noted, the U.S. could potentially be in violation of a UN convention—and that is a story that could, would, and should rile, or at least interest, the average Times reader.

    And while it’s understandable for the Times to offer, as they do above, past examples of “spying” on the UN for context, it reads as an excuse tacked on to an aside which should have been the lede. Yes, officer, I was speeding, but two miles down the road I saw somebody else speeding. It’s a newspaper’s job to provide context, but not to provide excuses, regardless of whether violations are an open secret or not. The very value of the WikiLeaks dumps is that such open secrets become open to those outside of reporter/diplomat bubbles and that their keepers are held accountable. Some papers appear to be doing this better than others.

    http://www.cjr.org/campaign_desk/spy_vs_spy.php?page=all

  • What the Arab papers say
    Nov 30th 2010, 17:25 by The Economist online

    THE Middle East is at the centre of this week’s controversy over WikiLeaks, an international publishing service for whistle-blowers. Among the revelations to emerge from the 250,000 diplomatic American cables that have been leaked, the details of secret meetings between high-ranking American diplomats and Arab leaders (particularly discussing the topic of Iran’s apparent nuclear aspirations) make compelling reading.

    The region’s press has been cautious in its coverage of the documents. Although many newspapers have reported the leak, most were hesitant in revealing details of claims made in the cables, preferring to discuss the themes of the leak in more general terms.

    Tarek al-Homayad, editor-in-chief of al-Sharq al-Awsat, a leading Saudi-owned, pan-Arab daily, portrayed the leaks as a crisis for America and called into question the accuracy and relevance of the reports:

    We must take care that not everything written by the American embassies is fact; some of these reports have been taken out of context. Some contain analysis and reporting while the rest merely express points of view, not actual policies. Negotiations between countries before they take important political decisions are usually frank, especially behind closed doors.
    On the subject of Iran, Mr al-Homayad avoids discussing the remarks reportedly made by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz calling for American military action against Tehran, noting:

    The region does not need any documents confirming or denying that Iran is source of concern […] Tehran knows, even without these reports, that it lives in an ocean of mistrust.
    Writing in the London-based daily al-Hayat Hossam Aitani argues that the leaks show America’s anxiety about Iran, which helps explain its strategy in the Middle East:

    The correspondence between American envoys and diplomats shows that the United States sees, in Tehran, the only party with a comprehensive plan [for the Middle East] to compete with American designs [for the region]. While this analysis may please those who support Iranian influence in the Middle East, it also points to the fact that the Arab world, her people and problems, simply aren’t on America’s radar. With some “reverse engineering” we can start to understand that American strategy in the region is based on the containment of Iran.
    Satie Nour Eddin, a columnist for Lebanese daily al-Safir, described what the leaks revealed as “a scandal in the fullest sense of the word”, slamming America for the damage the documents have caused to its allies:

    So far, what has been made available online does not reveal any secrets or solve any mysteries. It just gives a vivid, spontaneous and honest image of America’s sense of superiority over others. It unveils the mask American diplomats wear in their talks, which is removed the instant they start writing reports to their superiors.
    In the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Watan, Ahmed Yousef al-Daeej expressed some suspicion about America’s role in the leaks:

    No one knows the truth of this WikiLeaks thing. Is it plausible that the United States with all its greatness, power and valor, cannot stop WikiLeaks and its millions of documents? Or have these documents been leaked by the Americans themselves to achieve a particular goal? Or has America simply turned a blind eye to the leak?
    Omar Kallab, writing in al-Dustour, a Jordanian newspaper, was defensive of the Jordanian role in the region as portrayed in the cables, emphasizing the difficult situation Jordan finds itself in, sandwiched between Iraq and Palestine.

    The documents prove, once again, that Jordan’s role is faithful to our nation and our heritage. It’s a role that holds true to the nation’s principles and identity and which supports the country’s interests. I don’t think anyone can say to American politicians what we say to them in Jordan, at least according to what the documents say.
    Such candour may be in short supply in future however, as Qatari commentator Nawaf al Thani, writing in al-Raya, predicts a new sense of caution in diplomatic discussions with America following the Wikileaks cables:

    It is certain that any future meetings between American officials and their Arab counterparts will, more than ever before, be filled with silence and courtesies, as people keep their cards close to their chests.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2010/11/reactions_wikileaks_arab_press

  • WikiLeaks cables: ‘US aid will not stop Pakistan supporting militants’
    Embassy cables reveal US frustration as Islamabad fosters selected insurgents as a buffer against India

    • WikiLeaks cables expose Pakistan nuclear fears

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    Declan Walsh in Islamabad
    guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 November 2010 21.30 GMT
    Article history

    Pakistani forces in action in South Waziristan in 2009. The WikiLeaks cables suggest Pakistan follows a covert military strategy at odds with US goals. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/Reuters

    Pakistan’s army is covertly sponsoring four major militant groups, including the Afghan Taliban and Mumbai attackers Lashkar-e-Taiba, and “no amount of money” will change the policy, the US ambassador warned in a frank critique revealed by the state department cables.

    Although Pakistan had received more than $16bn (£10bn) in American aid since 2001, “there is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance … as sufficient compensation for abandoning support to these groups”, Anne Patterson wrote in a secret review of Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy in September 2009.

    The assessment highlights a stark contradiction – that one of Washington’s key allies is quietly propping up its enemies – and is an admission of the limits of US power in a country that still views India, not the Taliban, as its principal threat.

    With Washington fearful of deploying troops to fight al-Qaida in Pakistan, money has been its main weapon since 2001. It has given the army $9bn to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida in the tribal belt; on 22 October the White House announced an extra $2bn over the next five years.

    Pakistan has paid a heavy price, losing more than 2,500 soldiers and many more civilians. Its generals insist they have cut erstwhile ties with the Taliban and other militant groups. But secret cables show US diplomats and spies believe the army and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency continue quietly to back selected militant groups.

    Four are singled out: the Afghan Taliban, its allied Haqqani and Hekmatyar networks on the western Afghan frontier, and Lashkar-e-Taiba on the eastern border with India. Some ISI officials “continue to maintain ties with a wide array of extremist organisations, in particular the Taliban, LeT and other extremist organisations,” Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, wrote in December 2009.

    A senior ISI official said: “These are assertions without evidence and nothing more than allegations or points of view, as such do not merit a response.” The main concern, he said, was “how such sensitive information could find its way to a media outlet, and continues to do so”.

    But Dr Peter Lavoy, a senior intelligence official, told a meeting of Nato allies in November 2008 that the ISI allowed the Taliban’s Quetta Shura leadership council to “operate unfettered” in Balochistan, while it provided the Waziristan-based Haqqani network with “intelligence and financial support to conduct attacks in Afghanistan against Afghan government, Isaf and Indian targets … Pakistan continues to define India as its number one threat and insists that India plays an overactive role in Afghanistan.”

    The army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, had been “utterly frank” about the consequences of a pro-India government coming to power in Kabul, noted a 2009 briefing in advance of his visit to Washington. “The Pakistani establishment will dramatically increase support for Taliban groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which they see as … an important counterweight.”

    Alarmed by the links with Haqqani, whose fighters kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, and fearful that policy towards Lashkar-e-Taiba could trigger nuclear war with India, US officials have urged Kayani to change course. “The biggest single message Kayani should hear in Washington is that this support must end,” said one dispatch.

    As ISI chief from 2004-07 Kayani presided over the spy agency as the Taliban surged in Afghanistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba prepared the Mumbai attacks. US officials consider it a sensitive point. “Kayani … does not want a reckoning with the past,” they said before last year’s US visit. “We should preface that conversation with an agreement to open a new page in relations. What is in the past is behind us.”

    US allegations of collusion cast fresh doubt on the credibility of former president Pervez Musharraf, who chafed angrily against suggestions of a “double game”. “We are not a banana republic and the ISI is not a rogue agency,” he told a congressional delegation led by a senior Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, in January 2007. Asked about the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, he said: “I do not believe Omar has ever been to Pakistan.”

    Yet there are also hints that ISI policy towards militant groups is complex and changing. In a March 2009 briefing to the FBI director, Robert Mueller, the embassy noted that the ISI chief, General Shuja Pasha, “continues to profess a determination to end ISI’s overt and tacit support for proxy forces”. Speaking to the Guardian this year a senior ISI official acknowledged “historical links” with the Haqqanis but insisted the spy agency was not in a position to dictate action terms. Last spring Kayani and Pasha flew to Kabul offering to broker peace with the Haqqanis.

    The cables betray much American frustration and anger at alleged Pakistani duplicity, but there is also questioning of America’s own covert policies. “Unilateral targeting” of al-Qaida operatives in the tribal belt – a euphemism for CIA-directed drone strikes – had killed 10 of the 20 top al-Qaida leaders, Patterson noted last year. But the drones could not entirely eliminate the al-Qaida leadership and ran the greater risk of “destabilising the Pakistani state, alienating both the civilian government and military leadership, and provoking a broader governance crisis without finally achieving the goal”.

    While American efforts are fixated on using money to wean Pakistan away from militants, there is little fresh thinking. One exception is last year’s policy review by Patterson, a well-regarded diplomat who left Islamabad earlier this year.

    Pakistani paranoia was fed by insecurity towards India and America, she said. The only way to end support for the Taliban – and ultimately root out the group – was to “change the Pakistan government’s own perception of its security requirements”.

    Resolving the 63-year-old Kashmir conflict “would dramatically improve the situation”, she said, adding: “We need to reassess Indian involvement in Afghanistan and our own policies towards India, including the growing military relationship through sizeable conventional arms sales, as all of this feeds Pakistani establishment paranoia and pushes them closer to both Afghan and Kashmir-focused terrorist groups while reinforcing doubts about US intentions.”

    Such a suggestion is politically highly sensitive. New Delhi has fiercely resisted any attempt to link Afghanistan and Kashmir. Indian officials portray an ideological, power-hungry Pakistani army as the problem. Most of Pakistan’s woes “can be traced to the capacity and intentions of Pakistan’s military”, the Indian foreign secretary, Shivshankar Menon, told US special envoy Richard Holbrooke in February 2009. Holbrooke has pointedly avoided mentioning Kashmir.

    Politicians in Washington are reluctant to antagonise India, an emerging global power. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama identified the Kashmir conflict as being key to achieving peace in south Asia, including the war in Afghanistan. But he avoided mentioning it at all in his recent address to the Indian parliament.

    Patterson’s logic is shared by other western diplomats. Last year the Spanish ambassador to Kabul, Jose Turpin Molina, told 236333 his Pakistani counterpart that “It’s over. You’ve won.” The Pakistani replied that his country was an ally of Spain, to which Turpin said: “you are an ally to both sides”.

    The Pakistani “laughed heartily”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/30/wikileaks-us-aid-pakistan-militants

  • US embassy cables: Punjab, ISI and a distracted president trouble Pakistan

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    guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 November 2010 21.59 GMT
    Article history
    Wednesday, 04 February 2009, 10:40
    S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 ISLAMABAD 000236
    SIPDIS
    EO 12958 DECL: 01/24/2019
    TAGS PREL, PGOV, PTER, EAID, MARR, MOPS, PK
    SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR SPECIAL ENVOY HOLBROOKE
    Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d)

    Summary
    The Islamabad ambassador sweeps over Pakistan’s troubled political and security landscape for incoming envoy Richard Holbrooke. It is not a failed state but confronts “dire” challenges including an under-equipped army and a distracted president, she says. Young Punjabi men are joining the extremists, and ambiguity persists about the role of the ISI. Key passages highlighted in yellow.

    Read related article
    1. (C) Summary. Mission Pakistan warmly welcomes your arrival; your appointment comes as Pakistan grapples with internal change and hopes the Ombama administration can support regional solutions to development and counter-terrorism challenges. After eight years of military rule, the civilian government is working, so far successfully, to re-shape civilian-military relations. Although not a failed state, Pakistan needs international help to stabilize civilian rule by building democratic institutions and delivering relief to a population suffering from food inflation, electricity blackouts, high unemployment and deteriorating law and order. Passage of the Kerry-Lugar bill and delivery of U.S. assistance at the upcoming IMF Donors’ Conference offer new avenues to combat extremism inside and outside of the tribal areas and reduce anti-Americanism across Pakistan.

    2. (S) Now absorbing combat losses against a formidable militant enemy, Pakistan’s military finally has begun to accept more USG training and assistance in support of counter-insurgency. Pakistan-NATO/Afghan cooperation and coordination across the border has improved dramatically in recent months and will be even more important if the U.S. raises troop levels in Afghanistan. A surge of U.S. troops across the border may push more militants into Pakistan, creating new challenges especially if Pakistan must defend a new front in Balochistan. As recent media reports indicate, the U.S. has been remarkably successful over the past year in disrupting the al-Qaida network based in Pakistan’s tribal areas; we can discuss this issue in greater detail with you. A friendly Zardari-Karzai relationship is creating new opportunities to improve cross-border trade and build an energy corridor that could eventually link Central and South Asia. Improved Pak-Afghan ties offer new prospects for outreach to Taliban reconcilables on both sides of the border.

    3. (C) Indo-Pakistan relations are still simmering. In the wake of Mumbai and accelerating militant control of Pakistani territory, the military/ISI faces the need to re-evaluate its historic use of proxy tribes/militant groups as foreign policy tools. Although the conventional wisdom says that Mumbai closed the door on Kashmir discussions, there is no doubt that Pakistan believes tackling the Kashmir issue remains the key to regional security. We offer a detailed update below. End Summary

    Domestic Politics

    —————–

    4. (C) The civilian government headed by President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani, elected one year ago, is now stable. Zardari’s position currently is secure, and Gilani has a majority in parliament. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its coalition allies rule in three of the four provinces and effectively control all three branches of federal government. Nawaz Sharif is by far the most popular politician in Pakistan (with an 83% approval rating compared to Zardari’s 20% in the latest IRI poll), but he does not have the votes to bring down the government. Instead, Nawaz is rebuilding his party’s structure in preparation for the next election and appealing directly to street. Zardari is cementing leadership alliances so he can avoid another election until he receives international assistance to address food and fuel inflation, electricity blackouts and high unemployment.

    5. (C) While far from perfect, you will find Zardari is pro-American and anti-extremist; we believe he is our best ally in the government. Clearly, Zardari runs the show, and Gilani has at times chafed at public acknowledgment of this fact. We believe, however, that reports of Zardari-Gilani tensions are exaggerated; Gilani knows his place and will tow Zardari’s line.

    6. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX The PPP may also make a power play to take over the Punjab government, which now is ruled by Shahbaz Sharif. During your visit you no doubt will

    ISLAMABAD 00000236 002 OF 005

    hear rumors the Army is unhappy with Zardari and may step in to oust him, particularly if it is needed to restore order.

    7. (C) The premise behind these rumors is that Nawaz-inspired street demonstrations timed to coincide with indirect Senate elections and another lawyers’ “Long March” on March 9 may get out of hand. We see little evidence this scenario will get out of control; so far, we are encouraged by Chief of Army Staff General Kayani’s determination to have the civilians succeed. Kayani dislikes Nawaz far more than he mistrusts Zardari.

    Not A Failed State

    ——————

    8. (C) This is not a failed state. Pakistan has solid albeit weak institutions, a robust if often irresponsible media, established although under-equipped police forces, an increasingly strong civil society, and a population with a proven resiliency to withstand everything from earthquakes to kleptocracy. However, Zardari is more adept at political maneuvering than governing; we believe he is spending too much time on his rivalry with Nawaz and too little time on rolling back a spreading insurgency and improving a weak economy.

    9. (C) Although we do not believe Pakistan is a failed state, we nonetheless recognize that the challenges it confronts are dire. The government is losing more and more territory every day to foreign and domestic militant groups; deteriorating law and order in turn is undermining economic recovery. The bureaucracy is settling into third-world mediocrity, as demonstrated by some corruption and a limited capacity to implement or articulate policy.

    Security

    ——–

    10. (C) The good news is that the government has the will to fight extremism and the Army/Frontier Corps is now actively engaged in combat, particularly in Bajaur, Mohmand and Swat. Faced with its weaknesses against a formidable enemy, the Frontier Corps is now accepting USG training, and that is giving us new access and opportunities to improve Pakistani counter-insurgency capability. Pakistan has agreed to build additional tripartite Border Coordination Centers (BCCs), and this month we will expand tactical/target-focused intelligence sharing through the Torkham BCC. The military remains reluctant to expand the U.S. military footprint, but we now have the basis for increased cooperation. We are also delivering Cobra spare parts and upgrading their MI-17 and Bell 412 helicopters so the Pakistanis can operate more than two Cobras on any given day.

    11. (C) The bad news is that the militants are driving the agenda; the Pakistan military has too few forces to fight too many battles at one time. They have more troops on the Indian border but felt the need to transfer 5,000-7,000 troops from FATA to the eastern border in the wake of increased Indo-Pak tensions after Mumbai. The latest territorial loss has been in Swat, in the “settled area” of the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) about 90 miles from Islamabad, where local/taliban militants are closing schools, beheading opponents, and operating a parallel justice system. The police cannot cope and largely have abandoned locals to their fate.

    12. (C) The military’s decision in 2008 to strike a deal with Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan helped to reduce the number of suicide bombings in Pakistan but gave Mehsud free rein to infiltrate his forces throughout the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). He has exploited Sunni-Shi’a tensions in places like Kurram and sent his fighters into Bajaur via Afghanistan to attack government positions. This has eroded Chief of Army Staff General Kayani’s strategy to gradually regain control of the FATA agency by agency.

    13. (S) As recent media reports indicate, the U.S. has been remarkably successful in disrupting al-Qaida operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas. In the past year, 10 of the top 20 al-Qaida operatives, including those responsible for the East

    ISLAMABAD 00000236 003 OF 005

    Africa embassy bombings in 1998 and tied to Islambad’s Marriott bombing, have been eliminated. We can discuss this issue in more detail during your visit.

    Solutions

    ———

    14. (C) The government has a strategy of “dialogue, deterrence and development;” however, it lacks the military capacity to deter militants and the financial resources to develop the FATA. Its historic fallback has been to play for time by conducting negotiations with militants, a disastrous tactic that only has made the extremists stronger. The government insists it will negotiate with tribal leaders but not with militants. Many Pakistanis have been closely following reports of Saudi-brokered intervention with Taliban “reconcilables” in Afghanistan and many believe a similar strategy is needed in Pakistan.

    15. (C) We share the government’s belief that there is no all-military solution to containing extremism. We are implementing a strategy of concurrently building the counter-insurgency capability of the Army and Frontier Corps, providing the police/FATA law enforcement forces with training and equipment, and delivering economic development to raise poor socio-economic indicators in FATA. Security concerns are limiting our ability to operate, but today USAID contractors are building schools and wells, hiring workers for short-term jobs, training teachers and increasing the capacity of the FATA Secretariat to deliver services that demonstrate the writ of government in FATA. Through USAID, DOD and USG donations to UN agencies, we have provided over $10 million in aid to help up to 200,000 Internally Displaced Persons who fled fighting in Bajaur and Swat and now are living in and out of camps, primarily near Peshawar.

    16. (C) Extremism, however, is no longer restricted to the border area. We are seeing young Punjabi men turn up in FATA and Afghanistan as fighters recruited from areas of southern Punjab where poverty, illiteracy and despair create a breeding ground for extremism. The phenomenon is spreading into northern Sindh as well. Pashtuns fleeing military action in FATA are destabilizing the always volatile ethnic mix in Karachi. Taliban leaders have been based in Quetta since the days of the anti-Soviet jihad, but they now are expanding their presence in Balochistan. In response, we are redirecting USAID programs geographically to concentrate on areas where the nexus of poverty and extremism is growing.

    17. (SBU) Including FATA, USAID will program approximately $500 million in 2009 for Pakistan; if Kerry/Lugar is approved and funded, this will increase to $1.5 billion per year in primarily economic assistance. We have provided over $40 million in equipment to the Frontier Corps and the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) police; we are in the midst of programming another $15 million for the NWFP police and await the results of a police assessment team to reprogram another $85 million for law enforcement. Given the urgent requirement to address the absence of law enforcement capacity in the NWFP and FATA, we are proposing that $100 million for law enforcement assistance be included in the Kerry-Lugar legislation.

    Afghanistan

    ———–

    18. (C) Benazir Bhutto met with President Karzai the morning of her assassination; Karzai attended Zardari’s inauguration and the two have met repeatedly under much improved bilateral relations. They have signed new economic cooperation agreements, are considering a new transit trade treaty and have tentatively scheduled another round of the peace jirga. We continue to see potential for expanded economic relations and the prospect of building a trade and energy corridor that can link Central Asia through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the rich markets of South Asia.

    19. (C) Following embarrassing militant attacks on U.S./NATO convoys last year, Pakistan has made efforts to secure Khyber Agency/Torkham Gate, through which U.S./NATO trucks deliver 30% of the fuel and 80% of the dry goods for our forces in Afghanistan. Cooperation and coordination

    ISLAMABAD 00000236 004 OF 005

    between Pakistani and NATO/Afghan forces across the border have dramatically increased since October. This has reduced cross-border attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. This cooperation will be even more important if the U.S. executes a planned troop surge in Afghanistan. Such a surge, particularly if it is employed along the Helmand-Kandahar/Balochistan border, may send additional fighters into Pakistan and create another front for the Pakistan military to defend.

    India

    —–

    20. (C) Indo-Pak tensions are still simmering, but to avoid a potential Indian military strike, the GOP needs to show progress on prosecuting those responsible for the Mumbai attacks. Interior Minister Malik will outline to you his plan to prosecute Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawa (LeT/JUD) suspects now in custody. The key will be whether the military/ISI is ready to turn the Mumbai suspects over to civilian law enforcement, and whether India considers Pakistani actions adequate. Kayani, in particular, wants to avoid a reckoning with his past leadership of ISI. Despite arrests of key LeT/JUD leaders and closure of some of their camps, it is unclear if ISI has finally abandoned its policy of using these proxy forces as a foreign policy tool; we need to continue pressing them to realize this strategy has become counter-productive in Kashmir, Afghanistan and FATA.

    21. (C) The Foreign Ministry quashed National Assembly debate of a resolution signed by leaders of most of the political parties urging the U.S. to appoint a special envoy on Kashmir, or add that portfolio to your plate. However, privately, Zardari and FM Qureshi have indicated they would welcome your engagement on Kashmir. Although the conventional wisdom says that Mumbai closed the door on Kashmir discussions; from Pakistan’s perspective, there is no doubt that tackling the Kashmir issue remains the key to regional security.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/190330

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  • Army chief wanted more drone supportFrom the Newspaper | Front Page | By Hasan Zaidi May 20, 2011
    In another meeting with US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen over March 3-4, 2008, Kayani was asked for his help “in approving a third Restricted Operating Zone for US aircraft over the FATA.” The request – detailed in a cable sent from the US Embassy Islamabad on March 24 – clearly indicates that two ‘corridors’ for US drones had already been approved earlier. – File Photo (Thumbnail illustration by Faraz Aamer Khan/Dawn.com)

    KARACHI: Secret internal American government cables, accessed by Dawn through WikiLeaks, provide confirmation that the US military’s drone strikes programme within Pakistan had more than just tacit acceptance of the country’s top military brass, despite public posturing to the contrary. In fact, as long ago as January 2008, the country’s military was requesting the US for greater drone back-up for its own military operations.

    Previously exposed diplomatic cables have already shown that Pakistan’s civilian leaders are strongly supportive – in private – of the drone strikes on alleged militant targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), even as they condemn them for general consumption. But it is not just the civilian leadership that has been following a duplicitous policy on the robotic vehicles.

    In a meeting on January 22, 2008 with US CENTCOM Commander Admiral William J. Fallon, Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani requested the Americans to provide “continuous Predator coverage of the conflict area” in South Waziristan where the army was conducting operations against militants. The request is detailed in a ‘Secret’ cable sent by then US Ambassador Anne Patterson on February 11, 2008. Pakistan’s military has consistently denied any involvement in the covert programme run mainly by the CIA.

    The American account of Gen Kayani’s request for “Predator coverage” does not make clear if mere air surveillance were being requested or missile-armed drones were being sought. Theoretically “Predator coverage” could simply mean air surveillance and not necessarily offensive support. However the reaction to the request suggests otherwise. According to the report of the meeting sent back to Washington by Patterson, Admiral Fallon “regretted that he did not have the assets to support this request” but offered trained US Marines (known as JTACs) to coordinate air strikes for Pakistani infantry forces on ground. General Kayani “demurred” on the offer, pointing out that having US soldiers on ground “would not be politically acceptable.”

    In another meeting with US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen over March 3-4, 2008, Kayani was asked for his help “in approving a third Restricted Operating Zone for US aircraft over the FATA.” The request – detailed in a cable sent from the US Embassy Islamabad on March 24 – clearly indicates that two ‘corridors’ for US drones had already been approved earlier.

    In secret cable on October 9, 2009 (previously published by WikiLeaks), Ambassador Patterson reports that US military support to the Pakistan Army’s 11th Corps operations in South Waziristan would “be at the division-level and would include a live downlink of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) full motion video.” In fact, in November 2008, Dawn had reported then commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, telling its reporter that US and Pakistan also share video feeds from Predator drones that carry out attacks. “We have a Predator feed going down to the one border coordination centre at Torkham Gate thats looked at by the Pakistan Military, Afghan Military, and the International Security Assistance Force,” General McKiernan had said.

    Sharing of video feeds does not imply operational control by Pakistan’s military, however, and even this sharing may have subsequently been suspended.

    Despite the occasionally disastrously misdirected attacks which have fed into the public hue and cry over civilian casualties, there is, in private, seeming general acceptance by the military of the efficacy of drone strikes. In a cable dated February 19, 2009, Ambassador Patterson sends talking points to Washington ahead of a week-long visit to the US by COAS Kayani. Referring to drone strikes, she writes: “Kayani knows full well that the strikes have been precise (creating few civilian casualties) and targeted primarily at foreign fighters in the Waziristans.”

    Another previously unpublished cable dated May 26, 2009 details President Zardari’s meeting on May 25 with an American delegation led by Senator Patrick Leahy. “Referring to a recent drone strike in the tribal area that killed 60 militants,” wrote Ambassador Patterson in her report, “Zardari reported that his military aide believed a Pakistani operation to take out this site would have resulted in the deaths of over 60 Pakistani soldiers.”

    The general support for drone strikes from both the military and civilian leadership is also evidenced by the continuous demand, documented over numerous cables, from Pakistan Government officials to American interlocutors for drone technology to be placed in Pakistani hands. The issue conveyed to the Americans is not so much that of accuracy as that of managing public perceptions.

    In the meeting with Senator Leahy, Zardari is directly quoted telling the US delegation to “give me the drones so my forces can take out the militants.” That way, he explains, “we cannot be criticized by the media or anyone else for actions our Army takes to protect our sovereignty.”

    General Kayani also “focused on the need for surveillance assets” in the meeting with Admiral Fallon according to Patterson’s cable. “Kayani said he was not interested in acquiring Predators, but was interested in tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs).” Predators are considered ‘theatre-level’ technology able to cover wide regions such as the whole of Afghanistan and Pakistan through remotely stationed operations rooms while ‘tactical’ drones are less wide-ranging and can be operated by forces on the ground.

    After the first US drone strike outside the tribal areas, in Bannu on November 19, 2008 which killed four people including an alleged senior Al Qaeda member, Ambassador Patterson had presciently noted in another previously unpublished cable (dated November 24, 2008) the dangers of keeping the Pakistani public misinformed. “As the gap between private GOP acquiescence and public condemnation for US action grows,” she wrote back to Washington, “Pakistani leaders who feel they look increasingly weak to their constituents could begin considering stronger action against the US, even though the response to date has focused largely on ritual denunciation.”

    Cables Referenced: WikiLeaks # 140777, 147015, 179645, 192895, 208526, 229065. All cables can be viewed on Dawn.com.

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/20/army-chief-wanted-more-drone-support.html

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