WikiLeaks unmasks who are our real puppet-masters?

by admin

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General Kayani allowed US special forces to secretly operate in Pakistan

U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks make perfectly clear and straighten out Pakistan’s [strange] civil military relations, exposes various political conspiracies, the power of its army, it’s role in politics and alleged human rights abuses. It illustrates the supremacy of our unrepresentative institutions and control over representative institutions.It also confirms the [un]democratic intentions of various political stakeholders. And unmasks especially those [behind the scene]characters who are calling the shots? So, WikiLeaks documents confirm what we, as a nation, already know.

According to the Independent report: “But on the larger themes and broader issues, the cables offer only confirmation rather than surprise. ”
“The diplomatic cables only serve to confirm what people have been worried about, especially in regard to the US fears about our nuclear assets.”

Here are some features and high points from the messages which appeared on Britain’s Guardian newspaper website, as well as some frame of reference on key issues covered in them.

Zardari feared coup, named sister as successor if assassinated:

* According to a cable from U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson dated Feb. 9, 2009, Zardari had raised the issue of his personal security in a meeting in Karachi.

“Zardari revealed that, if he was assassinated, he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as President,” said the cable.
President Asif Ali Zardari had spoken to former US ambassador Anne Patterson in 2009, saying that he had instructed his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to name his sister Faryal Talpur as President if he is assassinated.

In another cable quoted by the newspaper, US Vice President Joe Biden recounted to Britain’s then Prime Minister Gordon Brown a conversation with Zardari last year. Zardari told him that Kayani and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency “will take me out,” according to the cable.


Separately, President Zardari had told the then British foreign secretary David Miliband that his men (army officers and ISI) were keeping him unaware about critical information.

Pakistan army’s plan to oust Zardari:

The general at the top of Pakistan’s army proposed to topple President Asif Ali Zadari during internal wrangling last year, WikiLeaks has revealed.
General Ashfaq Kayani, floated the idea during meetings with the US Ambassador in March 2009 as thousands of supporters of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif took to the streets.

Cable sent by Ambassador Anne Patterson on March 12, 2009.

The ambassador had met Army chief Ashfaq Kayani on March 10 before a long march by lawyers on March 12 in a political crisis that threatened Zardari’s government.

Another memo cited in The New York Times quotes General Ashfaq Kayani, chief of the military, telling the US ambassador during a March 2009 meeting that he “might, however reluctantly,” pressure Zardari to resign.
Kayani was quoted as saying that he might support Asfandyar Wali Khan, leader of the Awami National League Party, as the new president — not Zardari’s arch-nemesis Nawaz Sharif.

Zardari felt lonely and threatened, said Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai once told a US Senate delegation that the Pakistani president felt “lonely, threatened and under siege” and urged the senators to secure strong US support for Asif Ali Zardari, says a cable released by WikiLeaks.

In a meeting with Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham in Dec 2008, Mr Karzai stressed the importance of US support for the Pakistan president,


calling Mr Zardari “a good man who wants to free his country from extremists”.

The Afghan president noted that he had an excellent relationship with Mr Zardari and felt the two had a special rapport, adding that “never in 60 years of Pakistan`s history have we had such good bilateral relations”.

Mr Karzai described how, when he arrived in Istanbul for trilateral talks in Dec 2008, Mr Zardari called him directly and asked to meet him privately before their official meeting the following day.

Mr Zardari came to Mr Karzai`s room where they chatted over dinner for hours, “covering all topics imaginable”.

Mr Zardari believed he received too little support from the international community, the Afghan president said. Mr Karzai explained that India was still wary because of historic enmity with Pakistan; Russia withheld its support because Pakistan had helped the Afghans defeat the Soviets; China disapproved of Mr Zardari`s close relationship with the US; and the Arab countries wouldn`t support him because he wasn`t “one of them”.

ISI chief conspired against Zardari:

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik had told then U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson that it was not chief of army staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani but ISI chief Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who was hatching conspiracies against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The U.S. embassy cables revealed that Mr. Malik sought an urgent appointment with Ms. Patterson in November 2009 and said that Gen. Pasha was hatching plots against Mr. Zardari, adding that the president needed political security, The News International reported.

However, Ms. Patterson was certain that the chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) could not do it alone.

In yet another cable, U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden told then British prime minister Gordon Brown about a conversation he had with Mr. Zardari in 2009.

Mr. Zardari told Mr. Biden that Gen. Kayani and the ISI “will take me out”, according to the cable, which added that Mr. Zardari had made extensive preparations in case he was killed.

Gen Kayani foiled US plan for civilian control over Army:

Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani used the Pakistani civilian government for military purposes from behind the scenes and very effectively foiled the US plan to ensure civilian control over the military under the Kerry-Lugar Bill, according to a confidential diplomatic dispatch of the US embassy in Paris to the State Department on January 22, released by Wikileaks.

State Department cables: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH KAYANI AND PASHA ABOUT
Wednesday, 07 October 2009, 13:31
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ISLAMABAD 002427
SIPDIS
EO 12958 DECL: 10/06/2019
TAGS PREL, PGOV, PTER, PK
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH KAYANI AND PASHA ABOUT
KERRY-LUGAR
Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (S) Summary: Ambassador heard a number of complaints about the Kerry-Lugar bill from COAS General Kayani and DGISI Pasha in a two-hour meeting October 6. These focused on the history of Pressler sanctions, particularly a fear that the waiver in Kerry-Lugar would not be used and aid would be suspended. There were several clauses in the bill, such as an American assessment of civilian control over military promotions and the chain of command, that rankled COAS Kayani. DGISI Pasha said Kayani was receiving criticism on the bill from the Corps Commanders. Ambassador emphasized the bill’s long-term commitment to Pakistan and made three points: provisions of the bill could be waived; the bill only requires certifications and “assessments;” and the bill does not apply to the large amounts in the Pakistan Counter-insurgency Fund or Coalition Support Fund but only, so far, to non-appropriated Foreign Military Financing. Pasha and Kayani repeated that the Army had taken huge steps this year in its bilateral cooperation with the US and in its campaign in Swat and Bajaur and was getting little public (or private) credit from the US for these historic steps. Kayani said he was considering a statement on the bill, but he was struggling with what to say. He realized that Senator Kerry and Vice President Biden, the original sponsor of the bill, were among Pakistan,s best friends. He predicted the parliamentary debate would be tough, but in the final analysis the government controlled the agenda. Kayani said the language in the bill could undermine political support for the Army’s anti-terrorist effort.

Civilian, military planners have different views on India:

Leaked secret cables from the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, just after the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai, reveal a more complex narrative than that chronicled so far.

The Pakistan government was willing to work with India; New Delhi was not painting Islamabad and the military nerve centre in Rawalpindi with the same brush, and the Europeans were initially keen on dousing any tensions that might have erupted.

The four WikiLeaks cables, though forming a narrow window, are a story of a missed opportunity for Pakistan to step up the friendship with India, being constructed through the comprehensive dialogue process.

“President [Asif Ali] Zardari, PM [Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza] Gilani and FM [Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood] Qureshi have made all the right public statements…Government of Pakistan is sending ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] chief M.G. Pasha to India to participate in the investigation…[Mr.] Zardari is meeting with appropriate Cabinet members to discuss further possible govt reaction and NSA [National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali] Durrani forwarded a message on the need to jointly fight militants that threaten both Pakistan and India.”

Pak Army overruled proposal to send Pasha to India post 26/11

Pakistan’s powerful Army had vetoed President Asif Ali Zardari’s proposal to send ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha to New Delhi that came on British insistence to calm down tensions with India following the Mumbai terror attack, a secret U.S. cable made public by WikiLeaks shows.

The confidential document shows that the then British Foreign Secretary David Miliband had called Mr. Zardari, asking him to send the ISI chief to India, to which the President readily agreed. He, however, was overruled by the Pakistani Army led by General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

Mr. Miliband described Major General Pasha as a welcome “new broom” and expressed U.K. support for ISI reform.

Mr. Zardari said the new ISI leaders were “straightforward” and their roles were proscribed by the constitution, but it would take time for real conversions.

Robert Brinkley, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, and Mr. Miliband pressed for Pasha to go to India, said a U.S. cable issued by its Embassy in Islamabad on December 1, 2008.

“Zardari gave Brinkley a long answer about various levels of directors in ISI but finally confirmed that the Army had vetoed the decision to send Pasha. Zardari told Miliband that it might be possible to send NSA Durrani, as he outranked Pasha,” it said.

The President said it would not be possible to send Pasha immediately as he needed to work public opinion first, the cable said.

According to the cable, the British diplomat passed the same intelligence information about LeT to Zardari that they previously had passed to the ISI.

“Zardari’s response was positive; he said ISI had to follow up and this was an opportunity. He criticised the Indians for statements that pushed Islamabad to make a defensive response and ‘made my job harder’

“Zardari said he thought it was not possible that terrorists could have launched attack boats from Karachi and the operation could not have been implemented without insider help from Indians,” the cable says.

In the conversation with Mr. Miliband, Mr. Zardari said he saw the attacks as an “opportunity to strike at my enemies”.

The attack, he said, was aimed as much at Pakistan as at India, but India had reacted in an unfortunate way.

“Miliband said that public messaging would be particularly important to link the Mumbai atrocity with Zardari’s own campaign against militants,” it said.

Mr. Zardari told Mr. Miliband that “my people” had not brought specific information to him about the individuals named in the information passed to ISI (on the day before).

Mr. Miliband said that LeT needed to “feel the full force of the law”.

“Zardari responded by saying he was setting up special courts, was contacting all political parties, and would take action immediately,” the cable said.

According to the cable, Mr. Zardari commented that he had a gut reaction that the attacks were the beginning rather than the end and went on to talk about Muslim-Hindu differences and attempts to split India.

“He urged the UK to push back on New Delhi and calm the situation. Mr. Miliband said they would do so, but India needs to see real action from Pakistan.

“India was asking for short-term actions, and this could buy some time for the Government of Pakistan,” it said.

Mr. Miliband later called Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and said he wanted to make sure that he saw the intelligence passed to ISI.

“He pressed that India needs actions not words from Pakistan. Mr. Qureshi said he would follow up on the intelligence but reiterated the GOP request for the U.K. to counsel restrain on the part of the Indians,” it says.

The U.S. Embassy cable signed off by the then U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson said that overall, the Pakistani public remains in denial about any culpability for the Mumbai attacks and believes India is unfairly and prematurely accusing Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif says, we are Pro-American and his pary ‘tipped off’ Mumbai terror group:

1. (C) Summary. During a meeting with Ambassador January 31, Nawaz Sharif confirmed…. As proof of his pro-Americanism, Nawaz reminded Ambassador that he had overruled his Chief of Staff to deploy Pakistani forces with the U.S. coalition in the first Gulf War.

2. (C) Ambassador and Polcouns met former Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-N PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif January 31 for an hour during Nawaz’s recent visit to Islamabad. PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also attended the meeting.

8. (C) The best thing America has done recently, said Nawaz, was arrange to have General Kayani named as Chief of Army Staff. This appointment is helping Army morale and raising the level of public respect for the Army. Noting that Musharraf met the UK equivalent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Khan said the U.S. and the UK need to stop treating Musharraf as if he still ran the military. CENTCOM Commander Admiral Fallon would have met with Musharaf if the President had not been travelling, asserted Khan. Ambassador replied that we had excellent relations with the Pakistani military and meet them all the time at various levels.

WikiLeaks cables relay allegations that Nawaz Sharif’s government in Punjab province helped the group responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks evade UN sanctions.

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

Saudi Arabia wants military rule in Pakistan:

King Abdullah and ruling princes distrust Asif Ali Zardari, the country’s Shia president, and would prefer ‘another Musharraf’.

Oil power Saudi Arabia gained vast influence in the region when it, along with Pakistan and the United States, began backing the anti-Soviet mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Saudi Arabia, a vital U.S. ally, still has clout in the region. Apparently it consider’s itself one of our master.

* On Nov 20, 2007, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, boldly asserted during a meal with a U.S. diplomat:

“We in Saudi Arabia are not observers in Pakistan, we are participants.”

Pakistan continues to support Mumbai terror attack group:

Pakistan continues to support the militant group which carried out the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai despite its claims to have launched a crackdown on the organisation, the United States Ambassador to Islamabad wrote in a cable.

The cables also laid bare US frustrations at what officials see as Pakistan’s refusal to cut off ties with extremists such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is blamed for carrying out the bloody 2008 siege of Mumbai.
“There is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance levels in any field as sufficient compensation for abandoning support for these groups, which it sees as an important part of its national security apparatus against India,” Ambassador Anne Patterson said in a cable quoted by the Times.
The cables also touch on allegations of extrajudicial killings by Pakistani forces, according to the Times.
A cable last year suggested there was credible evidence that the or paramilitary forces killed some detainees after an offensive against Taliban insurgents in the northwestern regions.
The embassy said that news of killings should not be leaked to the press, for fear of offending the Pakistani army. However, this year the United States said it would cut off support for some Pakistani units following the release of a video that appeared to show extrajudicial killings.

US worried over Pakistani nuke material:

US diplomatic memos also reveal Western concerns that terrorists might get access to Pakistan’s nuclear material and American scepticism that Islamabad will sever ties to Taliban factions fighting in Afghanistan.

Washington’s frustration with Islamabad and the struggle in Pakistan between the country’s military and political leadership, analysts say the public disclosure of the cables will not damage relations between the two countries.

Despite massive US aid, anti-Americanism rampant in Pakistan:

America is viewed with some suspicion by the majority of Pakistan’s people and its institutions. While the Army remains fixated on India as Pakistan’s mortal enemy, the common man (and most importantly the youth) is just as likely to point to America as the nation which has twisted Pakistan’s collective arm, leaving it weak.

Pakistan quietly approved drone attacks, U.S. special units:

On the record, Pakistan has persistently criticized the United States’ use of unmanned drones to attack militant hideouts in its mountainous border region.
But diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks reveal that in private the Pakistani government was not unhappy about the strikes and secretly allowed small groups of U.S. Special Operations units to operate on its soil.

The Pakistani military is not simply an arm of government. It is by far the most supreme and soverign institution in the country. Defence accounts for 5 per cent of the Government’s budget. The military also receives billions of pounds in US aid. It controls Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal. It oversees the intelligence infrastructure. It also determines foreign policy especially with countries such as America and China. It holds veto rights on any peace initiatives with India.

For that reason the Chief of the Army Staff is arguably the most powerful person in the country.

13 Comments to “WikiLeaks unmasks who are our real puppet-masters?”

  1. EDITORIAL: Mirror, mirror on the wall…

    Ever since WikiLeaks started releasing US diplomatic cables on Sunday, we continue to discover one thing or another every day. Some new revelations about the power equation in Pakistan are not just interesting but quite revealing. In one of the cables, it is said that President Asif Zardari was fearful for his life and had made arrangements in case he met the same fate as that of his late wife, Benazir Bhutto. “Zardari revealed that, if he was assassinated, he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as president” and he once told US Vice President Joe Biden that he feared the military “might take me out”. These may be the personal views of President Zardari and cannot be substantiated without proof if plans to assassinate him are indeed afoot but when the president of a country fears for his life, it is time to get worried. Another interesting revelation made in the cables is that during the lawyers’ movement, General Kayani hinted that he might have to “persuade President Zardari to resign if the situation sharply deteriorates….This would not be a formal coup but would leave in place the PPP government led by PM Gilani, thus avoiding elections that likely would bring Nawaz Sharif to power.”

    It is an open secret that Pakistan’s military establishment wields great power even when a civilian government is in place. Jasmine Zerinini, the head of France’s interagency Afghanistan-Pakistan cell, was of the view that though General Kayani has “learned the lesson of Musharraf” and was not interested in a direct military coup, he was manipulating the government and parliament. Ms Zerinini alleged that General Kayani stirred up the “controversy regarding the Kerry-Lugar bill that ties continued US aid to increased civilian control of the military”. As per the cable, “Zerinini said that bilateral measures alone to strengthen civilian government were unlikely to be effective, and that more coordination was needed among donors” and the Friends of Democratic Pakistan “was designed to transform Pakistan’s political elite and give them more leverage over the military”. This shows that the west is now interested in strengthening our democratic dispensation. It may be due to the fact that our security establishment continues to support the Afghan Taliban and other terrorist networks despite Pakistan being a frontline ally of the US in the war on terror. Thus, the US has adopted a carrot and stick policy. In one of the cables, former US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, wrote that “there is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance…as sufficient compensation for abandoning support to these [terrorist and extremist] groups”. We have received more than $ 10 billion in aid from the Americans since 2001 but we follow a dual policy vis-à-vis the terror networks, hence the US wants Pakistan to ‘do more’. In another cable, Ms Patterson had praised President Zardari and called him the US’s “best ally in the government” because he is “pro-American and anti-extremist”.

    The Musharraf regime kept mollycoddling the terror networks and turned a blind eye to their activities in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the PPP government has tried its best to reverse those policies. Military operations in Swat, South Waziristan and other areas took place only after this government came into power. It is imperative that the government is allowed to complete its tenure even if it is not performing well. Right now, General Kayani is the most powerful man in the country and has positioned himself as the sole person to negotiate with as far as our foreign interlocutors are concerned but it is time that democracy is allowed to take root in the country so that the civil-military relations are put in a proper perspective. *
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\122\story_2-12-2010_pg3_1

  2. Excellent analysis, Junaid.

    It is good that we are archiving these gems on LUBP. It is disappointing but not surprising to see that the majority of mainstream newspapers and pro-establishment blogs are ignoring such revelations about the Saudi-ISI alliance against democracy in Pakistan.

  3. Thank you so much dear Abdul for ur kind words & appreciation..Don’t worry and remain optimistic, I’m sure situation will change after this transitional phase and truth will prevail. Great Sri Raj Kapoor says”Satyam Shivam Sundram” Sach Humasa khobsoorat rehta hae…:)

  4. Move to work out joint strategy on WikiLeaks

    ISLAMABAD: Shaken by what can be described as “Cablegate”, the government on Thursday convened a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) to deliberate on the crisis.

    The meeting of the DCC, the highest defence policy-making body after the federal cabinet, will be held on Friday under Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

    It will be attended by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, the three services chiefs, the ministers of foreign affairs and defence and a couple of other ministers.

    The WikiLeaks expose has not been cited as an item on the agenda and officially it is meant to discuss Prime Minister Gilani’s forthcoming visit to Kabul and nuclear and other related issues, but sources insist that the meeting has been convened mainly because of the storm kicked up by the leaked diplomatic communiqués and the need to evolve a joint civil-military strategy.

    Although the drama is yet to unfold completely, the cables released so far have highlighted rapidly deteriorating civil-military relations, growing clout of American embassy in domestic politics and world’s concerns over the security of Pakistani nuclear arsenal.

    One of the dilemmas before the DCC as it tries to work out a damage-control plan is that no-one would be sure what more revelations are expected.

    But President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani appear confident that nothing more toxic is likely to come down the pike.

    The prime minister has said his government is trying to prevent the (WikiLeaks) mischief from hurting core national interests.

    According to sources, the prime minister and CJCSC Gen Khalid Shamim Wyne discussed the implications of the disclosures on Thursday.

    The DCC is likely to reiterate that fears expressed in leaked cables about the likelihood of nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists are unfounded and baseless; and that the leadership remains fully committed to maintaining the fool-proof security of the arsenal. Little debate is likely on the issue of nuclear security because of a national consensus on the matter.

    But, the sources said, intense discussions were expected on depiction of civil-military relations in the classified cables leaked by the whistleblower website. The civil-military equation is critical to national politics and the picture that emerges from the disclosures is that the relationship was at its lowest ebb.

    While President Zardari complained to US Vice-President Joe Biden and the then British prime minister Gordon Brown that his army chief could ‘take him out’, Gen Kayani, ahead of the March 2009 long march, disclosed to then American ambassador Anne W. Patterson that he contemplated seeking the president’s resignation and installing ANP leader Asfandyar Wali in his place.

    Separately, President Zardari had told the then British foreign secretary David Miliband that his men (army officers and ISI) were keeping him unaware about critical information.

    On the other and, Gen Kayani and ISI chief Gen Shuja Pasha could be found telling the American envoy that there were concerns in the military about corruption and mis-governance by the president, whom the two also accused of holding over back-channel talks with India and start of military action in Waziristan.

    It is definitely worrisome that military and civilian leaders criticised each other in meetings with foreign diplomats, but more serious was the doubt expressed in another cable that both sides (the presidency and the military commanders) did not directly discuss their mistrust.

    Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit has refused to comment on the leaks. But, on Thursday afternoon there was clearly a disquiet in the Foreign Office corridors and whispers could be heard that the embarrassed leaders deserved it because they repeatedly threw to the wind their cautions against giving too much leeway to foreign diplomats, providing critical information and casually sharing their views with them.

    “The leaders, both civilian and military, made a mockery of themselves by engaging extensively with the American, British and other western diplomats. They exploited proclivity of our leaders to meet them,” a senior diplomat said.

    The standing advice of the Foreign Office for all functionaries is that their interactions with foreign diplomats should be routed through it (the FO), which should also be consulted on the possible topics for discussions.

    A source disclosed that the Foreign Office was being bypassed to the extent that no leader meeting foreign diplomats ever bothered, even after the meetings, to tell the department what had been discussed. “Resultantly the foreign diplomats and visiting dignitaries came to the Foreign Office only as a ritual, while substantive issues were discussed elsewhere.”

    US Ambassador Cameron Munter, in his public utterances, criticised the leaks as malicious and expressed hope that they wouldn’t affect bilateral ties.

    But in private conversations American diplomats defended their intense engagement with Pakistani leaders, saying it was routine diplomatic business, which they carried out openly and transparently.

    http://www.dawn.com/2010/12/03/move-to-work-out-joint-strategy-on-wikileaks.html

  5. Dawn, Letters to the Editor: Assange lauded

    INSTEAD of being condemned, Julian Assange, in my humble opinion, deserves a Nobel Peace prize for upholding the freedom of information and advocating transparency in the functioning of democracy. Modern technology has made it possible for the website to make such revelations, which should help prevent hypocrisy and double standards in relations among sovereign states.

    It is unfortunate that the upholders of democracy and transparency should condemn Assange as a “criminal” or as an “anti-American operative with blood on his hands”. He is also being threatened with legal action. But such measures against him are unlikely to succeed as the US Supreme Court is likely to uphold the freedom of information and the rights of the citizens to know the truth.

    The American press has played a great role in the past in bringing to an end the cruel wars in Vietnam and Iraq and succeeded in dethroning President Nixon on the ground of misuse of the government machinery in the Watergate scandal. The American people should be proud of their independent and ever vigilant press, which guards their interests and exposes the foul deeds and dirty games of their governments.

    WikiLeaks` revelations are shocking about Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia and Afghanistan. To be brief, we read such headlines as `Zardari being the great hurdle in the progress of Pakistan`; `U.S. trying to remove enriched uranium from the soil of Pakistan`; `Pakistan being the most bullied U.S. allie`, `Kayani`s intended threat to intervene for ending the lawyer`s long march`, `Kayani informed U.S. envoy in Islamabad of his intention to remove Zardari and replacing him with appointing Asfandyar Wali Khan`; Zardari`s apprehension of being assassinated and proposing his sister to succeed him, etc.

    These disclosures were made to the American ambassador in Islamabad in order to seek his approval. The conclusion one can draw is the American Embassy which provides the guidelines for governing Pakistan.

    A.S. PINGAR

    Karachi
    http://www.dawn.com/2010/12/05/wikileaks-truth-or-conspiracy.html

  6. Leaks shock Pak military, political elite

    The leaked cables are dominating all bulletins and talk shows on TV news channels, with viewers tuning in to lap up all the classified information about the tenuous relations between the government and the military .

    Pakistan’s political and military elite have been shaken by damaging disclosures about the country’s foreign policy and internal politics in hundreds of secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, with the media screaming “WikiWreaks havoc” and “WikiLeaks bombs rock Islamabad“.

    The media described the revelations as a cause for worry and introspection. Virtually all key political personalities, including President Asif Ali Zardari and his arch-rival PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, and all important institutions, including the powerful military, have been touched by the disclosures, which contain detailed readouts of meetings and conversations between US diplomats and Pakistani leaders.

    The leaked cables are dominating all bulletins and talk shows on TV news channels, with viewers tuning in to lap up all the classified information about the tenuous relations between the government and the military as well as the divisions among the politicians.

    “WikiWreaks havoc” was the headline in The Express Tribune while the headline on the front page of the Dawn read: “WikiLeaks bombs rock Islamabad”. The blunt headline in The News said: “WikiLeaks throws tons of dirt, shame on Pak players”.

    Most of the leading newspapers devoted several pages to extracts from the cables which provide an insight into the negotiations and meetings that have shaped Pakistan’s policies on key issues, including the war on terrorism and relations with India.

    “Ever since WikiLeaks started releasing US diplomatic cables on Sunday, we continue to discover one thing or another every day. Some new revelations about the power equation in Pakistan are not just interesting but quite revealing,” the Daily Times newspaper said in an editorial titled ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall…”

    Referring to one cable that quoted Western leaders as saying that Mr Zardari had expressed fears about a threat to his life, the editorial said: “These may be the personal views of President Zardari and cannot be substantiated without proof if plans to assassinate him are indeed afoot but when the President of a country fears for his life, it is time to get worried.”

    Calling for introspection on the revelations made about the Pakistani military’s perceived double role in the war on terror and the fragile democracy in Pakistan, the editorial said army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is the “most powerful man in the country and has positioned himself as the sole person to negotiate with as far as our foreign interlocutors are concerned. But it is time that democracy is allowed to take root in the country so that the civil-military relations are put in a proper perspective”.

    Since WikiLeaks began releasing the cables over the week, information has come to light about hitherto unpublicised fears among the US and Western powers about materials from Pakistan’s nuclear programme falling into the hands of extremists.

    Some cables show key leaders like Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in an unflattering light.

    Gilani, who condemns US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt almost daily, is quoted in one cable as saying that he has no problems with the attacks by unmanned spy planes “as long as they get the right people.”

    The debate on the WikiLeaks’ disclosures extended to the internet, where Pakistani bloggers and users of social networking websites like Twitter shared information and views on the leaked cables.

    Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, a close aide of President Zardari, was among those who joined the debate. “One thing is clear from Wikileaks that elected persons with people’s mandate don’t run Pakistan. Makes elections pointless,” Mr Taseer said in a message on Twitter.

    In another message, he noted that the three traditional A’s of political success in Pakistan were “Allah, Army, America”, while the “new 3 A’s of political success in the correct order of priority (are) 1.America 2. Arabs 3. Army”.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article927738.ece

  7. انجوائے کریں !وسعت اللہ خان
    کوئی وکی لیکس کے ہاتھوں امریکی حکومت کے ڈھائی لاکھ خفیہ دستاویزات کی اشاعت کو سفارتکاری کا نائن الیون قرار دے رہا ہے تو کوئی اسے امریکہ اور اس کے اتحادیوں کے دوغلے پن کا پردہ فاش سمجھ رہا ہے۔

    کوئی یہ کہہ رہا ہے کہ یہ مسلمان ممالک کو آپس میں لڑانے کی ایک اور سی آئی اے اور یہودیوں کی سازش ہے تو کوئی اسے جھوٹ کا پلندہ قرار دے کر یکسر مسترد کر رہا ہے۔
    لیکن جو کچھ بھی وکی لیکس نے شائع کر کے ایک عارضی سنسنی پھیلائی ہے۔ اگر یہ سب ڈرامہ نہ بھی ہوتا تو کیا فرق پڑتا ؟
    کیا دنیا کو پہلی بار یہ پتا چلا ہے کہ سفارتکاری مروجہخلاقیات پر نہیں بلکہ مفادات کی بنا پر استوار ا ہوتی ہے۔ کیا آپ کو نہیں معلوم کہ جس طرح کارخانے کا سیٹھ مزدوروں کو منقسم رکھنے کے لیے پاکٹ یونین بنواتا ہے ۔اسی طرح بڑی طاقتیں حقیقی مخالفت کا راستہ روکنے کے لیے مختلف حکومتوں، اداروں، تنظیموں اور شخصیات کی شکل میں ایک جعلی اپوزیشن کھڑی کرتی ہیں، انہیں گالیاں دینے اور زہر اگلنے کے لیے مراعات و وسائل دیے جاتے ہیں۔ نورا کشتیاں منعقد کروائی جاتی ہیں۔ تاکہ لوگ اصل اور نقل کے چکر میں ہی پڑے رہیں اور آقاؤں کے سیاسی، سفارتی اور اقتصادی مفادات کی دکان گرم رہے۔
    کیا یہ بات وکی لیکس سے پہلے سمجھ میں نہیں آ رہی تھی کہ عرب اور ایران کی دشمنی صدام اور خمینی کے دور کی نہیں ہے بلکہ اس کی جڑیں صدیوں تک پھیل ہوئی ہیں۔ کیا یہ بات وکی لیکس نے ہی سمجھائی ہے کہ پاکستان سے سعودی عرب سمیت تیل سے مالامال برادر اسلامی ممالک کا رشتہ برابری کا نہیں بلکہ ایک امیر اور دور پار کے غریب رشتے دار کا بندھن ہے۔ ایسا غریب رشتے دار جو بخشیش پر دعائیں دیتا نہیں تھکتا اور استہزائیہ طعنوں کو پیشانی پے بل لائے بغیر سننے پر مجبور ہوتا ہے۔
    کیا ایک عام پاکستانی یہ راز جاننے کے لیے وکی لیکس کا محتاج تھا کہ اس ملک میں طاقت کا سرچشمہ فوج ہے اور 146میوزیکل چئیر145 کے دلدادہ جی ایچ کیو کے توسط سے اکثر سیاسی جماعتیں اور شخصیات امریکہ کے بچے جمورے ہیں۔
    کیا یہ بات دو ہفتے پہلے ہی سمجھ میں آئی ہے کہ امریکہ دل ہی دل میں پاکستانی اسٹیبلشمنٹ کو کیا سمجھتا ہے ۔لیکن اسٹیبلشمنٹ مسکراتے امریکی عہدیداروں سے پیٹھ تھپتھپوانے کے بعد اس فورمین یا کمدار کی طرح کُپا ہو جاتی ہے جس کے منہ سے سوائے اس کے کوئی جملہ نہیں نکلتا کہ سر آپ بس حکم کریں باقی کام میرا ہے۔ سر بس ذرا سی پگھار اور بونس بڑھا دیں۔ سر مزدور بے چین ہو رہے ہیں اور اپنا گزارہ بھی ان دنوں مشکل سے ہو رہا ہے۔
    جس طرح بولی وڈ اور لولی وڈ میں پچھلے ساٹھ برس سے ایک ہی کہانی نام اور کردار بدل بدل کر چمکانے کی ملی جلی کوشش ہو رہی ہے۔ اسی طرح وکی لیکس بھی بین الاقوامی مفادات کی گھٹیا سفاک کہانی کو نئے نام سے پیش کرنے کا ایک اور مظاہرہ ہے۔ پہلے یہی کہانیاں واقعہ گزر جانے کے پچیس برس بعد افشا ہوتی تھیں۔ اب فلم ساز کو بھی تیز رفتار مارکیٹ کے ساتھ چلنا پڑ رہا ہے۔
    وکی لیکس سے آپ بھلے لطف اندوز ہوتے رہیے۔ لیکن جون ایلیا کا یہ شعر بھی یاد رکھئے کہ
    میں اپنے جرم کا اقرار کرکے
    کچھ اور ہے جسے چھپا گیا ہوں
    Source: BBC

  8. WikiLeaks helped relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan: Karzai

    Leaked U.S. government cables critical of Afghanistan and Pakistan have helped bring the two nations together, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday, dismissing their content as lies.

    “Whatever the intention was of the WikiLeaks, they helped relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, so in that sense the Wikileaks were good for us,” Karzai said, without detailing how damaging allegations in the cables might have brought them together.

  9. WikiLeaks founder threatens to release entire cache of unfiltered files

    At the centre of a tightening web of death threats, sex-crime accusations and high-level demands for a treason trial, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange threatened to unleash a “thermonuclear device” of completely unexpurgated government files if he is forced to appear before authorities.

    Mr. Assange, the 39-year-old Australian Internet activist whose online document-leaking service has embarrassed the United States and other countries by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic and military documents, has referred to the huge, unfiltered document as his “insurance policy.”

    The 1.3-gigabyte file, distributed through file-sharing services this summer and protected with an unbreakable 256-bit encryption key, contains full versions of all the U.S. documents received by WikiLeaks to date – including those that have been withheld from publication or have had names and details removed in order to protect the lives of spies, sources and soldiers.

    Silent for the better part of a week as WikiLeaks made daily headlines around the globe, Mr. Assange has been increasingly vocal in recent days, defending his actions, decrying his critics and defying world leaders.

    Mr. Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens warned that if Mr. Assange were to be brought to trial on rape accusations he faces in Sweden, or for treason charges that have been suggested by U.S. politicians, he would release the encryption key. The tens of thousands of people who have downloaded the file would instantly have access to the names, addresses and details contained in the file.

    WikiLeaks, Mr. Stephens said, has “been subject to cyberattacks and censorship around the world and they need to protect themselves … This is what they believe to be a thermonuclear device in the information age.”

    He uttered that threat as his client was believed to be in hiding in Britain, with prominent U.S. and Saudi officials calling for Mr. Assange’s arrest or death, justice officials attempting to shut down his websites in many countries, and the Swedish justice system seeking him for questioning on the sexual-crime allegations.

    Mr. Assange has denied the accusation, made by two women who hosted a party for him in Stockholm in August. He has acknowledged having had consensual sex with the complainants. Reports say the sex became non-consensual over disagreements about condom use.

    This weekend he refused to respond to a European arrest warrant issued by Sweden, and an Interpol alert related to the accusation. His lawyers argued that the accusations amount to a smear campaign and suggested that U.S. officials might be behind them.

    The Swedish prosecutor took the unusual step of going before the news media to say she has received no pressure or communication of any sort from international or political authorities and that the charges are unrelated to the leaks scandal.

    “This investigation has proceeded perfectly normally without any political pressure of any kind,” prosecutor Marianne Ny told the Agence France-Presse wire service. “It is completely independent.”

    A number of high-profile U.S. figures, including Republicans Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, have called for the prosecution of Mr. Assange.

    “Julian Assange is engaged in warfare,” Mr. Gingrich said, echoing similar words spoken by Ms. Palin and others last week. “Information terrorism, which leads to people getting killed, is terrorism. And Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant and WikiLeaks should be closed down permanently and decisively.”

    However, U.S. charges against Mr. Assange are unlikely: He is not a U.S. citizen and, because he did not steal the documents himself, but only participated in their publication, he would likely be protected under the U.S. Constitution’s free-speech provisions.

    The documents were reportedly stolen from a U.S. military installation by Bradley Manning, a former private in the U.S. Army who copied years of secret Pentagon and State Department communiqués and passed them to Mr. Assange, who in turn brokered deals with worldwide media outlets to publish details from them. Those details, despite some censorship by Mr. Assange and the publishers, have shaken relations between the United States and Gulf countries, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Mr. Manning is already being held in solitary confinement, and will likely face treason and espionage charges. This has not stopped a growing chorus of U.S. and foreign figures from pushing for punishment for Mr. Assange.

    U.S. newspapers reported that a team of Justice Department and Pentagon investigators is looking into the possibility of charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act. Attorney-General Eric Holder said “this is not sabre-rattling” when asked by reporters about the possibility of charges. Justice officials in Australia, where Mr. Assange was born, are reportedly also looking into a prosecution.

    That did not stop more figures from suggesting that Mr. Assange should be harmed or killed – a circle that includes Canadian Tom Flanagan, a former campaign manager to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who told a TV interviewer last week that Mr. Assange should be assassinated (he later apologized for the remark).

    In an online interview with the Guardian newspaper, Mr. Assange said Mr. Flanagan “should be charged with incitement to commit murder.”

    He also told reporters Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, should resign if they are shown to have authorized an operation to spy on United Nations top officials – one of the many secrets revealed in the leaked State Department cables.

    “Obama must answer what he knew about this illegal order and when. If he refuses to answer or there is evidence he approved of these actions, he must resign,” the WikiLeaks founder told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

    He suggested, not for the first time, that he believes his document service has had a profound effect on world history: “I believe geopolitics will be separated into pre- and post-Cablegate phases.”

    The 1.3-gigabyte file, distributed through file-sharing services this summer and protected with an unbreakable 256-bit encryption key, contains full versions of all the U.S. documents received by WikiLeaks to date – including those that have been withheld from publication or have had names and details removed in order to protect the lives of spies, sources and soldiers.

    Silent for the better part of a week as WikiLeaks made daily headlines around the globe, Mr. Assange has been increasingly vocal in recent days, defending his actions, decrying his critics and defying world leaders.

    Mr. Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens warned that if Mr. Assange were to be brought to trial on rape accusations he faces in Sweden, or for treason charges that have been suggested by U.S. politicians, he would release the encryption key. The tens of thousands of people who have downloaded the file would instantly have access to the names, addresses and details contained in the file.

    WikiLeaks, Mr. Stephens said, has “been subject to cyberattacks and censorship around the world and they need to protect themselves … This is what they believe to be a thermonuclear device in the information age.”

    He uttered that threat as his client was believed to be in hiding in Britain, with prominent U.S. and Saudi officials calling for Mr. Assange’s arrest or death, justice officials attempting to shut down his websites in many countries, and the Swedish justice system seeking him for questioning on the sexual-crime allegations.

    Mr. Assange has denied the accusation, made by two women who hosted a party for him in Stockholm in August. He has acknowledged having had consensual sex with the complainants. Reports say the sex became non-consensual over disagreements about condom use.

    This weekend he refused to respond to a European arrest warrant issued by Sweden, and an Interpol alert related to the accusation. His lawyers argued that the accusations amount to a smear campaign and suggested that U.S. officials might be behind them.

    The Swedish prosecutor took the unusual step of going before the news media to say she has received no pressure or communication of any sort from international or political authorities and that the charges are unrelated to the leaks scandal.

    “This investigation has proceeded perfectly normally without any political pressure of any kind,” prosecutor Marianne Ny told the Agence France-Presse wire service. “It is completely independent.”

    A number of high-profile U.S. figures, including Republicans Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, have called for the prosecution of Mr. Assange.

    “Julian Assange is engaged in warfare,” Mr. Gingrich said, echoing similar words spoken by Ms. Palin and others last week. “Information terrorism, which leads to people getting killed, is terrorism. And Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant and WikiLeaks should be closed down permanently and decisively.”

    However, U.S. charges against Mr. Assange are unlikely: He is not a U.S. citizen and, because he did not steal the documents himself, but only participated in their publication, he would likely be protected under the U.S. Constitution’s free-speech provisions.

    The documents were reportedly stolen from a U.S. military installation by Bradley Manning, a former private in the U.S. Army who copied years of secret Pentagon and State Department communiqués and passed them to Mr. Assange, who in turn brokered deals with worldwide media outlets to publish details from them. Those details, despite some censorship by Mr. Assange and the publishers, have shaken relations between the United States and Gulf countries, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Mr. Manning is already being held in solitary confinement, and will likely face treason and espionage charges. This has not stopped a growing chorus of U.S. and foreign figures from pushing for punishment for Mr. Assange.

    U.S. newspapers reported that a team of Justice Department and Pentagon investigators is looking into the possibility of charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act. Attorney-General Eric Holder said “this is not sabre-rattling” when asked by reporters about the possibility of charges. Justice officials in Australia, where Mr. Assange was born, are reportedly also looking into a prosecution.

    That did not stop more figures from suggesting that Mr. Assange should be harmed or killed – a circle that includes Canadian Tom Flanagan, a former campaign manager to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who told a TV interviewer last week that Mr. Assange should be assassinated (he later apologized for the remark).

    In an online interview with the Guardian newspaper, Mr. Assange said Mr. Flanagan “should be charged with incitement to commit murder.”

    He also told reporters Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, should resign if they are shown to have authorized an operation to spy on United Nations top officials – one of the many secrets revealed in the leaked State Department cables.

    “Obama must answer what he knew about this illegal order and when. If he refuses to answer or there is evidence he approved of these actions, he must resign,” the WikiLeaks founder told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

    He suggested, not for the first time, that he believes his document service has had a profound effect on world history: “I believe geopolitics will be separated into pre- and post-Cablegate phases.”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/assange-threatens-to-release-entire-cache-of-unfiltered-files/article1825922/

  10. How WikiLeaks Hurts U.S.-Pakistan Ties

    by Jayshree Bajoria
    The release of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables (NYT) by WikiLeaks.org has further shaken Washington’s already strained relations with Pakistan, a strategic ally central to any success in Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism. The cables discuss U.S. concerns over Pakistan’s continued support for certain militant groups, its nuclear program, the country’s fragile civil-military relations, human rights abuses by Pakistan’s security services, and more. Pakistani media has been covering the cable leaks extensively, and some stories have further fueled anti-U.S. sentiment (Reuters), with Pakistan’s right-wing Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami staging a rally Dec. 5 to protest Pakistan’s alliance (AFP) with the United States.
    Both U.S. and Pakistani officials have rushed to minimize damage over the leaks. A spokesperson for Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Zardari had agreed not to let (CNN) the cable leaks “cast a shadow on the strategic partnership” between their countries. But as the cables highlight, the U.S.-Pakistan relations is fraught with lack of trust and shared goals. “That should raise fresh doubts (Newsweek) about the prospects for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, given that Pakistan provides sanctuary for the Taliban and other groups hostile to our purposes,” writes CFR President Richard N. Haass, adding: “Little in these cables suggest this support will end any time soon.”
    Analysts fear the cable leaks have also made more difficult information gathering by U.S. officials and diplomats on the ground, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, in an op-ed in the Pakistani newspaper The News, attempted to assuage concerns by saying Washington was taking steps to prevent any future breach of diplomatic communications. A bigger fallout from the WikiLeaks, says CFR’s Pakistan expert Daniel Markey, is that it “may have permanently killed small U.S. nonproliferation and counterterror programs” in Pakistan “by unveiling U.S. efforts to reclaim enriched uranium from an aging Pakistani research reactor and by offering details on how U.S. Special Forces have been embedded in Pakistan’s own military operations.”
    The cables also might jeopardize recent progress made in U.S.-Pakistan military cooperation. Last month, the Pentagon in its report to Congress (PDF), unveiled its plan to build a new facility to house U.S. military officials in the Pakistani city of Quetta, in Balochistan. This is significant given U.S. fears that Quetta is the headquarters for the Afghan Taliban’s top leadership and Washington’s concerns over Pakistani army’s unwillingness to break ties with the group. The Pentagon plan is already facing a backlash (ForeignPolicy) in Pakistan, and the cables may help strengthen the opposition to it.

    Washington’s biggest challenge is getting Pakistan’s most powerful institution—the army—to revise its decades-old policy of supporting militant groups. Pakistan uses these groups as proxies against India and to project its influence in Afghanistan. In a September 2009 cable, former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson wrote that no amount of U.S. aid to Pakistan will get its security forces to sever links with the Taliban, absent a regional approach that reassures the Pakistanis that cooperating with Washington will help them realize their national security goals. A recent CFR Task Force report argues U.S. investment in a long-term partnership with Pakistan is only sustainable if Pakistan takes action against all terrorist organizations based on its soil.
    Additional Analysis:
    Imtiaz Gul, head of Islamabad-based Center for Research and Security Studies, lambasts what he calls Pakistan’s two-faced U.S. policy (Express Tribune). He says Pakistan must make a clean break from all militant groups and instead of using the war against terrorism to extract aid from the United States, as well as focus on its internal political reform and the economy.
    In ForeignPolicy.com, James Traub writes that the diplomatic cables reveal the United States has no good options when it comes to its policy on Pakistan.
    Background:
    The BBC looks at Pakistan’s growing nuclear program and the security measures associated with it.

    Weigh in on this issue by emailing CFR.org.
    http://www.cfr.org/publication/23565/how_wikileaks_hurts_uspakistan_ties.html

  11. Stop beating ourselves up

    by Ayesha Ijaz Khan

    WikiLeaks offer amazing disclosures but there are a couple of things to bear in mind. First, these are subjective assessments by American diplomats. And second, while reading the media reports, beware of spin. For instance, the Pakistani media is quick to point out that our government colluded with the US government on drones. It also readily notes that our civilian and military leadership cosies up to American diplomats. This is all true, worrisome and must be brought to the attention of our citizens. But so should the cable that does not validate previous media suspicions, such as the fact that Aafia Siddiqui may not have been held in Bagram or the fact that there are cables to suggest that Gilani, Kayani and Musharraf have, at times, spoken their minds and challenged the American worldview. Nawaz Sharif, moreover, firmly held his ground and refused to be coerced in the case of the restoration of the chief justice. To use the cables only to reinforce the oft-prevailing view that Pakistan is a ‘client state’ is not doing justice to the revelations.
    If the cables from embassies other than Islamabad are perused, it becomes evident that the degree of American infiltration around the globe is concerning and reaches far beyond Pakistan. To cite a few examples, Russia was persuaded by the Americans to ban the sale of S-300 air defence missile systems to Iran. The Spanish government was pressured by the Americans to close a court case in which a Spanish cameraman was killed in Baghdad by US army fire, thereby ensuring that US soldiers indicted by the Spanish court were not arrested. In Germany, a top aide to the German foreign minister was used as a mole by the US to spy on coalition-building talks to build a new government in Germany. These are all stories from relatively powerful countries, what to speak of other developing countries. Perhaps that is what happens when there is only one superpower left in the world. It exerts undue influence and others try to ingratiate themselves to it, as David Cameron was quoted assuring the Americans in one cable, that “the Tories are pro-American”.
    And yet there is also evidence to suggest that in spite of such power, there are times when things simply do not go according to plan for the Americans and then they do resign themselves and work with the new reality. A good example is Turkey. There are enormous amounts of cables emanating from the embassy in Ankara. One dated December 8, 2005 is subtitled, “Despite wishful thinking, the Justice Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi — AKP) not crumbling yet”. In the earlier cables, the ambassador in Turkey underplays Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP’s hold on power and yet by 2005, one notices the change in tone. The dislike does not change but the realisation that America must work with the powers that be, comes through. In Pakistan too, there are instances of US wishes not coming to fruition.
    In one cable, for example, Anne Patterson writes, “no amount of money will stop Pakistan from supporting the Afghan Taliban”. Although the wisdom of this Pakistani policy may be debated, it is clear that it is not dictated by America. A better example is that of the lawyers’ movement, which succeeded in spite of efforts to the contrary, from not just the United States but also Saudi Arabia and China. Thus, in one cable Patterson acknowledges: “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.” Yet, to quote Patterson again, “the myth of US influence” controlling all in Pakistan is pervasive and constantly fed by our media. We need to stop beating ourselves up and get rid of this self-defeatism. As long as we believe we can control our own destiny, we will.
    Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2010.

  12. WikiLeaks Proving A Political Bombshell In Pakistan

    By Abubakar Siddique
    “Don’t trust WikiLeaks,” Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told journalists recently while discussing confidential U.S. diplomatic cables published by the whistle-blower site. The leaks, he said, are “the observations of junior diplomats.”

    But attempts by Gilani and others in Pakistan to downplay the significance of the WikiLeaks revelations belie the stir the WikiLeaks cables have raised.

    For some key political and military leaders, the cables are an embarrassment, revealing sharp contrasts between what they tell U.S. diplomats in private and the views they present to the Pakistani public. Public outcry is reverberating on television talk shows and the front pages of newspapers.

    The publication of one cable has set Pakistan’s most powerful institution, the military, on its heels. The cable, by then-U.S. Ambassador Anne W. Patterson in 2009, said that current military head, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, “hinted that he might, however reluctantly, have to persuade President Zardari to resign if the situation sharply deteriorates.”

    The revelation led military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas to offer assurances of the military’s support for democracy.

    “The army has a demonstrated policy of supporting the political process within the confines of the constitution of Pakistan,” he said in a December 4 statement, adding that Kayani “holds all national leaders in esteem.”

    Political Damage?

    Senior Pakistani politicians, meanwhile, have come under intense criticism after cables exposed their private discussions with U.S. diplomats. In November 2007, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, a leading Islamist politician whose Jamiat Ulam-e Islam political party is publicly anti-Western, sought U.S. envoy’s Patterson’s backing for his bid to become prime minster.

    His supporters have flatly denied having made any such requests. Abdul Jalil Jan, a senior leader of Jamiat Ulam-e Islam tells RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal that there is no truth to what was reported in the cable.

    “When we formed the MMA [Muttahida Majlis-e Amal] coalition government in the frontier province” — now renamed as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — “we didn’t ask for anybody’s support. We only asked for Allah’s help,” Jan says. “Whenever the majority of people vote for Jamiat Ulam-e Islam, we can claim the prime minister’s position. Then the U.S. would not be able to stop us from governing.”

    The cables hint at Saudi Arabia’s deep influence in Pakistan, much of which is bought by petrodollars. An October 2008 cable purportedly from the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh reads: “The Pakistanis are convinced that Saudi King Abdallah would prefer to see Pakistan run by former PM Nawas (Nawaz) Sharif, and were cutting back assistance to Pakistan to hasten this eventuality.” The analysis, attributed to a senior Pakistani diplomat in Riyadh, adds that Nawaz is preferred in the kingdom because his daughter is married to a grandson of the late Saudi King Fahd, which makes him a member of the Saudi royal family.

    But Khawaja Asif, a senior leader of the Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz rejects such assertions. Speaking to RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal, he characterizes them as an effort to sabotage relations between Islamabad and Riyad.

    “What really matters to us is that how the Pakistani people view Nawaz Sahrif,” Asif says. “With Allah’s blessing, we are satisfied with that because they voted us to power in the [eastern] province of Punjab.”

    ‘Pettiness’ And Plain Speaking

    As the WikiLeaks uproar has unfolded, Pakistan’s English-language daily “Dawn” has concluded that “the pettiness of a number of national leaders has been exposed.” In an editorial published on December 3, the daily wrote: “More depressing, perhaps, is how most of Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders appear to consider the U.S. envoy as some sort of viceroy who should be appealed to for domestic concerns.”

    The country’s virulently anti-Western Urdu-language press sees conspiracy theories behind the leaked diplomatic correspondence.

    “We should think [about] whether turning WikiLeaks into headlines on our front pages and TV screens is right? Apparently it is propaganda against the Muslim countries and by projecting it, aren’t we becoming part of it? It will be best not to hype these revelations based on flawed information,” daily “Express” opined on August 4.

    Declan Walsh, Islamabad correspondent for “The Guardian” — one of five media outlets with advance access to the cables — notes that most Pakistani media coverage of the WikiLeaks revelations target what has been said about the country’s civilian politicians and the deep divisions between civilian and military leaders. But Pakistani media has been silent on other critical issues highlighted in the secret diplomatic correspondence, he says.

    “What we have not seen in Pakistan is a lot of debate about the other revelations of the WikiLeaks, which are, according to American diplomats and intelligence, the continuing links between Pakistan’s military and selected Islamist militant groups in the region, such as the Haqqani group and the Afghan Taliban,” Walsh says. “And according to American officials who are cited in the cables, they say that Pakistan is supporting these groups as part of a strategic hedge against India in the region.”

    Larry Robinson, who headed the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad between 2002 and 2005, says that the cables made public so far had no major surprises for people who seriously follow events in Pakistan. But the revelations are damaging and “seriously embarrassing to quite a large number of people in the near-term.”

    Robinson says that the real damage will be long-term. Due to fears that their conversations will be leaked, he suggests, few Pakistanis will now candidly speak to American diplomats. U.S. envoys, he says, will be very careful about what to report to Washington and might prefer to even avoid normal reporting channels, which might make State Department cables less useful to their immediate readers and future historians.

    “What has been lost is the trust and integrity of the system and the ability to speak frankly,” Robinson says.
    http://www.rferl.org/content/wikileaks_political_bombshell_pakistan/2244959.html

  13. WikiLeaks and civilian-military relationship

    By Ali K Chishti

    “ WikiLeaks cables exposed the politicised military generals in Pakistan, where the army had turned out to be the biggest losers as compared to politicians…”

    The recent leaks by WikiLeaks, branded as “of 9/11 proportions” by the Italians, have revealed significant information and exposed US diplomacy and how other leaders around the world interact with American diplomats. While a deluge of US diplomatic cables has tarnished the reputation of Pakistan’s political and military leadership, this new crisis emerging in Pakistan, if not totally collapsed, has at least dented the very nature of the civilian-military relationship for a long time to come.

    Among those who was most damaged was military chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani, who according to the leaks, would confide highly sensitive information to former US ambassador Anne Patterson and use her to carry messages to his own political leadership. She was the confidante and sometimes adviser to Pakistan’s leadership. Kayani divulged to her in March 2009 that he might oust President Asif Ali Zardari, while Zardari told her whom he wanted to succeed him if he were assassinated. Kayani also used Patterson to convey his concerns to Zardari during the political crisis of March 2009. She met the army chief at least four times in one week. Zardari once told US Vice President Joe Biden that he feared the military “might take me out”, a quote that speaks volumes about the mistrust between the civilians and the military, where foreigners seem to be more trusted than each other. Zardari is also reported to have reacted strongly to the fact that politicians never bad mouthed the military out of respect and patriotism, but the military generals did exactly the opposite. It was President Zardari who extended Kayani’s tenure, much to the displeasure of some of his closest friends.

    While the whole Kayani-Pasha episode speaks a ton about the military’s distrust of its civilian decision makers, it also underlines the fact how military and civil bureaucrats meet foreign diplomats without prior permission. “If Gen Kayani meets a US ambassador, he should have technically sent a report out to the defence secretary to save his back. After what we read in WikiLeaks, we shouldn’t have given Kayani a three year extension,” a close aide of the president told Daily Times. While the mood in the Presidency was one of anger, to make the most out of the situation, the post-WikiLeaks fiasco seems to exert as much pressure on General Kayani as possible to assert civilian supremacy. And the Presidency has somewhat succeeded in this endeavour.

    While the prime minister officially described the leaks as a “mischief”, there is clearly anger within the ruling PPP, which wants to create an opportunity to restore the supremacy of parliament, where even a small media campaign had been run to pressurise Kayani, to which the military retaliated with some of its own TV anchors trying to defame and highlight politicians in the WikiLeaks.

    “It’s a cold war between the military and civilian leadership right now,” confirmed an investigative journalist, who is close to the PM. Reports claim that the GHQ did come under intense pressure, so much so that it had to call a team of journalists who met Kayani. An ISPR clarification came out defending the military chief, saying, “The chief has respect for all politicians, including Nawaz Sharif,” thus confirming doubts that Kayani did actually come under intense pressure for the first time in years.

    Interestingly, the whole WikiLeaks episode confirms that not only Pakistan’s leading politicians, but the military also appears to share the belief that the US is the ultimate power in their country. One ambitious contender, Fazlur Rehman, who is ostensibly anti-American, held a banquet for Patterson in 2007 to seek her help in becoming the next prime minister, while Nawaz, who has repeatedly been publicly critical of the US, assured American diplomats behind closed doors of his pro-American feelings and even thanked Patterson on the appointment of Kayani.

    At a lunch at the Islamabad club, one of Kayani’s teachers, whom the chief often consults, didn’t agree that Kayani could have said such a thing to a foreigner. “Kayani once told me he’s not Musharraf, and would never be a part of destabilising the civilian set-up. He thinks before he speaks. And the only reason why Kayani must have thought low of the Sharifs is because of Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif’s plea to the Taliban some time ago about not attacking Punjab. Kayani, I know, likes the Sharifs, while it’s Pasha who is a bit emotional …”

    The lesson? The reality is that the military must subjugate itself to political control, not because they are necessarily wiser, but because they are the elected representatives of the people and remain accountable to the people. And it is only those who are elected by the people who have the authority and the responsibility to decide the fate of a nation. WikiLeaks could have as much as done the job for politicians in terms of parliamentary supremacy for now, but let’s hope they can play the right cards.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\28\story_28-12-2010_pg7_23

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