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Viewing cable 09PESHAWAR2,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09PESHAWAR2 2009-01-03 09:09 2010-11-30 21:09 SECRET Consulate Peshawar
VZCZCXRO9083
OO RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHPW #0002/01 0030902
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 030902Z JAN 09
FM AMCONSUL PESHAWAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7787
INFO RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 4572
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI IMMEDIATE 1725
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE IMMEDIATE 1718
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 0992
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 1358
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 0613
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 0754
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE 0661
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 0614
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 0706
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUMICEA/USSOCOM INTEL OPS CEN MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 4844
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
CLASSIFIED BY: Michael A. Via, Acting Principal Officer, Peshawar, Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d) Summary
- - - - 
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.”
PESHAWAR 00000002 002 OF 003
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