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Viewing cable 09ISLAMABAD270, CODEL BIDEN'S MEETING WITH COAS KAYANI AND ISI

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ISLAMABAD270 2009-02-06 15:03 2010-11-30 21:09 SECRET Embassy Islamabad
VZCZCXRO5005
OO RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #0270/01 0371503
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 061503Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1371
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 9783
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 9608
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 4409
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 1023
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 6720
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 5644
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ISLAMABAD 000270

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/06/2034
TAGS: PREL PTER MARR PGOV PK
SUBJECT: CODEL BIDEN'S MEETING WITH COAS KAYANI AND ISI
PASHA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ISLAMABAD 00000270  002 OF 003

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ISLAMABAD 00000270  003 OF 003

16.  CODEL Biden has cleared this message.
PATTERSON