Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 2497 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YE YM YI

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 09ISLAMABAD385, FOCUSING THE U.S.-PAKISTAN STRATEGIC DIALOGUE

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09ISLAMABAD385.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ISLAMABAD385 2009-02-21 12:12 2010-11-30 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Islamabad
VZCZCXRO6397
OO RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #0385/01 0521227
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211227Z FEB 09 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1564
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 9876
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 9730
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 4499
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 1111
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 6809
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 5736
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHWSMRC/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ISLAMABAD 000385 
C O R R E C T E D COPY
CLASSIFCATION MISMATCH ERROR IN PARAGRAPH 8, 9, 10 

SIPDIS 

EO 12958 DECL: 08/04/2018 
TAGS PREL, PTER, PGOV, PK 
SUBJECT: FOCUSING THE U.S.-PAKISTAN STRATEGIC DIALOGUE 

ISLAMABAD 00000385 001.3 OF 003

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

1. (C) Summary. As Foreign Minister Qureshi and his team arrive in Washington for coordination on the Holbrooke/Riedel strategic review, Post offers the following thoughts on issues for strategic engagement. In the coming weeks, Post will detail our suggestions on how to expand political, economic, security, and intelligence engagement with Pakistan from the current $2 billion annually to $4 billion beginning in FY2011. End Summary.

2. (C) As we work to prevent Pakistan-based attacks on the U.S. and its forces, we should be clear that al-Qaida (AQ) now wants more than just a safe-haven in Pakistan, and defeating a growing witches’ brew of AQ, Taliban, local extremists and criminals will be a long 10-15 year fight. President Zardari has summed it up by saying, “the militants now are after me and my job.” The militant takeover of Swat in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) is the most striking example of how far and how fast the government is losing control over its territory. As the fight continues, we expect AQ to increase both its offensive and defensive operations to protect its equities. It simply has nowhere else to go.

Understanding Swat
3. (C) Talks continue between Tehrik Nizam Shariat Mohammed (Movement for Shari’a or TNSM) leader Sufi Mohammad and his son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah, who works with the Tehrik-e-Taliban movement headed by Baitullah Mehsud. The Army appears unwilling or unable to control the area, and the population is fed up with both indiscriminate Army shelling and taliban-imposed terror. So, the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Army are trying a new version of a failed strategy. Through Sufi Mohammad, the NWFP provincial government is trying to split the population from Fazlullah’s taliban by offering adherence to a form of Shari’a law, interpreted locally as swift justice. The NWFP offer on Shari’a has not been signed by President Zardari and is conditioned on establishment of peace in Swat. The Army has not withdrawn from its positions, and it insists it will not withdraw until peace is established.

4. (C) Few Pakistanis believe the deal will hold for more than two-three weeks. A similar deal failed in 2008; Post does not believe that Sufi has the clout to deliver. Fazlullah’s taliban are not going to lay down their arms--they have already violated their alleged cease-fire. ANP’s weak argument is that even a failed deal will expose Fazlullah’s real intentions; the Army’s view is that the deal at least buys them some time to regroup forces. Post’s concern is that by signaling its willingness to surrender, the deal has made it even harder for the inevitable Army re-engagement in Swat. While talks continue, however, we are working through State/USAID/DOD with UN agencies and ICRC to get relief supplies to the beleaguered Swati population. We also are working with the Ministry of Interior to provide the NWFP police with short-term support (salary supplements/death benefits, hardening police stations) while we implement a longer-term plan to deliver additional equipment and training needed to back up Army action.

Establishing Trust
5. (C) The Pakistani team will come hoping, once again, to forge long-lasting ties with the U.S. As Vice President Biden has noted, however, the relationship for too long has been transactional in nature. It also has been based on mutual mistrust. Pakistan hedges its bets on cooperation because it fears the U.S. will again desert Islamabad after we get Osama Bin Laden; Washington sees this hesitancy as duplicity that requires we take unilateral action to protect U.S. interests. After 9/11, then President Musharraf made a strategic shift to abandon the Taliban and support the U.S. in the war on terror, but neither side believes the other has lived up to expectations flowing from that decision. The relationship is one of co-dependency we grudgingly admit--Pakistan knows the U.S. cannot afford to walk away; the U.S. knows Pakistan cannot survive without our support.
Supporting Democracy/Defeating Extremism
ISLAMABAD 00000385 002.3 OF 003

6. (C) Militants will exploit either weak civilian government or a return to military rule that lacks popular legitimacy, so we should help the Zardari/Gilani government complete its full five-year term in office. We can work with Nawaz Sharif if he wins the next election, but Zardari is our best ally in Pakistan right now, and U.S. interests are best served by preventing another cycle of military rule. Qureshi will remind us that the GOP needs an international democracy dividend in the form of economic aid, improved governance, and effective law enforcement.

7. (C) We can respond first by offering robust U.S. support at the IMF/World Bank Donors’ Conference in April. We now are providing approximately $2 billion annually to Pakistan, including: $1.2 billion in Coalition Support Fund reimbursements; $150 million to improve socio-economic conditions in FATA; $300 million in ESF aid for the rest of Pakistan; over $10 million for internally displaced persons fleeing combat in Bajaur, Mohmand and Swat; $300 million (not yet received); and an imminent $15 million in aid to the NWFP police.

8. (C) If approved and financed, the Kerry-Lugar legislation will enable us to triple non-military aid to $1.5 billion per year. We will plan in FY 2010 to spend over $100 million to augment civilian police and $873 million to build counter-insurgency capability. This means giving police protective vests and rapid reaction capability, teaching the military how to coordinate ground and air operations and helping the Army keep more than two attack helicopters in the air at one time. We can build trust, address the issue of alleged U.S. strikes, and help Pakistanis target militants through enhanced DOD-based intelligence cooperation at the Torkham Joint Coordination Center. We need to help the GOP implement an effective strategic communications plan.
Changing Mindsets

9. (C) President Zardari and PM Gilani recognize Pakistan’s greatest threat has shifted from India to militancy concentrated on the Pak-Afghan border but is spreading to NWFP and beyond. The Army and ISI, however, have not turned that corner. We should press the GOP on the need to stop using militant/tribal proxies as foreign policy tools. It is now counterproductive to Pakistan’s own interests and directly conflicts with USG objectives in Afghanistan--where Haqqani’s network 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. However, we should preface this conversation with a pledge to open a new page in relations. Chief of Army Staff General Kayani, who headed ISI from 2004-2007, in particular wants to avoid a reckoning with the past, and we will not shift Pakistani military/ISI policy without his support.

10. (C) Given recent events in Swat, the Army needs to decide if it is truly prepared to commit the troops and suffer the casualties required to win and accept the training needed to shift from a conventional war with India to a COIN-based strategy along the Pak-Afghan border. We should probe the team for what Pakistan needs from India to enable it to redeploy badly-needed Pakistani forces from its eastern to its western border.

Making Afghanistan a Success
11. (C) We should ask what kind of government Islamabad can accept in Kabul and how Pakistan plans to help the U.S./NATO succeed in Afghanistan. The team will be concerned about the effect of a troop build-up in southern Afghanistan across from Balochistan, where Pakistan has meager forces to defend a long and unpopulated border. We should discuss the reality that the U.S. will be doubling cargo shipments through Pakistan (both the Torkham and Chaman crossings) in support of our troop build-up in Afghanistan.

12. (C) As ISI General Director Pasha has said, “we can’t kill all the militants.” Qureshi, noting recent comments by Defense Secretary Gates, will suggest it is time to review efforts to reach out to Taliban “reconcilables” on both sides
ISLAMABAD 00000385 003.2 OF 003
of the border. If this initiative progresses, we should consider establishing a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process in both Pakistan and Afghanistan for Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other militant fighters.
Thinking Regionally

13. (C) Pakistan’s principal strategic focus remains fixated on India, Afghanistan as strategic depth in the fight against India, and the core Kashmir issue. However, the current civilian and military leadership is the most pro-Indian that New Delhi is likely to see, and we should not allow Mumbai to derail rapprochement. Both sides should resume Composite Dialogue negotiations, re-establish back-channel negotiations, and increase trade across both the Wagah border and the Kashmir Line of Control.

14. (C) This presumes that Pakistan, with continued USG pressure, proceeds with prosecution of the Mumbai suspects. Pakistan also needs more clearly to shut down its support for Lashkar-e-Taiba militancy in Kashmir. Qureshi will want to hear a USG commitment to press the Indians to respond to the GOP’s list of follow-up questions on the investigation. We should encourage Islamabad to send, and New Delhi to receive, a Pakistani police investigatory team to collect evidence in support of successful Mumbai prosecutions.

15. (C) Qureshi likely will repeat Zardari’s pleas for USG intervention with Saudi Arabia, UAE and other Gulf states to deliver oil at concessional prices; to date, our efforts have been rebuffed but the upcoming Donors’ Conference would provide another avenue to press for assistance.

16. (C) We should leverage China’s interest in a stable Pakistan by urging its continued support at the Donors’ Conference but reminding Beijing that efforts to block 1267 designations and give Pakistan two unsanctioned civilian nuclear reactors are not helpful. Zardari would like to accept Iran’s offer of financial assistance but we doubt he will proceed without U.S. blessing.
PATTERSON