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Viewing cable 09LONDON860, CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER ON AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09LONDON860 2009-04-09 15:03 2010-11-30 23:11 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy London
INFO  LOG-00   EEB-00   AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  INL-00   
      DODE-00  DOEE-00  DOTE-00  PERC-00  DS-00    EAP-00   DHSE-00  
      FAAE-00  FBIE-00  VCI-00   FO-00    H-00     TEDE-00  INR-00   
      IO-00    MOFM-00  MOF-00   VCIE-00  NSAE-00  ISN-00   NSCE-00  
      NIMA-00  PM-00    GIWI-00  SCT-00   ISNE-00  DOHS-00  FMPC-00  
      SSO-00   SS-00    TRSE-00  NCTC-00  ASDS-00  CBP-00   R-00     
      SCRS-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-00   SCA-00   SAS-00   
      FA-00    SWCI-00    /000W
                  ------------------50B38D  091507Z /38 

   
P 091551Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1955
INFO AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000860 


NOFORN 

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/WE AND SCA 

EO 12958 DECL: 04/06/2019 
TAGS MARR, PREL, PTER, PGOV, PK, AF, IN, UK 
SUBJECT: CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER ON AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN 

REF: LONDON 720
Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Richard LeBaron, reasons 1.4  (b, d).

1. (C/NF) Summary. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Holbrooke met April 3 with British Conservative Party leader David Cameron and Shadow Chancellor George Osborne to offer an overview of USG policy in the region and to urge HMG (under possible future Conservative leadership) to engage more on Pakistan and to use British influence more effectively to help tackle corruption, underpin democratic institutions and civil society, as well as encourage greater Pakistani military attention to its western border with Afghanistan. Cameron characterized the large population of British Pakistanis with strong expatriate ties to their home country as not pro-Taliban but certainly radicalized by the Iraq war and militant about Kashmir; he also criticized HMG’s counter-radicalization strategy with UK Muslims. Cameron agreed that HMG needed to get UK-Pakistan relations “right” and broadly agreed that any request to a Conservative-led UK government for British troop increases in Afghanistan would likely find the Conservatives, in line with their current policy, receptive but seeking conditions. End summary.

UK Should Play a Larger Role
---------------------------- 

2. (C/NF) Special Representative Ambassador Richard Holbrooke discussed U.S. and UK policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan April 3 with Conservative Party leader David Cameron and Shadow Chancellor George Osborne. Charge and Poloff McNicholas attended the meeting, as did Cameron’s Chief of Staff Ed Llewellyn. Holbrooke gave an overview of the challenges that the UK and U.S. faced in the region and stressed the need to pay more critical attention to Pakistan in order for us collectively to combat terrorism and radicalization and to strengthen democratic institutions there. Noting the striking connections between the UK’s large Pakistani community and its home country (e.g., the large number of flights and remittances between the two countries and abiding ties between families/communities in the UK and Pakistan) and the strong influence Britain continues to enjoy in Islamabad, Ambassador Holbrooke urged Cameron to capitalize on this -- should the Conservatives come into power -- and exercise a stronger role for the UK in Pakistan. Foreign Secretary David Miliband had played a positive role in the recent Zardari-Sharif crisis and there were more opportunities for the UK to examine its relationship with Pakistan and use its influence more effectively. One means, Holbrooke said, was to focus on increasing UK assistance to Pakistan. Holbrooke stressed that the fight against corruption in Pakistan was critical as average Pakistanis considered corrupt leaders more of a concern than the Taliban.

3. (C/NF) Additionally, Holbrooke underscored that it was crucial for Pakistan to focus troops on its western border region; after the Mumbai terrorist attack the GOP had shifted 7,000 troops east to the border with India and had not yet redeployed them to tackle the more serious cross-border activity on the border with Afghanistan. He added that one objective of his and Admiral Mullen’s trip was to chip away at the mistrust between the two countries.

UK Pakistani Community: Not Taliban, but Radicalized
--------------------------------------------- -------- 

4. (C/NF) Cameron, whose Conservative Party currently has a significant lead in UK opinion polls (see reftel), indicated that his foreign affairs team was thinking constructively about Afghanistan and Pakistan and preparing a Conservative government policy for the region. He and his shadow cabinet were focused on asking “constructive” questions in Parliament, and his party was keenly interested in President Obama’s strategy for the region. Cameron noted that most of the approximately one million UK citizens of Pakistani origin (mostly Punjabis and Kashmiris) living in the UK were not pro-Taliban but had been radicalized by the Iraq war and were militant over Kashmir. The Conservative Party leader agreed that HMG “must get UK-Pakistan relations right” and stressed the Conservatives’ commitment to this goal should they assume power in the next election.
5. (C/NF) On the radicalization of British Pakistanis, Cameron said the UK had “gotten it wrong domestically,” and was critical of the UK government’s “Prevent” counter-radicalization pillar (part of HMG’s broader CONTEST counterterrorism strategy). He argued that PM Brown’s policy had been too willing to engage with radicalized but non-violent Muslim groups. Cameron argued that there should be no difference and that both groups should be treated the same and sanctioned if they advocated violence. “We let in some crazies,” Cameron said, “and didn’t wake up soon enough.” Cameron singled out XXXXXXXXXXXX as groups that the government should not be dealing with as conduits to the Muslim communities.

Conservatives Would Entertain More UK Troops
-------------------------------------------- 

6. (C/NF) Cameron said that if the Dutch and Australians were to reduce their military presence in 2011, the Conservatives (when in government) could be expected to fashion a policy along the lines of the questions they had been posing to PM Brown in Parliament; that is, to be responsive to requests for increased troops if other conditions were addressed, such as the provision for more helicopters and a clear strategy for continued UK engagement in Afghanistan.

7. (U) Ambassador Holbrooke cleared this cable.
Visit London’s Classified Website: http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Unit ed_Kingdom
LEBARON