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 09RIYADH1415, PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR ON MILITARY OPERATIONS IN

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. #09RIYADH1415.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09RIYADH1415 2009-10-26 13:01 2010-12-01 23:11 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Riyadh
VZCZCXRO0041
PP RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIR
DE RUEHRH #1415/01 2991318
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261318Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1774
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0301
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 4808
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0508
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 2541
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0386
RUEHDH/AMCONSUL DHAHRAN PRIORITY 0287
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 0050
RUSBPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 0186
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 RIYADH 001415 

SIPDIS 

EO 12958 DECL: 10/21/2019 
TAGS SA, PK, AF, PREL, PGOV 

SUBJECT: PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR ON MILITARY OPERATIONS IN 
FATA; SAUDI RELATIONS
RIYADH 00001415 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: Ambassador James B. Smith for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)

SUMMARY:
--------- 

1. (C) During an Oct. 20 courtesy call with the Ambassador, Pakistani Ambassador Umar Khan Alisherzai highlighted the success of recent military operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas; lamented strains on the Saudi-Pakistani bilateral relationship; discussed other regional issues affecting Pakistan; and offered his advice on countering extremism in rural tribal regions. End Summary.

WAZIRISTAN: “REASONABLE RESISTANCE, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS WE EXPECTED”
----------------------------------- 

2. (C) Alisherzai described the Pakistani military operations in Waziristan as “progressing well,” adding that they had encountered “reasonable resistance, but not as much as we expected.” The army faced difficult terrain in the region, he continued, but had already killed over 100 militants. Alisherzai described the extremists as a group of “Chechens, Saudis, Uzbeks and others” who had come across the border from Afghanistan and sought refuge with the local population.  Although tribal tradition required the Pakistanis to offer them shelter, he explained, “these people turned out to be monsters,” and the local population turned against them.

SWAT VALLEY: A SUCCESS STORY?
----------------------------- 

3. (C) Alisherzai pointed to the military’s advances against the Taliban in the Swat Valley as one example of success in the region. The cooperation of the local people was a decisive factor, as they provided the most effective intelligence to the military after realizing that “the militants were not interested in Islam at all.” In addition, the military and police in Swat provided weapons to local tribes. When pressed about conditions in Swat, Alisherzai admitted that the Pakistani military still faced challenges due to their limited resources. He said that 10,000 soldiers had been relocated from the Indian border to Swat and that 100,000 new soldiers were placed there as well. However, Alisherzai was quick to point out that the 100,000 new soldiers were inexperienced.

4. (C) While upbeat that Pakistan’s military and civilian leaders were “truly working in tandem for the first time,” Alisherzai was disappointed that action was not taken sooner. “All of this would have been easier if done under (former Pakistani President) Musharraf,” he concluded.

“WE NEED MORE ARMS, AMMO AND PLANES”
------------------------------------ 

5. (C) In response to the Ambassador’s question about support from CentCom, Alisherzai replied that the U.S. “does a lot for Pakistan.” However, it was not enough to fight this problem. All of NATO was fighting the battle in Afghanistan, he complained, while Pakistan alone was standing up to the extremists within its borders. For this reason he insisted that Pakistan needed more material support from the U.S. in the form of “arms, ammo and planes.”

REBUILDING OLD RELATIONSHIPS
---------------------------- 

6. (C) When asked about the Saudi-Pakistani relationship, Alisherzai admitted that it had been strained since Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s election. Alisherzai blamed the problems on the Saudi perception that Zardari was pro-Iranian and pro-Shia, which made them apprehensive about working with him. “We have been punished by Saudi Arabia because our president talks to the Iranians,” Alisherzai lamented. He claimed that his access to Saudi leadership was good, but that he would have to continue to work hard to rebuild Pakistan,s relationship with the SAG. Alisherzai opined
RIYADH 00001415 002.2 OF 002
that the Saudis were more concerned with their own internal problems than with the problems of Pakistan.

IRAN
---- 

7. (C) Alisherzai accused Russia of “fully supporting the Iranians’ nuclear program,” adding that all Shia communities in the region supported this program. He described Iranian nuclear ambitions as a move to consolidate domestic political power and stated multiple times, “they will not leave this subject.”

INDIA: “WE ARE NOT EXPECTING ANYTHING GOOD”
------------------------------------------- 

8. (C) Alisherzai blamed India for helping to train and fund extremist groups fighting against the Government of Pakistan.  He said that India also helped support the Taliban in Pakistan, explaining “They (India) will never let a chance to harm Pakistan go.” Alisherzai summed up his feelings about India by saying, “We are not expecting anything good from them.”

THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
----------------------- 

9. (C) Asked how to stop terrorism and extremism in Pakistan, Alisherzai said that the people living in the tribal areas “don’t know the value of life.” He blamed this on their lack of education and knowledge of the outside world, and said that they only know fighting and dying. In his view, investment in education and development was the only way to help the tribal areas, and said that years of “bad luck” had redirected development funds from the tribal areas to the urban population centers. He reiterated his support for military operations, but insisted that a program to educate young boys in the region must also be implemented. He noted that this program should be funded by NATO and added, “I am only here today because of my education. Perhaps I would have been Al-Qaeda too, if not for my education.”

COMMENT:
-------- 

10. (C) Alisherzai is from the Kurram Agency, one of the seven tribal agencies that make up the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) along the Afghanistan border. As such, he is able to offer an insider’s view of life along the Pakistani-Afghan border. His observation that intelligence and support provided by the local population has been essential to the success of Pakistani military operations is worth noting, as are his suggestions as to how we might counter the growth of extremism in the region. However, his insights about larger regional issues (ie: Iran, India, Saudi Arabia) appear to be much more limited. End comment.

BIOGRAPHIC NOTE
--------------- 

11. (C) Alisherzai grew up in the FATA bordering the Afghanistan provinces of Khowst and Paktya. His father served in the British military and insisted that his son attend school. Alisherzai says that at the age of five he walked 8km to school everyday. He has six children, all living in the U.S. and all graduates of George Mason University. SMITH