nawaz sharif, Prince Muqrin
Prince Muqrin also told Sharif that there would be “some restrictions” on his activities “for a short while, at least through the November elections, to reduce the likelihood of inciting rioting among his supporters in Pakistan.” – Photo by AP (Thumbnail illustration by Faraz Aamer Khan/Dawn.com)

KARACHI: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif “thought he might be arrested” upon his return to Saudi Arabia after deportation from Pakistan on Sept 10, 2007, but Prince Muqrin, Head of General Intelligence Presidency, Saudi Arabia, gave Sharif “two options - he could either stay at a palace that had been prepared for him, or at his home. He opted to go to his home.”

The candid behind-the-scenes details of Mr Sharif’s return to exile in Saudi Arabia shared by Prince Muqrin with the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ford M. Fraker, are documented in a secret cable from the US consulate in Jeddah on Sept 12, 2007.

“During Ambassdor Fraker’s meeting with Prince Muqrin, the Prince first summarised the ten-year agreement, brokered by Rafik Hariri, under which Sharif would live in Saudi Arabia and refrain from participating in Pakistani politics. He added that there was a verbal agreement that after five years, they would hold negotiations to consider reducing that ten year period,” according to the secret cable.

Prince Muqrin went on to describe “how Saad Al-Hariri warned Sharif not to return to Pakistan, but how Sharif disregarded the warning and went anyway.”

After Sharif’s forcible return from Pakistan to Jeddah, Prince Muqrin received the former Pakistani prime minister at the airport at which point the two discussed where Mr Sharif would stay.

Prince Muqrin also told Sharif that there would be “some restrictions” on his activities “for a short while, at least through the November elections, to reduce the likelihood of inciting rioting among his supporters in Pakistan.”

Ambassador Fraker was also told that “Sharif will remain in Saudi Arabia until after the Pakistani elections in November.”

Sharif eventually returned to Pakistan on Nov 25, 2007, by which point elections were to be held in early 2008.

Delving into the complexities of Pakistani politics, Prince Muqrin also “speculated that there is probably an agreement between Sharif and the Pakistani Chief Justice, adding that if the Chief Justice grants Sharif the right to return to Pakistan and Sharif wins, the Chief Justice will become President.”

The Saudi prince went on to state “that he is almost certain the Chief Justice will side with Sharif, noting that he believes the run-up to the November election will be tense.”

“The Prince explained that, as in Lebanon, the Pakistani constitution requires individuals working within the government to be outside government for two years prior to becoming President. Therefore a constitutional change would be required for Musharraf to become President.”

The Saudi intelligence chief was also frank about Saudi preferences: “The Prince explained that King Abdullah views both Sharif and Musharraf as friends, but that he believes that the two together do not equate to Pakistani security. The King feels that Musharraf is the best person to address anti-terrorism issues within Pakistan.”

Cable referenced: WikiLeaks # 121856. All cables can be viewed at Dawn.com.


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Comments (20) Closed




Ahmed Saeed
May 21, 2011 08:35am
Wow no one commented on this cable. Mr Nawaz Sharif had a deal with Mr CJ. God save Pakistan from such patriots sitting in our courts.
Asad Ali Khan
May 21, 2011 10:26am
Majority of Pakistani elite whether they are in government or in judiciary are corrupt. They all are working for their own personal benefits. They have got nothing to do with the core issues faced by the common human being of the country. I think all of them are of same nature and kind with different faces.
mirza baig
May 21, 2011 10:28am
It is very true that Nawaz Shariff is not capable,he is not honest,he lies and changes like camilion.Cannot be trusted.
shoaib
May 21, 2011 11:03am
yeah i am surprised too.... what a shame to the judiciary and the shareefs.. i dun know when they will stop fooling the whole nation. God bless Pakistan!
Zohaib
May 21, 2011 11:06am
A politician can do anything to save his job, even become a patriot ! thats what i see these days ! I cant trust any institution of Pakistan , from media to justice ! and there's no harbinger of prosperity !
Naved Akhter
May 21, 2011 11:11am
The Saudis had no clue about the Chief Justice. They were utterly wrong to think that Nawaz would appoint CJ as the head of the State and the CJ would accept his offer. Sadly, now the leaks confirm that even the Saudis influenced us. I am ashamed.
Wasif
May 21, 2011 12:22pm
No one should be surprised to find how dirty Pakistani politics can get and how openly foreign countries excercise their right to interfere in paksitani politics. Still Does not confirm that the agreement was executed but you know "backdoor deals" is the method of operations in Pakistani politics. Also it is a little contradicting with the yesterday's revelation that Shabaz Sharif even did not want CJ to stay in his place and his powers should be reduced (which were reduced in 18th amendment)
shahzad
May 21, 2011 12:58pm
Our politicians are our reflection. Heads of main polt. parties and the top law enforcer make these illegal inside deals, then what good can we expect from ppl below them. When we wll wake up?????.
Abid
May 21, 2011 01:24pm
Isn't it true that most of us jump to final conclusions (and issue a verdit) as soon as some casts the first doubt, on apparently an honest individual. Yet, somehow we still fail to stop corrupt individuals from getting elected as our heads.
saqi
May 21, 2011 01:52pm
read the cable properly mr presumptive opinions justifier! u read some possibility in the cable and claimed it as a fact, no wonder we struggle to separate facts from perception!
Kaleem
May 21, 2011 01:54pm
Ahmed, I think you are reading more then what's there. It says, Prince Muqrim SPECULATED that there is a deal in his opinion which is surely not true.
Obama
May 21, 2011 02:10pm
Why are Saudis interfering in Pakistani Politics. Saudis never cared for Pakistan. They are using our army to control their eastern borders. They are harassing Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia.
Ijaz A Rao
May 21, 2011 02:18pm
Yesterday Senator Pervez Rashid, a spokesman for the Punjab government, has denied a Dawn report based on WikiLeaks cables headlined "Shahbaz was willing to have Chief Justice removed after face-saving restoration"; To whom to trust
Asad
May 21, 2011 04:48pm
Why Dawn presenting material from Wiki Leaks as a matter of fact....I fear Wiki Leak is just another tool of CIA.
husseinally
May 21, 2011 06:34pm
what has Chief Justice to say about this? wants to feel the "seat" of presidency?
Shabbir
May 21, 2011 07:45pm
I have two observations: (1) Speculation being presented as facts, what is the worth of such cables? Or is it propaganda against Mr. Nawaz Shariff. (2) Meddling by the Saudi's in our affairs must cease. We are better off without them.
Farooq
May 21, 2011 10:02pm
CJ a politician in the making or has he already become one?? Sad they are all the same.
Shujaat Ayub Khan
May 21, 2011 10:21pm
I have not seen a single decent politician come in Pakistan for the last 50 years. So Wikileaks don't make any impact.Next story please .
Khizr
May 21, 2011 10:25pm
What is the guarantee that these leaks are not planned by various intelligences. Dawn looses credibility by becoming a tool of Wikileaks.
Blackout
May 21, 2011 11:33pm
sharif brothers were alway the politician who just love to have double face