abdul qadeer khan
In an April 2008 secret cable, then US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson stressed to the Strategic Plans Division chief Khalid Kidwai that talk of the “possible release of AQ Khan has caused alarm and concern” among US officials. The ambassador further emphasised the “USG was firmly opposed to lifting the current restrictions on Khan’s activities”. - Photo by Reuters (Thumbnail illustration by Hasaan Haider/Dawn.com)

KARACHI: Despite Pakistan’s repeated assurances that its history as a nuclear scofflaw was firmly behind it, the US has continued to intensely monitor Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes, a survey of US diplomatic cables obtained by Dawn indicates.

Dozens of cables — some confidential, others secret — from US embassies around the world are seen inquiring into purchases by Pakistan’s nuclear and missile complexes on the international market.

For example, at the start of 2008, the US Deputy Chief of Mission Nancy McEldowney at the US embassy in Ankara details her discussions with Turkish authorities about the US desire to see action taken against a suspicious shipment to Pakistan.

US officials, according to the cable, “urged the GOT (Government of Turkey) to contact the governments of Japan and Panama to request the shipment be diverted to another port and returned to the shipper”.

While Turkish authorities “stressed that more lead time was necessary to allow the GOT to take action in such cases”, Ms McEldowney “underscored that, given the proliferation concerns related to this shipment and the fact that Pakistan’s nuclear program is not under full-scope IAEA safeguards, the GOT should take all necessary action to prevent the shipment from arriving in Pakistan”.

The intricate pursuit of suspect Pakistani shipments often involved discussions with Chinese authorities. For example, a secret cable from December 2009 notes that when local authorities were notified of “Beijing-based Nav Technology’s efforts to supply controlled gyroscopes to a firm in Pakistan”, US officials received a satisfactory response “that as with all proliferation cases China would ‘actively cooperate’ on this case”.

In Taiwan, too, Pakistan’s missile programme and related international trade came in for intense American scrutiny. In a secret cable sent out from Taipei in the autumn of 2005, the then director of the American Institute of Taiwan, Douglas H Paal, sent a detailed reported on Pakistan’s trade with a local manufacturer, Xtra Industrial Corporation.

Mr Paal writes about how “Pakistani manufacturer ‘Mechanical Engineering Workshop (MEW)’ possibly purchased 14 sets of ‘hydraulic cylinders’ from Xtra Industrial Corporation in March 2005, from Taiwan-based Design Engineering Centre (DEC) transferred to Pakistan’s National Development Complex (NDC) for research and development of short-mid range missiles.” As with other cases Taiwanese authorities were recommended that they place Xtra under an inspection target list even though the manufacturer did not violate Taiwan’s strategic high tech commodity export control regulations.

On one occasion, French authorities rebuffed US requests to intercept a “shipment of telemetry equipment from the French firm In’ Trad to Pakistan, with the possible end-user being New Technologies Islamabad, which is associated with Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme”.

In a secret cable from January 2005, a French non-proliferation official, David Bertolotti, is quoted as providing US officials with “comprehensive comments on the shipment and the reasons behind the Government of France’s decision not to examine its contents and to allow it to continue onto Pakistan”.

While the French officials emphasised that the “GOF wanted to be more helpful regarding the suspect corporation between In’Trad and Pakistani missile entities” they also pointed out that they needed “more precise information regarding the type of equipment being exported as well as clearer indications that the end users were associated with Pakistan’s ballistic missile programme”.

The fate of Abdul Qadeer Khan is also seen to be exercising the minds of American officials determined to ensure Mr Khan remains in detention.

In an April 2008 secret cable, then US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson stressed to the Strategic Plans Division chief Khalid Kidwai that talk of the “possible release of AQ Khan has caused alarm and concern” among US officials. The ambassador further emphasised the “USG was firmly opposed to lifting the current restrictions on Khan’s activities”.

In a separate meeting with Asif Zardari, then co-chairman of the PPP, Ambassador Patterson reminded him of Pakistan’s financial dependence on the United States and therefore the need to pay heed to matters of concern to the US government. “Not coincidentally, Ambassador raised the issue during a briefing on the extensive nature of US aid to Pakistan.”

Cables referenced: WikiLeaks # 238584, 137269, 41910, 25185, 150415. All cables are available on Dawn.com.


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Comments (21) (Closed)


Rahman
May 25, 2011 08:06am
Can some one tell me when was USA is our frind. They are always friend of their own demand. From the year 1965 to 1971 when ever we are in crisis they have never come to our help instead they have pur restriction from Finance to Arms even they have stop the supplying of spare parts during the war of 1971 they were a mere expectator. There are always an embargo on Pakistan when ever they have asked for their help. They have lifted the embargo when they need our help. Now the people's of Pakistan has to choose who are there friend? When I was an student we used to learn a friend in need is a friend indeed. The USA is an obsolete coin. And the obsolote coins are found in grave.
Agha Ata (USA)
May 25, 2011 09:49am
I think of a drunk-juvenile delinquent in possession of a loaded gun.
intikhab
May 25, 2011 10:24am
Beggars get to listen to whatever the master says: "In a separate meeting with Asif Zardari, then co-chairman of the PPP, Ambassador Patterson reminded him of Pakistan’s financial dependence on the United States and therefore the need to pay heed to matters of concern to the US government. “Not coincidentally, Ambassador raised the issue during a briefing on the extensive nature of US aid to Pakistan.”
zaman khan
May 25, 2011 11:33am
Our corrupt and incompetent leaders would only realize when USA one day carry out an operation against our nuclear installation on the pretext of these being in danger from the militant.Enough is enough otherise nothing would be left to be ruled and plundered by these greedy vultures.
Imran
May 25, 2011 12:15pm
This is true face of 'US' and than they say Pakistani's don't trust them or hate them.
Nousheen Zakaria
May 25, 2011 05:33pm
The U.S. has a security phobia. It is amazing to see, how all the activities are monitored, not just with reference to Pakistan but all over the world. The level of sophistication and detail in the summaries.
Safdar
May 25, 2011 08:11pm
How shameful of our leaders to get blackmailed by US like this.
M R Khawaja
May 25, 2011 10:04pm
People who Provoid you food on the Table got enough reason to check inside out of your People and Country if you can not look after yourself you pay the price for it Remember Mushref he said Peace and Prosperity come from Strength Ecnomic First and Militry you never you punish him rather then listen to him.That is your Nature.
M. Siddique
May 25, 2011 11:52pm
Given the recent incursion into Pakistan and total ineptness of civilan and millitary/Intelligence leaderships, what is confidense level of the Pakistani Nation? What if western powers snatch Dr. Qadeer Khan or Pakistani Nuclear weapons. The leadership needs to take the people into confidense before such a scenario and after the fact. Simple exegerated statements won't do. It is a wakeup call.
Asim
May 26, 2011 02:41am
my worse fear: US TAKING OVER OUR NUCLEAR ASSETS!!! GOD FORBID!!!
William
May 26, 2011 03:32am
Given recent events it is obvious that Pakistan Military cannot guard its borders or its bases. It would be safer for western powers to secure all nuclear weapons before they fall into hands of miscreants OOPs sorry we can them terrorist now. Pakistan could exchange nuclear weapons for electrical plants, this way the people would finally see their Rupees at work.
Muhammad Saeed
May 26, 2011 05:14am
We don't have Real Muslim Leadership. All Leaders including Army Chiefs are on US Payroll. They all forgot the Muslim History of ruling on Spain more then 800 years.We need a strong muscle leader like Iran.How we stopped the joint attack by India and Isreal ob Kahuta and Nuclear test site in Balochistan jus one night befer the nuclear test ? Any one can ask from Gohar Ayub Khan" The Second Hero of our Nuclear Test" I love Him.
smdahl
May 26, 2011 05:30am
Even more shameful for America. These are the documents that prove that America is an authoritarian Empire. Does anyone who has read the cables seriously disagree? Pakistanis and Americans must realize we are on the same side and dismantle this imperial catastrophe with non-violent revolution.
Ragu
May 26, 2011 05:41am
There is a price every nation must (and will) pay for harboring groups that practice violence against many other powerful nations. And that price is- that nation will not be trusted and will be monitored by many powerful nations that are affected by it. Stop harboring those who kill Americans and their allies. Then Americans will not intefere in Pakistan. Keep harboring these elements, and things will only get worse.
nabeel
May 27, 2011 04:48am
Pakistan is paying the ultimate price of fighting someone else's War,let me remind everyone who overlook this basic fact that the people "The Terrorists" who posses a direct threat to the west are those who were created by the West and I quote "To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom."-RONALD REGAN FORMER PRESIDENT US The difference is that back than they were freedom fighters as they were you allies the present suggests a totally different picture so the forces that create such "threats" guarding and monitoring our nuclear programme doesn't make sense? So the plan is lets just buy out a few bunch of influential people on our side who on the face of it will be the voice of the people yet simply they will just sit there and let us to do the work on from the back end ,let the USD DO THE TALKING and corner Pakistan in such a way that world looks at it as a major security threat to the west... sounds like a good plan !!!! The bitter truth is that its a conspiracy and a complete hoax to gain control and establish grounds in Pakistan !!!
Masud
May 28, 2011 07:15am
America's attemt to prevent Pakistan, not Isreal, not India, from acquiring a credible nuclear deterrence is the best example of the double-standard that has destroyed the credibility of NPT. It also reveals the true intention of the US government as far as Pakistan is concerned. That only Pakistan's nukes can get into the hands of the enemies of the US is a false assumption. India's or Isreal's nukes are much bigger threat to Pakistan for they have been developed to literally annihilate the whole of Pakistan, yet to the Americans this is not a fact. This kind of blatant disregard to Pakistan's security is the essence of the American policy towards Pakistan.
junaid
May 30, 2011 05:45pm
My fear worse than yours ... TALIBAN taking over the ill-gotten Nuclear assets ...
Junaid
May 30, 2011 05:52pm
From the year 1965 to 1971 ... those crisis were created by pakistanis themselves, may I remind you there is a talk of genocide charges on Pakistani generals in Bangladesh. Wakeup, it is the pakistani coin that is getting obsolete.
Guillermo
May 31, 2011 01:17am
I believe they helped with earthquake and flooding relief.
Walid
May 31, 2011 10:43pm
Wrong. Pakistan, unlike India and Israel, has been a catalyst in helping rogue countries such as Libya and NKorea with their nuclear proliferation ambitions. It is the only country to have, time and again, failed to keep up with international standards of nuclear security. On the other hand, Israel's nuclear program is so well guarded and secretive that some cannot even prove that it is a nuclear power.
Appna
Jun 07, 2011 04:00am
Pakistan looked out for it's own National Interests during the total blackout after Pakistan put everything on line to breakdown Russia into pieces for the whole world to enjoy and celebrate the end of Communism. Be aware and be informed and don't be fooled by what India, US and Israel likes. They serve their own interests, not necessarily the same as that what is in the best interest of Pakistan and Pakistani's. Libya and NKorea are no threat to Pakistan like Israel is no threat to USA (Nuclear proliferation already committed by USA in addition to the NBomb also being used on a civilian population by none other than the USA alone).