Wikileaks released diplomatic cables, some classified as secret, from US embassies around the world causing an uproar in the international community. The diplomatic relationship between United States and Pakistan is closer than most government and international figures would like to admit - the cable leaks show that the major players in Pakistan went from the Army Chief of Staff all the way to the national leaders.
Here are some major points that were discussed in the US cables related to Pakistan:
• President Zardari revealed that the US had approved Benazir Bhutto’s return to Pakistan; he named his sister Faryal Talpur as the next Pakistani president in the event of his assassination; had promised former president Musharraf immunity when he returned to Pakistan; he showed Benazir’s will to US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson as a sign of sincerity.
• Extra-judicial killings had occurred by Pakistani military operations personnel in the tribal belt region; US special forces were embedded with the Pakistani army
• Zardari felt that Amin Fahim was apathetic to take on the responsibility of becoming the prime minister for Pakistan.
• Chief of Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani wanted to remove Zardari into exile and replace him with Asfandyar Wali as president. Kayani felt that Faryal Talpur, Zardari’s sister, would make a better president than Zardari, who he preferred over PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif.
• United States was concerned for the security of nuclear facilities and the access to the facilities in Pakistan.
• Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had approved US drone strikes inside Pakistan.
• Former President Musharraf wanted to remove Kayani for being unhelpful; ISI chief felt that Zardari was too corrupt to lead the country as president.
• Nawaz Sharif wanted to bring nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan into politics and convinced the US he remained on their side in the war on terror.
• Asfanyar Wali asks for US support and assistance in convincing other leaders
• Maulana Fazlur Rehman asks to support his candidacy for Prime Minister; JUI leader hinted that his votes in the National Assembly could be bought by interested officials.
• United States felt that President Asif Ali Zardari and government was incompetent and too corrupt for it to be effective.
• As Zardari and the Sharif brothers political relationship fizzles the lawyers march is planned to take over Islamabad and Lahore possibly causing chaos and need of Army intervention. Patterson did advise all parties involved to advise with the UK, UAE, the Saudis, and the US for possible resolutions. GEO News, a private Pakistani news channels is blocked.
• Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain, under pressure from the US and UK, has been asked to abjure support for National Reconciliation Ordinance which could put Zardari at risk. Despite the pressure, Malik felt that the Supreme Court would not strip Zardari of his immunity as president.
• Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Afghan Ministry of Interior Atmar Hanif had a meeting with FBI Director Robert Mueller. Malik would like to exchange a list of Most Wanted with Afghanistan and hinted that information on the whereabouts of Baloch separatist Bramdagh Bugti could help in the trade of Mullah Beradar who was arrested in Karachi. Althought it is possible for the trade to not take place since Beradar might sensitive knowledge on the operations conducted by the ISI and its allies.
• Washington has great concerns over the possible release from house arrest of Abdul Qadeer Khan, nuclear scientist. US embassy was advised to confirm press reports and express its concern as well as remind Pakistan of; negative international impression, international security could be at risk, and work done under nuclear proliferation could be damaged.
• Although Prime Minister Yusuf Gilani and President Asif Zardari understand that the conflict near the Pak-Afghan border has spread into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA areas and would like to control it. However, the Army and ISI have refused to realize the problem and are concentrating on keeping troops near the India-Pak borders. The amount for will be doubled for four billions dollars.