ID: 42163 10/6/2005 11:56 05NEWDELHI7795 Embassy New Delhi SECRET "This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
" "S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 NEW DELHI 007795
DEPARTMENT FOR SA, S/CT
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/05/2015 TAGS: PREL, PTER, PGOV, PBTS, ECON, MOPS, PK, IN, INDO-PAK SUBJECT: DNSA NAMBIAR TO AMB CROCKER: PAKISTANI GLASS HALF FULL?
Classified By: DCM Robert Blake, Jr. for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)
1. (S) Summary: Playing bad cop, Deputy National Security Advisor Vijay Nambiar gave visiting US Ambassador to Pakistan a twenty minute assessment of Pakistani terrorists' ties to regional and global jehadi groups as a way of “balancing Musharraf's rhetoric.” Bangladesh, he feared, was the new hub for global terror groups. Highlighting the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)'s prominence, Nambiar said they now rival Al Qaeda as a threat to stability. Ambassador Crocker explained the difficulties Musharraf faces inside Pakistan, especially in Waziristan, and that we had to treat the Pakistani glass as half full, not half empty. Crocker also briefed on Pakistani views of Afghanistan as well as the July 18 India-US agreement. End Summary.
THE BAD COP STATES HIS CASE ---------------------------
2. (S) In contrast to Ambassador Crocker's upbeat meeting with GOI J&K Interlocutor NN Vohra (septel), Nambiar launched the October 4 meeting with a twenty-minute presentation aided by a fancy colored graphic that underlined his basic point: Pakistan is at the epicenter of regional and global jehad. Starting off with a smile, Nambiar said the MEA and the Indian High Commission in Islamabad (including during his tenure) were programmed to view the Pakistani glass as half full. Now that he is at the National Security Council staff, his institutional perspective is to view it as half empty. Certain “grim elements” of Pakistani jehadi activity against India, he said, and the web of connections from Pakistan to the July 7 London Tube attacks, gave India pause. Nambiar sketched an inner circle of Jehad emanating from Pakistan to encompass Kashmir, north India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The outer circle encompassed the entire rest of the world. India, he asserted, had noted the evidence of direct links between terrorist groups in Bangladesh, Virginia, Australia, France, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the UK to LeT, Harkat al Ansar, Jaish-e-Muhammad, and other groups operating in Pakistan. Over the years, he complained, the training Pakistan had given to people in the inner and outer circles of jehad had expanded capabilities and threatened stability. Nowadays, an odd role-reversal had occurred, with the LeT giving training to remaining Taleban elements in Afghanistan.
THE ACCUSED: BANGLADESH -----------------------
3. (S) Focusing on Bangladesh, Nambiar said India was particularly worried. India had started to detect the actual presence of Pakistani based terror groups there, in addition to groups in Bangladesh having linkages to Pakistan. India had evidence, he alleged, of ISI teams visiting to meet Bangladeshi DGFI counterparts and coordinate jehadis' activities. Bangladesh, worried Nambiar, had become a hub in the international network of terror. Publications emanating from Bangladesh revealed the jehadis' desire to attack India, the US, UK, and Israel as “infidels.” Nambiar fretted about the porous border with India, close cultural linkages, arrests of Bangladeshi jehadi “commanders” in India, and evidence that Bangladeshi groups had sought to network with Kashmiri jehadis. Joint training and procurement had commenced as these local franchises found new ways to cooperate in their terrorist plans.
THE LeT IS THE WORST OF THE BUNCH ---------------------------------
4. (S) Nambiar asserted that the LeT now rivals Al Qaeda, and India had evidence that the Director General of the ISI had met with LeT commanders. LeT was exerting its influence beyond Kashmir to encompass Bangladesh and Afghanistan, where elements friendly to LeT were attempting to enter politics and become parliamentarians. Commented Nambiar, “they're not fleeing, they're entering politics” in an effort to open yet another front in their effort to drive the US out of Afghanistan.
AND YOUR POINT IS? ------------------ 5. (S) Nambiar told Crocker he did not mean to frighten, but rather to seek to balance Musharraf's rhetoric. Even as people-to-people efforts expanded, CBMs continued, and the Composite Dialogue progressed, efforts continued by Pakistan to recruit and train insurgents and individuals in India. Nambiar insisted India had good intelligence information, but that it was very hard to take firm and decisive action in a democracy where rule of law and civil liberties had to be respected. As a result, he added, loosening the visa regime, while helpful in many ways, would give security agencies a headache and a monitoring challenge.
CROCKER: THE PAKISTANI GLASS IS HALF FULL -----------------------------------------
6. (S) Terrorism was certainly fungible, said Ambassador Crocker, and did not remain in neat boxes. He added that the USG had noted the same LeT linkages Nambiar cited.
Musharraf, he explained, was increasingly persuaded of what needed to be done to combat terror; the process had proceeded to a point that returning to a modus vivendi with jehadis was now impossible. The USG had conducted many tough conversations with him in that regard. The Kashmiri groups now had tentacles in Pakistan and Afghanistan, too. Musharraf's motivations compel him to act to ward off instability within Pakistan. The ISI has nothing like full control, and that complicated matters. Jehadis had tried to kill Musharraf and his Corps Commanders. There has, he stressed, been some progress; the Pakistani street did not react negatively to overtures to Israel, and the broad swathe of Pakistani society was not pro-extremist. Pakistan was trying very hard in tough combat in Waziristan to flush out terrorists. Pitched battles reveal their firm intent. Musharraf knew Pakistan needs decisive action in order to evolve; he sees the dangers and the transformation was now underway. The USG was pressing for democracy even as Pakistani internal politics tried to get away from zero-sum games.
7. (S) The two discussed Afghanistan, with Crocker emphasizing that Karzai would get more out of Musharraf if he voiced his criticisms privately. Public attacks had greatly irritated the Pakistanis, and had become counter-productive. Pakistanis, Crocker affirmed, view Karzai -- a Pashtun who had kept the Northern Alliance from leadership and acted against anti-Pak warlords -- as the best leader they could have expected. Pakistanis genuinely wanted Karzai to succeed, he added. Nambiar was skeptical, saying Pakistan could claim victory whether Karzai or the Taleban succeeded.
Crocker countered that Pakistan also had grave doubts about India's large presence in Consulates in Afghanistan, and its suspected role in destabilizing Baluchistan.
THE US-INDIA AGREEMENT ----------------------
8. (S) In response to Nambiar's question, Crocker said Pakistanis see the July 18 accord as the flip side of F-16 sales to Pakistan. Pakistanis realize that the US has huge equities with India and that relations must proceed in their natural direction. De-hyphenation meant that each country would seek its own excellent bilateral ties with the US independent of the other. Pakistan's elite, he reported, had dealt with July 18 quite well, no matter how they felt at the time. Thus far, they have not pressed for similar treatment, recognizing that it would be a non-starter.
9. (U) Ambassador Crocker cleared this message.
10. (U) Visit New Delhi's Classified Website: (http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/sa/newdelhi/)