ID: 53441 2/17/2006 13:08 06PESHAWAR82 Consulate Peshawar CONFIDENTIAL 05PESHAWAR472|05PESHAWAR482 "VZCZCXRO1047 PP RUEHLH RUEHPW DE RUEHPW #0082 0481308 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 171308Z FEB 06 FM AMCONSUL PESHAWAR TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6532 INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 0170 RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 1930 RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 0086 RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0373 RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 0838 RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 0077 RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 0855 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0263 RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 2080" "C O N F I D E N T I A L PESHAWAR 000082
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/17/2016 TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KISL, MARR, PK, PTER, EAID, SNAR SUBJECT: GOP/ARMY RELATIONS IN WAZIRISTAN
REF: (A) 05 PESHAWAR 472 (B) 05 PESHAWAR 482
CLASSIFIED BY: Michael Spangler, Principal Officer, Amconsul Peshawar, State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
1. (C) A window on GOP and Pakistan Army relations in Waziristan recently opened during a meeting with Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) senior secretary Arbab Shahzad. In response to our low-key request for meetings with visiting FATA Political Agents (PA's), Shahzad noted such meetings, once publicly known, could undermine the reputation of the Agents as fair and impartial actors in the FATA. He emphasized the PA's --especially of North and South Waziristan -- are under standing instructions from NWFP Governor Khalilur Rehman to remain aloof even from Pakistan Army discussions and activities. He added this instruction enhanced their reputation as unbiased arbiters who can thus enter more effectively into difficult tribal negotiations.
2. (C) Reminded of our common agenda and the confidentiality of our meetings, Shahzad asserted more frequent PA meetings could not be kept confidential and would play into the hands of extremists who assert the GOP is acting as an agent of the USG rather than in its own interest in the FATA. However, he volunteered to continue convening PA meetings for senior USG officials and special NAS and USAID program needs, but then only in the presence of his staff to ensure “we are all on the same page.” We replied this issue might be revisited.
3. (C) COMMENT: In light of ongoing security problems in Waziristan (REF A) and the GOP's commitment to work closely with the Pakistan Army in promoting development there, we did not expect to hear Political Agents have been instructed not to participate actively in Army activities. Reports of increasing friction between Army officers and the PA civil servants in Waziristan appear accurate, but the actual causes remain veiled.
4. (C) Perhaps, Governor Rehman and his staff feel they are being increasingly relegated to unimportant tasks under the thumb of Army officers, after the North Waziristan agent was removed for corruption last autumn (REF B) and the South Waziristan Agent was recently replaced for a second time since last summer. On the other hand, the apparent friction may stem from a genuine Secretariat concern that Army initiatives are being mismanaged. Whether a serious policy disagreement or a petty turf fight, Governor Rehman's staff appears to be on the sidelines in Waziristan and does not want PA's to trade regular notes with us. END COMMENT. SPANGLER