Search

 

Cablegate: Codel Capuano Meets with New Gop

VZCZCXRO0740
OO RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #1600/01 1081343
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 171343Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6551
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 8464
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 7723
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3126
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 9565
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 5316
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 4049
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ISLAMABAD 001600

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/17/2018
TAGS: PGOV PK PREL PTER
SUBJECT: CODEL CAPUANO MEETS WITH NEW GOP

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, Reasons 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (C) Summary: Codel Capuano visited Islamabad April 13-14,
meeting with Pakistan's new Prime Minister, Interior Minister
and Deputy National Assembly Speaker. The delegation
included U.S. Representatives Michael Capuano (D-MA), William
Pascrell (D-NJ) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), as well as House
Sergeant at Arms Wilson Livingood. In each meeting,
Congressional members voiced continued support for the
U.S.-Pakistan relationship and stressed the need for the
newly elected Pakistani government to show immediate
achievements on the War on Terror. All three Pakistani
officials countered that the fight against extremism required
dialogue and development, as well as military/police action,
and that only through education and employment would this
national problem be solved in the long-term. End summary.

Prime Minister Gillani
----------------------

2. (C) Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gillani launched his April
14 meeting with Codel Capuano, committing to "broaden
Pakistan's relationship with America" and to visit the U.S.
soon. While Gillani admitted that his Pakistan People's
Party (PPP) received a "split mandate," winning just a
plurality in the February 18 parliamentary elections, he
called the overall win by moderate, secular parties "a ray of
hope." Gillani said that the PPP could have controlled
Pakistan's federal and provincial governments with much
slimmer margins, but preferred, instead, to build broad-based
coalitions and to allow regional parties to take the lead at
the provincial level.

3. (C) Replying to the Codel's warning that the American
public would expect to see quick achievements from the new
GOP on the War on Terror, Gillani noted that his party had
lost its leader, Benazir Bhutto, to terrorism, and "would not
hesitate to use military options" in this war. Coalition
partner Awami National Party (ANP), with its political base
of support in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), "should
also be able to achieve results," Gillani promised. The
Ambassador noted that the USG had high hopes for the new
coalition and that the Embassy had begun to brief the
political parties on USG programs.

4. (C) Gillani stressed that the new GOP would remain "united
with the U.S. against the curse of terrorism." He advocated
a three-prong strategy to fight extremism in the Federally
Administered Tribal Areas (FATA): (1) economic development;
(2) social development; and, (3) military strength. Gillani
pushed for quick action on U.S. legislation to establish
Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZ) and named textiles as
a potential growth industry. He also noted that all of the
National Assembly members from FATA were educated and
enlightened. The delegation agreed that this kind of social
and economic development was "more important than military
aid."

5. (C) The fight against extremism would require joint,
concerted and long-term efforts by Pakistan and the U.S.,
Gillani stressed. He thought the bilateral fight against
illicit drugs was a model for cooperation. During his tenure
as National Assembly Speaker (1993-1996), the two countries
cooperated to end poppy production in Pakistan; his country
now accounted for just a small percentage of global supply.
Similar cooperation was required for the fight against
extremism, and Gillani appreciated the Codel's recognition
that Pakistan's sovereignty and dignity must be respected in
that fight.

6. (C) When asked pointedly where he thought Osama bin Laden
was hiding, Gillani replied, "The intelligence agencies have
no idea, but he is not in Pakistan." Afghanistan-Pakistan
cross-border movements were impossible to stop, he added.
When asked how the U.S. could help Pakistan address the root
causes of extremism, Gillani repeated that the FATA populace
needed social development, employment, education and health
care.

7. (C) Gillani blamed Musharraf's government for the current
wheat (and thus, bread) shortage and for not constructing new
energy plants during its eight-year tenure. The Ambassador
noted that a food subsidy by the U.S. was unlikely, but

ISLAMABAD 00001600 002 OF 003


American private investment in energy generation was more
promising for all sides. Gillani ended by mentioning that,
after new Finance Minister Ishaq Dar returns from visiting
the World Bank, the GOP will be able to present a concrete
proposal on which areas the U.S. can help. The Ambassador
noted that the U.S. was accelerating payments from Coalition
Support Funds.

Interior Minister Malik
-----------------------

8. (C) Meeting the same day, Interior Minister Rehman Malik
stated to Codel Capuano that the PPP-led government would
continue the "same counterterrorism policies started by
President Musharraf." He added that the new GOP would leave
"no stone unturned" in expelling terrorist cells from
Pakistan. In the War on Terror, Pakistan was grateful for
U.S. assistance, both expert personnel and funding, Malik
added.

9. (C) Noting the terrorist assassination of PPP leader
Benazir Bhutto, whom he served as a senior security advisor,
Malik promised the new GOP would continue to fight extremism
"so long as Pakistan continues to have the support of the
international community." Reacting to the Codel's emphasis
for the new GOP to get quick results along the
Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Malik argued Pakistan's Frontier
Corps required enhanced capabilities, including its own
intelligence unit. He complained that actionable information
was not shared in a timely manner by Pakistan's intelligence
agencies.

10. (C) "We will enforce the writ of the government" in the
frontier, Malik insisted, "come what may." However, the new
GOP would give dialogue a chance in order to gain the
confidence of the local populace. Malik believed they, more
than anyone, were "fed up" with the road blocks and
electricity outages. The GOP would: (1) work with the
locally-elected representatives; (2) collect intelligence on
"most wanted," particularly foreign fighters; and, (3)
conduct sting operations and other direct hits. On this last
point, Malik emphasized, "we won't hesitate to act."

11. (C) Malik had a number of reforms in mind, starting with
the abolishment of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), the
colonial era regulations that govern law and order in the
FATA. These were "draconian" criminal laws, and he said a
newer code would be put in place, reflecting popular
participation. Malik also advocated for a works program in
the FATA, to gainfully employ thousands of young men on
development projects. And he floated the idea of a
"terrorist victims program," in which those families who lose
loved ones and/or property due to a terrorist act would
receive compensation. Distribution of funds would be handled
by an NGO, and international donors would be encouraged to
contribute.

Deputy National Assembly Speaker Kundi
--------------------------------------

12. (C) Codel Capuano also met April 14 with Deputy National
Assembly Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi. He pointed to his own
recent electoral victory over Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F)
leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman as proof of popular rejection of
extremism. The February 18 general elections had been free
and fair, Kundi added.

13. (C) Kundi stressed that Pakistanis had suffered most from
terrorist attacks over the last six years. Not just
Pakistani soldiers, but the general population faced
increased suicide attacks, he said. And while more
international aid would be needed for the FATA and bordering
areas (like his own D.I.Khan district), Kundi also pleaded
for a greater share to "grassroots Pakistan" and for more
accountability of expenditures. "Lack of accountability
leads to a lack of trust."

14. (C) Kundi reiterated Prime Minister Gillani's earlier
point that fighting terrorism was a government priority. The
GOP would attempt dialogue, Kundi explained, but would not
hesitate to use the Army. The PPP enjoyed popular support,
he claimed, and had built broad-based coalitions at the
national and provincial levels. The ANP in the NWFP "enjoy a

ISLAMABAD 00001600 003 OF 003


particularly good relationship with Afghanistan," Kundi
commented.

15. (C) Terrorism had to be tackled before the new GOP could
move on to equally pressing economic problems, Kundi said.
Coalition partners had been given key ministries and (nearly)
all parties were being consulted on how to address these
problems. "This is our last chance," referring to elected
government. For both extremism and financial woes, education
was the silver bullet, Kundi argued; "the U.S. cannot wait a
generation," the delegation responded.

16. (C) The Codel did lend its support to the ROZ legislation
before Congress, and Kundi concurred that increased foreign
investment and trade could help average Pakistanis in the
short-term. He complained, however, that the State
Department's travel advisory on Pakistan unnecessarily
hampered travel by American businessmen.

17. (U) Codel Capuano did not clear on this message.

PATTERSON

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: