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Cablegate: Pakistan: Lyall Grant and Boucher Agree On

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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 003062

SIPDIS

DEPART FOR SCA/FO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/08/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PINR IN PK CH UK
SUBJECT: PAKISTAN: LYALL GRANT AND BOUCHER AGREE ON
PAKISTAN FOCUS

Classified By: PolMinCouns Greg Berry, reasons 1.4 (b/d).

1. (C) Summary. Assistant Secretary Boucher and Foreign Office Political Director Lyall Grant agreed on the need for Pakistan, and especially General Kayani, to close down Lashkar e Taiba operations and move on to reform of the intelligence service. Lyall Grant observed there would be less political fallout than one might expect in Pakistan for such moves. Boucher reported on the Secretary's visits to India and Pakistan, and passed on President Zardari's request for the British to be active. Lyall Grant said the British would press both Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussein and Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif. End summary.

Rice in India and Pakistan
--------------------------

2. (S) Assistant Secretary Boucher gave on December 5 Foreign and Commonwealth Office Political Director Mark Lyall Grant a read-out of Secretary Rice's December 2 - 3 visits to India and Pakistan. Boucher said it was clear that the Indian Government was under pressure to act and that Pakistani President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani wanted to do the right thing. The Secretary had told Zardari that Pakistan had "days not weeks" to act and had encouraged General Kayani to get control of the ISI. Zardari requested USG political support for taking action against Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) and eventually ISI, which the Secretary agreed to give. The Secretary also encouraged India to focus on prevention and offered USG support. Zardari had also asked us to urge Britain to be more active in its support for his government's moves.

Meeting with MQM
----------------

3. (S) Boucher also told Lyall Grant that he had met with London-based Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussein to encourage him to use his influence to maintain calm in Karachi and to support Zardari, if Zardari did take action against LeT. Hussein did not believe that Zardari would take any action because of LeT's relationship with ISI, but said he would support such action. Lyall Grant said that HMG would deliver similar messages to Hussein.

U.S. - UK Messages the Same, Kayani the Key -------------------------------------------

4. (C) Lyall Grant said that the USG and HMG's messages were the same: Pakistan needs to take action against extremist individuals, must root out training camps, must improve its messaging on the internal extremist threat, and needs to get ISI under control. Lyall Grant suggested that the USG and HMG need to focus pressure on General Kayani, as he had been the advocate for "corralling" the Lashkar e Taiba in camps. The United States and Britain need to focus and maintain pressure on him for action. Lyall Grant said the GOP could take action against LeT "without major political fall out" and said the order of business should be the individuals responsible for the Mumbai bombing and the leadership directing such operations. While it would be politically more difficult, Lyall Grant said the USG and HMG should also strongly advocate for action against the training camps. ISI elements still believe that it is in Pakistan's interest to have militant assets in Pakistan to counter the Indian threat, and it is vital to convince them that those militants are a de-stabilizing force for Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif Needs to Be on Board
---------------------------------

5. (C) Lyall Grant said that it is important for Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif to be on aboard with such action as well and suggested that there is now a clear line to take with Sharif about the wider importance of countering the extremist threat and ensuring Pakistan's stability. He said the USG and HMG needed to communicate LONDON 00003062 002 OF 002 that it was bad for the Punjab to allow the LeT to have its headquarters in Punjab areas; not only would it attract Indian military action, if things got that bad, but also because LeT was destabilizing Pakistan. It is wider than a Punjab issue, and Sharif cannot let Pakistan fall to pieces over it -- it is Sharif's concern as well. While Sharif might want to see Zardari fall from power, he does not want to inherit Pakistan in a state of chaos. UK Foreign Secretary Miliband plans to call Sharif, and HMG will continue to press him politically.

Seeking Outside Influence: China and Russia -------------------------------------------

6. (C) Lyall Grant suggested soliciting China's help with Pakistan and Russia's help with India could provide a non-western venue for positive messages. China tends to take counter-terrorism seriously, and Lyall Grant said a message from China to Pakistan on countering Pakistan's domestic extremism would likely produce action. Additionally, Lyall Grant had recently seen Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, who was "very concerned" about the situation. Lyall Grant said Russia could be helpful in restraining India.

Coordinating on the Donor Conference
------------------------------------

7. (C) Boucher floated the possibility of holding the Pakistan donor conference in Beijing during Secretary Rice's visit. Lyall Grant said HMG would support the idea and suggested that it would be good to have the donor conference before mid-January.

Possible PM and Chief of Defense Staff Visit --------------------------------------------

8. (C) Lyall Grant said that it was possible both Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chief of Defense Staff Jock Stirrup would visit Pakistan before the end of December. 9. (U) A/S Boucher cleared this message. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX
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