Cablegate: Pm Gilani Tells Codel Mccain Pakistan Will Act
O 080856Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0569
INFO CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
FBI WASHDC PRIORITY
ODRP ISLAMABAD PK PRIORITY
USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
C O N F I D E N T I A L ISLAMABAD 003791
H PASS RICHARD FONTAINE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER IN PK
SUBJECT: PM GILANI TELLS CODEL MCCAIN PAKISTAN WILL ACT
AGAINST MUMBAI PERPETRATORS
Classified By: Anne W. Patterson for reasons 1.4 (b,d)
1. (C) Summary: Prime Minister Gilani told Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham the GOP will take action against individuals implicated in the Mumbai attacks as Secretary Rice had urged. On December 6, the Prime Minister, joined by Foreign Minister Qureshi, said the government had already begun the process of seeking the arrest of individuals named by the Secretary during her December 4 meetings in Islamabad and had already agreed to work through the United Nations 1267 Committee to designate these individuals. The Senators said they were reassured by these commitments of GOP action. GOP efforts to improve contact and relations with neighbors Afghanistan and India would continue despite the high tensions over Mumbai, pledged Gilani and Qureshi. End Summary.
2. (C) Gilani told the Senators he spoke with Indian Prime Minister Singh immediately after the Mumbai attacks and committed Pakistan's full intelligence cooperation. Secretary Rice had told the GOP the USG wanted Pakistan to place no holds in the UN 1267 Committee for individuals suspected of involvement in the Mumbai attacks. The GOP has already agreed, informed Gilani. The Secretary also wanted individuals arrested. ""We have already taken steps,"" Gilani told the Senators. He added that the 1267 process in the UN will give the GOP's actions further legitimacy. Foreign Minister Qureshi asked the Senators to keep this news --that GOP actions against individuals named by the Secretary were already underway -- private, and not to repeat it to the media.
3. (C) The Prime Minister said he was meeting with opposition leader Nawaz Sharif after his meeting with the CODEL because actions also needed to be taken in the provinces. Gilani told the Senators that all political leaders were on board with the GOP approach. He asked Senators McCain and Graham about their meeting earlier the same day in Lahore with Nawaz Sharif. McCain confirmed Nawaz had pledged to support the government's action against extremists in Pakistan, including those responsible for the Mumbai attacks.
4. (C) Senator McCain told the Prime Minister he was reassured that the GOP was in the process of taking action. The Pressler amendment had undermined past USG relations with Pakistan. McCain understood why some in Pakistan were now suspicious about America's interest but both President Bush and President-elect Obama were vested in Pakistan for the long-term. Success in Afghanistan would not be possible without a solid relationship between Pakistan and the United States.
5. (C) The attacks in Mumbai, however, had shaken Prime Minister Singh. McCain believed if action were not taken by Pakistan, sooner or later the Government of India would respond. He was deeply concerned that action be taken as there is evidence the perpetrators used Pakistani soil as a base for the attacks. ""There are training camps in Pakistan; there are phone intercepts,"" said McCain. He hoped that information could be shared and made public. ""Pakistan is a sovereign nation,"" added McCain, ""we will always act in tandem.""
6. (C) The Prime Minister agreed that PM Singh is under tremendous pressure. Gilani said he was very sorry about the attacks and the loss of foreign lives. As to the training camps, Gilani had given his assurance to the Secretary that Pakistan will take action against non-state actors.
7. (C) Gilani underscored that Pakistan's military was also fighting on the Afghanistan border and is ""totally committed to fight against terrorism."" The Frontier Corp has been strengthened, as has law enforcement. It is Pakistan's resolve which is now causing a reaction. This explains the Marriott bombing, said Gilani, and why the pace of bombings is increasing -- the militants are feeling the heat. ""We want to combat terrorism,"" Gilani told the Senators, but, ""we don't have the capacity."" In Afghanistan the warlords are loaded with money that is going to the militants. ""My strategy is to separate the militants from the local tribes."" The strategy is working; the army, the people, and the government are working in unison. Gilani told the Senators the GOP has asked President Bush and General Petraeus for assistance to enhance capability. ""If we fight our own war, it won't give rise to anti-Americanism.""
8. (C) Senator Lieberman told Gilani he had ""more than answered directly"" his concerns. He had been concerned that if Pakistan did not act, India would have felt compelled to take counter measures. There is increasing, bi-partisan interest in Pakistan and his fear had been that the attacks in Mumbai would succeed in increasing Pak/India tension and in causing Washington to view Pakistan negatively.
9. (C) Senator Graham pledged the three Senators' support for the Biden/Lugar bill. He had been impressed with the lawyers' movement and if Pakistan could assimilate the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) into the nation's legal system and prosecute those involved in the Mumbai attacks, it would show that Pakistan had changed to become a rule-of-law nation.
10. (C) Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored Pakistan's commitment to improve relations with India. There could be elements who wanted to scuttle these efforts, but the government's intent is to diffuse the situation.
This cable was drafted after CODEL McCain departed Pakistan and they did not clear it.