Search

 

Cablegate: Pakistan: Attempted Intercepts of Coalition

VZCZCXRO1838
PP RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #5283 3481014
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 141014Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3847
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 7919
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 8403
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 4346
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 2968
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 3385
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

S E C R E T ISLAMABAD 005283

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PK
SUBJECT: PAKISTAN: ATTEMPTED INTERCEPTS OF COALITION
AIRCRAFT

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

1. (S) SUMMARY. On D...SUBJECT: PAKISTAN: ATTEMPTED INTERCEPTS OF COALITION AIRCRAFT
Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, Reasons 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (S) SUMMARY. On December 11, the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) Liaison Officer (LNO) to the Office of the Defense Representative (ODRP) told the ODRP Air Cell that PAF aircraft had launched to intercept a Coalition aircraft that had crossed the Afghanistan-Pakistan border via the standard Coalition air corridor. The aircraft was clearly a Coalition airplane. General Helmly has sent a stiff letter to the Chairman JCS and the head of the Air Force and requested an urgent meeting. This action could have resulted in serious consequences, so Post is raising the issue with Pakistan senior military leadership. This is the second incident of this type. END SUMMARY.

2. (S) At 0602Z on December 11, the Pakistan military detected an aircraft within the established (""the boulevard"") airspace that serves as the flight corridor for Coalition forces through Pakistani airspace. (Approximately 150 Coalition aircraft traverse the ""the boulevard"" each day.) The aircraft entered Pakistan's airspace from Afghanistan per established procedures, but its transponder code (or ""squawking"") failed to identify it as one of those scheduled to cross the border. Meanwhile, the U.S. CENTCOM Air Cell located at Post was working to establish the identity of the specific aircraft.

3. (S) Shortly after 0700Z the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Liaison Officer (LNO) reported that Pakistani fighters were scrambling to intercept the aircraft. A few minutes later PAF was notified that the plane had been positively identified by the Air Cell. The PAF LNO now says the interceptors never launched.

4. (S) We are reporting this because it is not the first incident where the PAF has launched or prepared to launch interceptors against what were clearly Coalition aircraft, but which were not previously identified on an air tasking order or were squawking an incorrect code. Such incidents have the potential to result in a serious international incident. Scrambling armed fighters to intercept armed or support Coalition aircraft creates an unnecessarily dangerous situation. Any aircraft entering from Afghanistan can safely be presumed to be a Coalition asset as the airspace is monitored and controlled by ISAF.

5. (S) The US CENTCOM Air Cell located at Post is also following up with appropriate ISAF elements to address the fact that the aircraft in question was not adhering to all established procedures for flying the corridor. However, the pilot's failure to squawk the correct code only led to difficulty in identifying the exact aircraft - multiple other indicators identified it as Coalition aircraft, especially by flying within the Pakistan prescribed and approved corridor, squawking in the clear, and demonstrating no aggressive or threatening posture.

6. (S) We are engaging with GoP to address this issue. ODRP Chief has drafted a message stressing our concerns and citing the dangers of such intercepts to Pakistan's Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Tariq Majeed and Air Chief Marshall Tanvir, and will raise in meetings as appropriate.
PATTERSON "

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>