Search

 

Cablegate: Pakistan: Uk Sees Musharraf's Departure As a 'Good Thing' but Not a Solution

VZCZCXRO3736
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHLO #2143/01 2320922
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 190922Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9531
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0335
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1059
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0853
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0698
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0802
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0644
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1163
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 3270
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI PRIORITY 0267
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0339
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1231
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1243

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 002143

SIPDIS NOFORN

DEPT FOR SCA/PB - TARA FOLEY E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/19/2018 TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR PTER PK UK

SUBJECT: PAKISTAN: UK SEES MUSHARRAF'S DEPARTURE AS A 'GOOD THING' BUT NOT A SOLUTION REF: A. STATE 88734 B. ISLAMABAD 2750 LONDON 00002143 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: Political Counselor Richard Mills, reasons 1.4 (b/d).

1.(C/NF) Summary. HMG sees Pakistani President Musharraf's departure as preferable to the turmoil a "blazing guns" attempt by Musharraf to stay in office would have caused, FCO contacts told us August 18. Following FCO Political Director Mark Lyall Grant's week of August 11 visit to Pakistan, the UK assesses the differences between the PPP and PML-N will likely cause the Coalition's marriage of convenience to breakdown. After a period of uncertainty and political jockeying, Lyall Grant thinks PML-N Nawaz Sharif will end up as President, and FCO Foreign Secretary David Miliband plans to write to the Secretary offering this assessment. While the means by which Sharif would become President are unclear, a protracted legal battle over executive authority is likely to ensue. HMG is also increasingly concerned about the state of Pakistan's economy. The UK will continue to engage with the civilian government and will encourage the PPP and PML-N to shoulder their responsibilities and quickly resolve the current political impasse. End Summary.

2.(C/NF) The UK Government sees Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's August 18 resignation as a "good thing but not a solution," according to FCO Deputy Head of South Asia Group Rowan Laxton. Laxton explained to us on August 18 that Musharraf's resignation would "avoid the threat to public order and short-term turmoil" that a "blazing guns" attempt by Musharraf to stay in office would have caused. Laxton, however, quickly added that Musharraf's departure was by no means a solution, as HMG does not have confidence in the Coalition Government's ability to come to consensus over who the next President of Pakistan should be.

3.(C/NF) Following FCO Political Director Mark Lyall Grant's week of August 11 visit to Pakistan, Laxton said the UK assessed the differences between Pakistan People's Party leader Asif Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Nawaz Sharif over reinstatement of the judges, sharia law, and other basic issues of governance would likely cause the Coalition's marriage of convenience to breakdown. Lyall Grant thought that after a period of political uncertainty and power jockeying, Sharif would end up as President. This key judgment, Laxton said, will be the cornerstone of a letter UK Foreign Secretary Miliband plans to write to the Secretary about the UK's assessment of Pakistan following Lyall Grant's visit.

4.(C/NF) The means by which Sharif would take the presidency are far from clear. HMG assesses new elections are unlikely and that legal uncertainty over what power the President and Prime Minister hold could complicate matters significantly. Lyall Grant thought that there would be protracted legal wrangling over the powers of the executive authority, possibly with various amendments to the Constitution coming into play, according to Laxton. This political uncertainty, against a backdrop of increasing economic problems, does not bode well for Pakistan in the short- to medium-term. "Coming around to the U.S.'s assessment," Laxton said in reference to previous U.S.-UK bilateral talks, HMG is becoming increasingly concerned about Pakistan's economy as well.

HMG Response to Musharraf's Resignation ---------------------------------------

5.(C) In response to Musharraf's resignation, Laxton said both Number Ten and the Foreign Office had released press statements. Prime Minister Brown will also be sending Musharraf a personal message, thanking him for his leadership and strong partnership. The letter will also underscore the strong bonds between the UK and Pakistan through the personal LONDON 00002143 002.2 OF 002 links of their leaders. Laxton said HMG shared our view that Musharraf should be given a dignified exit, and the UK will continue working with the civilian government. HMG also plans to encourage the leadership of both the PPP and the PML-N to shoulder their responsibilities and quickly resolve the current political impasse. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX LEBARON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

APEC : Leaders Issue Kuala Lumpur Declaration

The leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration following the first-ever virtual 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Convening for the first time since the ... More>>

UN: Refugee Resettlement Numbers Fall To Lowest In Two Decades

Refugee resettlement numbers will be at a “record low” this year, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Wednesday, with only 15,425 people resettled in the first nine months of 2020, compared to more than 50,000 in 2019. In 2016, resettlement ... More>>

G20: Global Co-Operation And Strong Policy Action Needed For A Sustainable Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed major weaknesses in our economies that can only be fixed through greater global co-operation and strong, targeted policy action, according to a new OECD report presented to the Leaders of the G20 countries at their ... More>>

OECD: GDP Rebounded By 9.0% In The Third Quarter Of 2020 But Remains Below Pre-Pandemic High

Following the unprecedented falls in real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of the year in the wake of COVID-19 containment measures, GDP in the OECD area rebounded by 9.0% in the third quarter of 2020 but it remains 4.3% below its pre-crisis ... More>>