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Cablegate: Baloch Request Unhcr Facilitate Movement Of

VZCZCXRO0120
OO RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #3037/01 3521104
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 181104Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6537
INFO RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN PRIORITY 0113
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 1307
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2030
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 5895
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 2703
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 8302
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 7363
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 4173
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0474

Friday, 18 December 2009, 11:04
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 003037
NOFORN
SIPDIS
EO 12958 DECL: 12/18/2034
TAGS PREL, PGOV, PREF, PK, AF
SUBJECT: BALOCH REQUEST UNHCR FACILITATE MOVEMENT OF
BRAHMDAGH BUGTI TO IRELAND
Friday, 18 December 2009, 11:04
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 003037
NOFORN
SIPDIS
EO 12958 DECL: 12/18/2034
TAGS PREL, PGOV, PREF, PK, AF
SUBJECT: BALOCH REQUEST UNHCR FACILITATE MOVEMENT OF
BRAHMDAGH BUGTI TO IRELAND
Classified By: Ambassador Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d)

1. (S/NF) Summary: XXXXXXXXXXXX, who has been designated by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres as XXXXXXXXXXXX in Pakistan, met with the Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission on December 13 to discuss the U.S. Government’s position on the possible movement of Baloch leader Brahmdagh Bugti from Afghanistan to a country of asylum. He requested U.S. intervention with Pakistani authorities if UNHCR agrees to facilitate this movement. XXXXXXXXXXXX Brahmdagh’s uncle, reportedly told XXXXXXXXXXXX that the Government of Ireland has agreed to offer asylum to Bugti, although UNHCR has not yet confirmed this offer. At the request of UNHCR, the Ambassador agreed to engage President Zardari and have the Embassy follow up with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to ensure that the GOP would not act against such a transfer or negatively respond to UNHCR’s potential involvement. In a subsequent conversation, however, DGI ISI Pasha registered to COS the Pakistan military’s opposition to allowing Bugti to obtain refugee status. While getting Bugti out of Afghanistan is still a good idea, we do not believe UNHCR should be involved. End Summary.

2. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX met recently with XXXXXXXXXXXX, who sought UNHCR support in facilitating the movement out of Afghanistan of Brahmdagh Bugti, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’s grandson and head of the Baloch Republican Party. XXXXXXXXXXXX reportedly told XXXXXXXXXXXX that the Government of Ireland was willing to receive Brahmdagh Bugti, who “had to get out of Afghanistan and would not be safe returning to Pakistan.” XXXXXXXXXXXX also contended that the USG would be supportive of this transfer. (Note: XXXXXXXXXXXX has met with Embassy poloffs several times to float the idea of moving Bugti, sharing with us that Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister is willing to help Bugti gain asylum there. End Note.)

3. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX sought a meeting on December 13 with the Ambassador to discuss the USG position on the potential transfer of Bugti, although UNHCR has yet to verify Ireland’s willingness to receive him or to make a determination as to whether Bugti is eligible for refugee status. The British Government has previously refused to consider asylum for Bugti. According to XXXXXXXXXXXX, while UNHCR believes that moving Bugti from Afghanistan and from close proximity to and influence in Baloch insurgent activity in Pakistan would be in the Pakistani Government’s interest, High Commissioner Guterres is concerned that UNHCR’s potential involvement in this transfer could have a negative impact on UNHCR’s humanitarian access, operations, and security in Pakistan. UNHCR is seeking assurances that the Pakistani Government will not act against such a transfer or penalize UNHCR’s potential involvement in it. XXXXXXXXXXXX told the Ambassador that his meeting with XXXXXXXXXXXX and all UNHCR’s interaction with Baloch leaders have been carefully monitored by Pakistani intelligence.

4. (C) UNHCR will hold an in-house meeting to be attended by XXXXXXXXXXXX to discuss more generally what to do with regard to the Baloch in Afghanistan. Besides Bugti, there are “a few hundred” Baloch in Kandahar (largely from Dera Bugti), XXXXXXXXXXXX explained. He said that recognizing these Baloch as refugees would be well received by the Pakistani Baloch community - which believes UNHCR has been insufficiently supportive of them despite Baloch assistance in facilitating the release of kidnapped UNHCR Quetta Sub-Office Head John Solecki -- but would not be well-received by the Government of Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD 00003037 002 OF 002

5. (C) The Ambassador told XXXXXXXXXXXX that the USG would be supportive of moving Bugti out of the region but said that UNHCR would need to confirm first Ireland’s willingness to grant him asylum. She and XXXXXXXXXXXX both expressed concern about the possible implications of XXXXXXXXXXXX’s stipulation that Bugti would need to be able to freely travel outside his country of asylum. The Ambassador agreed to engage President Zardari and have the Embassy follow up with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to ensure that the GOP would not act against a transfer of Bugti out of Afghanistan or negatively respond to UNHCR’s potential involvement.

6. (S/NF) In a subsequent conversation, DG ISI Pasha told COS that he believed Bugti should return to Pakistan to stand trial for his crimes. While declaring that the decision belonged ultimately to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he made clear that the Pakistan military would not favor allowing Bugti to be accorded refugee status. It was also clear from Pasha’s comments that efforts on the part of UN agencies to effect Bugti being provided with asylum in Europe would color the Pakistan military’s perception of those agencies and would affect their working relationships.

7. (S/NF) Comment: On the basis of Pasha’s remarks, we are advising XXXXXXXXXXXX that it would be better for UNHCR not to pursue this initiative with Bugti. End Comment. PATTERSON

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