Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Global diplomacy on Wiki Leaks

US - Pak relation on wiki-leaks
" WikiLeaks" dump as nothing more than an unfortunate incident which struck great allies and friends, US Special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Holbrook said that the 'leaks" will neither change the Pak-US relations nor will it affect the Washington's support for Pakistan.

Talking exclusively to Pakistan News correspondent Sami Ibrahim on phone Wednesday, Holbrook said Pakistani leadership was the first one to be contacted by US administration on this issue way before these documents were started to be made public. ' I spoke with President Zardari on this issue at length, Ambassador Munter met with Prime minister Gilani. Secretary State Clinton is reaching out to President Zardari at this moment and foreign minister Shah mehmood Qureshi was also taken into confidence " he said:Holbrook said Pentagon was in complete touch with army chief Gen ishfaq Pervez Kayani. Admiral Mike Mullen also spoke with Gen Kayani.

To a question about what led to Wikileaks disclosure, Holbrook said the computers were changed in 2005 and the job of distribution of papers was also assigned to these new computers but no one knew at that time the computers would itself distribute the classified documents as well .But " the problem is fixed and there was no chance of any leaks of such documents in future ; he added.

He said the relations between the two countries were not transitional rather they were in strategic phase and " even today in a top level meeting in White house it has been decided that United states would continue supporting Pakistan: he added.

He said President Zardari would come to USA and President Obama would also be visiting Pakistan next year. 'We are committed to fully implement what would be agreed in each individual department in strategic dialogue" he added.

Holbrook said that there are always ups and downs in the relations between great friends and allies and Pak-US relations are also seeing the same but " nothing could impact the strength of relations between the two countries and we would be out of the impact of the Wikileaks soon " he added.
Pakistan's president, Asif Ali Zardari, whose wife, Benazir Bhutto, was killed in a suicide bombing, has made extensive preparations in case of his own assassination, said The Guardian citing a document leaked by WikiLeaks.

Last year Zardari told the US ambassador, Anne Patterson, that if he was assassinated, "he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as president".

This year Zardari requested the United Arab Emirates to allow his family to live there in the event of his death. His wife lived in self-imposed exile in the UAE for years before her ill-fated return to Pakistan in 2007.

The cables provide a changing portrait of Zardari, America's key Pakistani ally along with the army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani. A sharp-edged 2008 description of Zardari notes that he hails from a tribe with "little social standing" in Sindh; "there is a story that as children, Sindhis were told 'a Zardari stole it' if something went missing".

But later dispatches portray him as a more capable leader, with considerable political nous, although often burdened by his association with deep-seated corruption.

Zardari is frank about the strength of the Taliban – "I'm sorry to say this but we are not winning" the war against extremists he told the US vice-president, Joe Biden, in 2009 – and his own limitations.

"I am not Benazir, and I know it," he told the US ambassador after his wife's death.

And he fears a fresh army coup. Zardari said he was concerned that Kayani might "take me out", Biden reported to Gordon Brown during a meeting in Chile in 2009. Brown said he thought it unlikely.

The observations on Pakistan's often beleaguered president are part of several portraits about prominent Pakistani politicians that are dotted with insight, colour and some surprises.

In November 2007 Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of the country's most fiercely pro-Taliban religious party, hosted a jovial dinner for Patterson at which he sought her backing to become prime minister and expressed a desire to visit America.

"All important parties in Pakistan had to get the approval" of the US, said his aide Abdul Ghafoor Haideri. After the meeting Patterson commented on the mullah's famously wily political skills. "He has made it clear that … his still significant number of votes are up for sale."

The cables also highlight the contradictions of other prominent Pakistanis. Officials noted that Amin Fahim, a Bhutto supporter hoping to become prime minister, led a religious Islamic group "while enjoying an occasional bloody mary".

The opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif had a "notoriously difficult personality" while his family is noted to have "relied primarily on the army and intelligence agencies for political elevation".

America's perceived influence on Pakistani power politics is a frequent theme. In a May 2008 meeting with a visiting American congressional delegation, Zardari said: "We won't act without consulting with you."

Sharif repeatedly told the US ambassador he was "pro-American", despite his often critical public stance. He thanked the US for "arranging" to have Kayani appointed as army chief. "The best thing America has done recently," he said.

"The fact that a former prime minister believes the US could control the appointment of Pakistan's chief of army staff speaks volumes about the myth of American influence here," the ambassador noted tartly afterwards.But some dispatches make it clear that the Americans do wield great clout. After General Pervez Musharraf resigned as president in 2008, ambassador Patterson pressed Zardari to grant him immunity from prosecution. "We believed, as we had often said, that Musharraf should have a dignified retirement and not be hounded out of the country," she said.

The US – and Kayani – worried that Zardari would renege on his word. "Zardari is walking tall these days, hopefully not too tall to forget his promise to Kayani and to us on an immunity deal," wrote Patterson.

If Zardari didn't protect Musharraf then it would make him look bad. "I have to bring the army along with me," he said, also noting that the delay "does nothing for Zardari's reputation for trustworthiness".

The notable exception to that US influence, however, is the former cricketer Imran Khan, who delivered a long lecture to visiting US politicians about the iniquities of US policy.

Welcoming the group at his grand home outside Islamabad, Khan hosted an "hour-long, largely one-sided, and somewhat uncomfortable conversation".

To defeat the Taliban the US had to understand the "tribal character" of the militants, he said, and described the Pakistani drive against the Taliban in 2009 as "stage-managed" for US consumption.

There are apercus in the cables into the often inscrutable military leaders. Kayani is "direct, frank, and thoughtful" and has "fond memories" of time spent on a military training course in the US. It is also noted that "he smokes heavily and can be difficult to understand as he tends to mumble." The Inter-Services Intelligence chief, Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, was "usually more emotional" than Kayani.

US diplomats also have a ringside seat to civilian wrangles. In February 2009 Zardari aide Farahnaz Ispahani said the president was "very unhappy" with the way the prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, had "gone off the reservation". In 2008 Zardari said Fahim "had spent most of the [election] campaign in Dubai (with his latest 22 year-old wife) and was simply too lazy to be prime minister".

The cables also record embarrassing mistakes in the embassy's efforts to manage its relationships with Pakistan's power elite. Six months after his dinner with the ambassador, Rehman was less enamoured of US policy when the FBI issued a notice suggesting he had orchestrated a suicide bombing in Islamabad.

The embassy asked the FBI to urgently recall the notice – he had been confused with another man with a similar name. Rehman was a "frequent and co-operative interlocutor with post and professes his support for co-operation with the United States", the request said.

US Embassy in Colombo alerted the Sri Lankan:

US Embassy in Colombo alerted the Sri Lankan government over the dossiers expected to be released by the whistle blowing website ‘Wikileaks’, Sri Lanka said that it “does not wish to comment publicly on privileged communications of a foreign government. However, Colombo said, if the contents reveal any material relevant to Sri Lanka’s interests, these will be taken up through diplomatic channels.

A press statement today by the External Affairs Ministry of Sri Lankan said that they are in the process of obtaining the contents of the documents allegedly pertaining to Sri Lanka put in the public domain by Wikileaks.

Reports say that the new documents released by Wikileaks suggests that United States wanted its diplomats at the UN headquarters to find what the global agency was thinking about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

The Guardian newspaper published the secret cables sent to the US diplomats in which enquires were made about Sri Lanka.

One such cable was dispatched in July, 2009; two months after Lankan government troops defeated the LTTE amid allegations of human rights violations by both sides.

US talks Julia Gillard Governent:
US ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich said he has been talking to the Julia Gillard government over the issue.Bleich described the release of leaked diplomatic cables on the website founded by Australian Julian Assange as "reprehensible action," according to a report in the AAP.His comments came as global police agency Interpol issued an arrest warrants for Assange on a rape charge originating from Sweden.Bleich said the US was "aware of documents that are purported to have come from Canberra that are purported to relate to Australia but we are not going to validate those"."We are talking together about ways to ensure that our partners and our sources throughout the world are not put in jeopardy or not harm as a product of them working to promote a safer world," he said.
Bleich said the US embassy had now briefed Attorney-General Robert McClelland, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, Defence Minister Stephen Smith and the secretary of the Defence Department. "Based on those conversation we have effectively calibrated what the risks are and tried to take people out of harm's way," he said.

"We have done the best we can to mitigate those risks and we hope that it will not result in harm to any people".
The ambassador said he had not discussed the possible action that could be taken against Assange. "With respect of people who engaged in illegal action that is for the law enforcement authorities to evaluate and for them to look at what are prosecutable offences," he said."I love Australia and I don't think there is anything I have put in a cable to cause me heartburn", the ambassador said.

Hillary Clinton:India as a "self-appointed front-runner"

Treading cautiously on the Wikileaks issue, government on Wednesday said it will react only after complete facts come out."Let the facts come out, then we will react," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters outside Parliament House.He was asked to comment on the cable communication between the US Embassy in New Delhi and Washington leaked by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.Krishna's deputy in the Ministry Preneet Kaur had recently said, "This (wikileaks issue) is a very sensitive issue. We have good bilateral relations (with the US) and they had already warned us. So, I think it is not the right time to comment on it...."

As part of its massive leak of a quarter million classified documents of the US government, the website released a "secret" cable issued by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in which she has described India as a "self-appointed front-runner" for a permanent UNSC seat.Clinton had also directed US envoys to seek minute details about Indian diplomats stationed at the United Nations headquarters, according to classified documents released by WikiLeaks.

NATO condemns Wikileaks over tactical nukes:

NATO is condemning the release by Wikileaks of diplomatic cables detailing the deployment of US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu Tuesday described the leaks as ``illegal and dangerous.''

Leaked US diplomatic cables show that most of about 200 US tactical nuclear bombs still left in Europe are based in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey. The four nations have been long suspected of hosting the warheads, but NATO and the governments involved have always refused to confirm this.The B-61 bombs, America's oldest nuclear weapons, date back to the 1950s.They were part of Washington's effort to demonstrate a commitment to NATO's defense during the Cold War by embedding such weapons near potential battlefields.

Japan joins criticism of WikiLeaks:

Japan, a key ally of the United States, tuesday joined criticism of the WikiLeaks website over its release of secret US diplomatic cables."It's just outrageous. It's a criminal act," Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara told a news conference when asked about his stance on the controversial website."It is a government that makes decisions on documents, no matter whether they are unscreened or classified," Maehara said.

"(WikiLeaks) steals them without asking and then makes them public. I cannot see any value in the act at all."

Top US diplomat Hillary Clinton on Monday accused WikiLeaks of an "attack" on the world as key American allies were left red-faced by the embarrassing revelations in the vast trove of leaked memos.According to confidential cables released by WikiLeaks, an unnamed Chinese official criticised Japan, which has been pressing North Korea on the fate of its citizens kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s to train the regime's spies.

"Japan's obsession with the abductee issue reminded him of a Chinese expression for an individual who was too weak to make something work, yet strong enough to destroy it," the cable said.

Another cable was on a visit to China in April 2009 by then Japanese prime minister Taro Aso and his meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.Kunio Umeda, who at the time was a minister at the Japanese embassy in Beijing, reported that Wen was "tired and seemed under a lot of pressure" from dealing with the economic crisis.

WikiLeaks site came under renewed cyber attack Tuesday as a fresh batch of secret documents revealed the depth of American and British fears over Pakistan’s nuclear material falling into the wrong hands.

The latest disclosures show that even as President Barack Obama was offering assurances on Pakistan last year, senior U.S. diplomats and their U.K. counterparts fretted about a downward spiral that left the safety of a stockpile of bomb-grade uranium in doubt.

The Pakistan files were detailed in near-simultaneous reports released Tuesday afternoon by The New York Times, The Guardian and Germany’s Der Spiegel, which said the secret U.S. diplomatic dispatches “provide deep insights into the true extent of Pakistan’s volatility.”
Pakistan has confirmed to the BBC claims by Wikileaks that the US had wanted nuclear fuel taken away from a reactor, citing security fears.

Foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said they rejected US attempts to have the highly enriched uranium removed.Pakistan's Army and ISI are covertly sponsoring four militant groups, including LeT, and will not abandon them for any amount of US money. As per the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks,the American envoy to Islamabad Anne Patterson wrote this in a secret review of Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy in September 2009.

Patterson also underpinned the need for the US to reassess India's role in Afghanistan and the US policies towards India including the growing military relationship through sizeable conventional arms sales. She said all of this feeds Pakistani establishment paranoia and pushes them closer to both Afghan and Kashmir-focused terrorist groups while reinforcing doubts about US intentions.

The latest cache of WikiLeaks documents also lay bare the deep concern of the US over the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and the fact that Islamabad is producing them at a faster rate than any other country in the world.

The US diplomatic cables also revealed that hundreds of millions of dollars in American military aid to Pakistan earmarked for fighting Islamist militants was not used for the desired purpose, but diverted to the government's coffers.
WikiLeaks has disclosed the conversation between US Senator John McCain and former president Pervez Musharraf in which latter talked about the possibility of the presence of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Bajaur Agency.

The US embassy cables disclosed Musharraf as saying that although he had no direct evidence, he thought al Qaeda leaders Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri were hiding in Bajaur Agency, bordering Afghanistan's Konar province where US forces were not deployed.Musharraf, however, added that Mullah Omar was not present in Balochistan.

The material leaked from the US government to WikiLeaks shows that the US government is an extremely disreputable gang of gangsters. The US government was able to get British prime minister Brown to “fix” the official Chilcot Investigation into how former prime minister Tony Blair manipulated and lied the British government into being mercenaries for the US invasion of Iraq. One of the “diplomatic” cables released has UK Defense Ministry official Jon Day promising the United States government that prime minister Brown’s government has “put measures in place to protect your interests.”

Other cables show the US government threatening Spanish prime minister Zapatero, ordering him to stop his criticisms of the Iraq war or else. I mean, really, how dare these foreign governments to think that they are sovereign.
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