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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02ROME1799 2002-04-10 14:56:00 SECRET Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

(U) IIR 7 300 0410: "ZAHIR SHAH HOPES FOR A NEW

Tags:   PINS AF AFGHANISTAN 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  S E C R E T ROME 001799 

SIPDIS

SECRET

PAGE 02 ROME 01799 101547Z
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2012
TAGS: PINS AF AFGHANISTAN
SUBJECT: (U) IIR 7 300 0410: "ZAHIR SHAH HOPES FOR A NEW
MONARCHY"

REF: IIR 7 300 0410 02

CLASSIFIED BY: POL MIN COUNS THOMAS COUNTRYMAN, REASON 1.5 (D)



1. (SBU) SUMMARY: POST WOULD LIKE TO CORRECT INFORMATION
PRESENTED IN REF IIR. THE SOURCE MAY HAVE REPORTED RELIABLY
IN THE PAST, AND MAY HAVE CONSIDERABLE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT SOME
ASPECTS OF AFGHANISTAN, BUT S/HE IS UNINFORMED ON THE FORMER
KING'S PLANS AND THINKING. MUCH OF THE INFORMATION IS
SERIOUSLY FLAWED. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) FORMER KING ZAHIR SHAH POSTPONED (VICE CANCELED) HIS
SCHEDULED RETURN TO KABUL AT THE REQUEST AND RECOMMENDATION
OF THE GOVERNMENTS OF ITALY AND THE UNITED STATES. HE WAS
RELUCTANT TO DO SO AND INITIALLY RESISTED. THERE WERE NO
PRE-CONDITIONS TO HIS RETURN SET BY THE AFGHAN INTERIM
ADMINISTRATION (AIA). HE HAS NOT SOUGHT THE RESTORATION OF
THE MONARCHY AT ANY POINT IN HIS PREPARATIONS TO RETURN TO
AFGHANISTAN, AND HE HAS NEVER/NEVER SOUGHT "HEREDITARY
SUCCESSION...GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION."



3. (C) WHILE THE KING HAS PERHAPS EXPRESSED SOME VAGUE
NOSTALGIA FOR HIS ERSTWHILE PALACE, HE HAS NEVER INTIMATED TO
US THAT THE SMALL PALACE PROVIDED FOR HIM BY THE AIA IS AN
"INSULT TO HIS DIGNITY." TO THE CONTRARY, HE HAS SAID
SEVERAL TIMES AND IN DIFFERENT SETTINGS THAT FOR A FORMER
SECRET

PAGE 03 ROME 01799 101547Z
MONARCH TO RETURN TO THE PALACE IS UNDERSTANDABLY VERBOTEN.
ZAHIR SHAH KNOWS QUITE WELL WHO SUGGESTED GRANDSON MUSTAFA
NOT RETURN WITH HIM; THE MESSAGE WAS PERSONALLY DELIVERED TO
THE KING BY A SENIOR USG REPRESENTATIVE.



4. (C) THE KING'S SON-IN-LAW AND SPOKESMAN TOLD US ONLY
YESTERDAY THAT THE KING IS NOT ILL-AT-EASE WITH PROVISIONS
FOR THE AIA TO PROVIDE FOR HIS SECURITY, AND THE KING HAS
TOLD US THIS HIMSELF SEVERAL TIMES. WHILE IT IS INDEED TRUE
THAT THE KING HAS BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT
DURING THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF MARCH TO DISCUSS THE POSSIBILITY
OF THE GOI'S PROVIDING SECURITY, THESE DISCUSSIONS BEGAN AT
THE REQUEST OF THE USG.



5. (S) FINALLY, WE DISAGREE COMPLETELY WITH FIELD COMMENTS
WHICH SUGGEST "THE KING WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED BY THE
SITUATION ON THE GROUND UNLESS HE SEES THE POSSIBILITY OF THE
RETURN OF THE MONARCHY." THIS IS PREPOSTEROUS WHEN VIEWED IN
THE CONTEXT OF THE KING'S OWN REMARKS. HE HAS OFTEN STATED
HIS DEEP WISH TO RETURN TO AFGHANISTAN IN ORDER TO DIE THERE,
BUT PRIOR TO THAT TO SERVE THE PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN IN SOME
WAY IF SUCH IS THEIR WILL AS INDICATED THROUGH THE LOYA
JIRGA. EQUALLY, HE HAS REITERATED HIS UNDERSTANDING THAT THE
MONARCHY IS A DEFUNCT INSTITUTION. HE HAS GIVEN NO
INDICATION OF SEEKING TO REVIVE IT.
SEMBLER

SECRET

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2002ROME01799 - Classification: SECRET