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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ISLAMABAD16266
2006-08-17 13:07:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES BALOCHISTAN SECURITY ISSUES

Tags:   PGOV  PK  MOPS  AF  MASS  MCAP  PTER 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 016266 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/19/2015
TAGS: PGOV PK MOPS AF MASS MCAP PTER
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES BALOCHISTAN SECURITY ISSUES

ISLAMABAD 00016266 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Peter W. Bodde, DSCG 05-01,
January 2005, Edition 1, Reason: 1.4 (B,D)


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 016266

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/19/2015
TAGS: PGOV PK MOPS AF MASS MCAP PTER
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES BALOCHISTAN SECURITY ISSUES

ISLAMABAD 00016266 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Peter W. Bodde, DSCG 05-01,
January 2005, Edition 1, Reason: 1.4 (B,D)



1. (C) Summary: During the Ambassador,s August 10-11
visit to Balochistan, Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani said that
Pakistan,s anti-Taliban efforts is currently focused on
expelling undocumented Afghans, but that there is no
long-term plan for dealing with the Afghan population. Ghani
believes that the security situation in the province has
turned a corner for the better. The Balochistan Frontier
Corps (FC) Commander requested increased US funding to
increase the FC,s intelligence capabilities and to equip a
planned FC hospital, as his forces have become the frontline
troops for stopping cross-border raids by anti-Coalition
militias (ACMs) and fighting provincial insurgents. End
summary.

The Taliban



2. (C) Meeting in Quetta on August 10, the Ambassador
commended Governor Ghani for the government,s renewed effort
to dislodge Taliban members hiding in Balochistan. Ghani
described a campaign focused against illegal Afghan refugees.
The government is picking up all Afghans without proper
documentation and expelling those who are "harmless" and
holding those who are "suspicious." Of 240-some Afghans
arrested in mid July, four fell into the "suspicious"
category. Ghani noted that many Pakistanis view the Taliban
differently from al-Qaeda, because the Taliban are Afghans
(i.e., not foreigners imported into the region). He admitted
that the GOP has no long-term policy in place for dealing
with the Afghans in Pakistan. Ghani considered the continued
presence of hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees a burden
on Pakistan, but said that Pakistan cannot repatriate all the
refugees at once, given the destabilizing effect this could
have on the fragile Afghan government. Noting that he is a

Pashtun "like Karzai," Ghani asked the Ambassador to tell
Karzai "not to bad mouth" the GOP.


3. (C) Ghani described the current security situation in
the province as improving. Referring to operations in
eastern Balochistan against insurgent Baloch tribal leader
Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, Ghani said "we are in a mopping up
period...we are over the hump." The Governor said that a
meeting with local residents in central Balochistan
encapsulated the changed situation: a local man told him
that, over the years, the tribal leaders had done nothing for
the Baloch people and that, until recently, neither had the
GOP. If the government provided electricity and other
tangible aspects of development, the man continued, the local
population would take care of the nawabs. Ghani observed
that "things are now happening on the ground...(the people)
can see things happening." He believes that the majority of
tribal people understand that Nawabs Bugti and Marri
suppressed development and modernization by force; he
credited the government,s support for education as
strengthening the middle class and diluting the influence of
the tribal and feudal leaders. It is now up to the government
to ensure that young, educated Balochis had jobs and are able
to participate in the province,s development, he said.


4. (C) In a separate meeting, Balochistan Frontier Corps
(FC) commander General Shujaat Dar offered the Ambassador a
contrasting view of the province,s security situation. Dar
said that the FC--a paramilitary force of locally-raised
troops--seized more narcotics than any other security force
in the province and that it suffered more casualties than any
other security force, including the Army. Dar laid out the
difficulties FC forces faced in an operation at the town of
Baramshah, which straddles the border on the road between
Balochistan and Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province,
Afghanistan. His forces reconnoitered the village, taking
photos of a drug factory on the Afghan side of the border,
before coming under fire. In the ensuing firefight, his

ISLAMABAD 00016266 002.2 OF 002


troops escaped, losing five men while killing twelve. He now
has 500 troops encircling the village, blocking supplies in
or out, until those who killed his troops are handed over.
The villagers, however, can elude the FC cordon through "a
backdoor" to Afghanistan.


5. (C) Dar said that FC troops supporting CFC-A Operation
Mountain Thrust had established 36 new checkpoints or posts
and are now stopping "nomadic movement" across the frontier.
The FC would not allow nomads crossing the border to become a
source of illegal activity or to sneak Taliban in or out of
Pakistan.


6. (C) The Baramshah operation shows "my boys aren,t
afraid of anything," Dar said, but they need better
equipment, better training, and better intelligence to do
their job. He complained that Pakistan,s Anti-Narcotics
Force (ANF) receives more USG financial support than the FC.
Dar specifically asked for USG funding to increase the FC,s
intelligence capabilities, including UAV support, as waiting
for the intelligence to go up the chain of command "takes a
helluva lot of time." Dar also asked whether USG funds for
the FC could be disbursed at a faster pace and whether the
U.S. could fund the planned increase in FC forces. Dar
expects that, by December 2006, the growth in FC troops will
outpace available vehicles and other equipment. Dar
questioned whether the GOP would follow through on funding
commitments for FC expansion because of the budgetary
constraints facing Islamabad in the next four to five years.
The Ambassador replied that the U.S. commitment to the FC
expansion is unchanged.


7. (C) Dar concluded by requesting USG support to equip a
new FC hospital, explaining that the Army currently charges
the FC--including combat casualties--the same rate it charges
civilians treated at the hospital. This angered Dar because,
"We have the highest casualty rates." While praising his
relationship with the commander of the Army,s 12th Corps,
Dar expressed frustration that the FC must rely on the
facilities and capabilities of other security forces, as he
wants the FC to be "dynamite in its own right."

Pakistani Coast Guard--Gwadar



8. (C) During his August 11 visit to Gwadar, the Ambassador
met LTC Mohammed Tariq, commanding officer of the Pakistani
Coast Guards 3 Battalion. Tariq told the Ambassador that USG
assistance to the Coast Guards has increased the force,s
mobility and reaction time, improved surveillance
capabilities, as well as communications and command and
control. ODRP has provided Gamma Ray scanners, marine radar,
binoculars, vehicles, as well as funding for 16 observation
towers in the 240 kilometers of coastline the Gwadar
battalion oversaw. ODRP had also funded the renovation of
four fast patrol boats and will provide six rugged hulled
inflatable boats, ten more observation towers, and a mobile
command and control center. NAS provided the Coast Guards
with vehicles, and communication and surveillance equipment.
Tariq reviewed the number of illegal immigrants his battalion
had intercepted, as well as the amount of hashish and liquor
confiscated, revealing marked increases in both, which he
attributed to improved capabilities. (Note: The Pakistani
Coast Guards area of responsibility is the coastline--not
offshore--and reaches as far as 120 kilometers inland.)
BODDE