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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ISLAMABAD21073
2006-10-27 14:53:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

PAK-AFGHAN JIRGAS: THE VIEW FROM PAKISTAN

Tags:   PK  PREL  PTER  AF  PGOV 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ISLAMABAD 021073 

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/05/2016
TAGS: PK PREL PTER AF PGOV
SUBJECT: PAK-AFGHAN JIRGAS: THE VIEW FROM PAKISTAN

REF: A. KABUL 5218

B. KABUL 5451

C. PESHAWAR 636

D. MAATA-AGUILAR EMAIL (O-I) 19 OCT 2006

E. ISLAMABAD 19796

Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C/NF) Summary and Comment: Pakistani officials have
been tasked to coordinate a border region jirga to which
Afghan President Karzai would be invited, but are proceeding
at a measured pace. The Pakistan approach reflects a
consensus that such an event must be organized with great
care to avoid failure. Post is inclined to respect the
Pakistani assessment, given the multiple security and law
enforcement challenges which now confront the Government in
the Tribal Belt. In post's view, the critical next step is
for the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan (GOP, GOA) to
negotiate the timing and modalities of these parallel jirgas
directly, as they are in the best position to judge their own
domestic political realities and bureaucratic capacities. As
the two sides begin planning the parallel jirga(s), each must
grapple with a variety of factors, ranging from the
geographic area to be included, the participants to be
invited and specific issues to be addressed -- all of which
may require considerable analysis and grassroots outreach if
the jirgas are not to be fraught with controversy. North
West Frontier Province (NWFP) Governor Orakzai, tasked by
President Musharraf with overseeing jirga preparations, is
now focused on ensuring successful implementation of the NWA
peace deal and on finalizing the FATA Development Plan. That
groundwork must be in place to ensure that the cross-border
jirga achieves the goals that Presidents Musharraf and Karzai
discussed with President Bush at September's Trilateral
Iftar. End Summary and Comment.



--------------------------


One Jirga at a Time


--------------------------





2. (C) While intrigued by the idea of a cross-border jirga,
the GOP has not exhibited the sense of urgency expressed by
President Karzai, as reported by Embassy Kabul (Refs A and
B). GOP officials are more concerned about ensuring that the
Pakistan jirga does not create more problems than it might
solve. In his October 5 meeting with Ambassador Crocker (Ref
E), NWFP Governor Orakzai took the Ambassador's point the GOP
needed to begin moving forward on the jirga and said that he
believed careful preparation would be important. Governor
Orakzai's secretary recently told PO/Peshawar it would be a
mistake to try to move forward on the jirga before the GOP
had time to digest lessons from NWA jirga implementation. He
thought it would take several months before provincial
authorities could draw conclusions that might be of use in
planning a cross-border jirga. Governor Orkakzai has told
the Ambassador that, in the interim, GOP jirga planners will
consider the best parameters for the event: should the jirga

be limited to the FATA? Extended to all NWFP? Encompass the
entire Pak-Afghan border? Who should be invited to
participate? Who should be frozen out?



--------------------------


Actually, Three Jirgas at a Time


--------------------------





3. (C) GOP capacity to manage security and political issues
in the border area is already heavily taxed. On October 27,
the NWFP Governor's offices told PO/Peshawar that the office
had not yet even looked at the jirga proposal, as it was
focusing on other urgent matters. Governor Orakzai is
personally responsible for managing implementation of the
North Waziristan Agency jirga agreement; in the past week, he
has been drawn into a separate jirga in Bajaur Agency to
resolve sectarian and other tensions. The Governor also is

ISLAMABAD 00021073 002 OF 003


tamping down a deteriorating law-and-order environment and
sectarian violence in Khyber Agency and confronting domestic
terrorism, including four bombings in Peshawar in the past
month. The Governor and FATA Secretariat are simultaneously
pushing forward a FATA development plan. Elsewhere along the
border, GOP security agencies remain engaged in operations
against both the nationalist Baloch militancy and
Taliban/anti-Coalition militias (ACMs) in Balochistan. In
early November, President Musharraf is expected to attend a
"reconciliation" jirga with representatives of Baloch tribes.




4. (C) When pulsed by poloff on preparations for the
parallel jirgas discussed at the Trilateral Iftar, MFA
official said that it will not begin serious planning until
Foreign Minister Kasuri has the opportunity to discuss the
concept with FM Spanta at their next Ministerial meeting, now
planned for late November or early December, (Note: Last
spring, the GOP and GOA committed to holding quarterly
Ministerials, alternating between the two capitals. As the
last meeting was held in Islamabad, Kabul would be the venue
for the coming session. The MFA's Afghanistan desk officer
attributed the delay in not holding the Ministerial until
Nov/Dec to a heavy post-Eid scheduling on FM Kasuri's
calendar, as well as lack of responsiveness by the Kabul
side. End note.)



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





5. (C/NF) Reporting from Emb Kabul (Ref A and B) and
information gleaned from Pakistani officials reinforce post's
belief that, for these parallel jirgas to succeed, the GOA
and GOP must begin talking to each other directly to ensure
consensus not only on timing and logistics, but on common
strategies and goals. Post understands that at the
Trilateral Iftar, the two presidents each agreed to hold a
jirgas -- one in Pakistan, one in Afghanistan -- which the
other's president would be invited to attend, but that few
other details were discussed. It is perhaps not surprising
that each capital has followed-up on the jirga concept with
an idiosyncratic approach reflective of their different
domestic challenges. Post recommends that the USG encourage
Pakistani and Afghan officials to outline their respective
visions and work out the nuts-and-bolts of jirga management
directly, while discouraging freelance outreach to potential
participants or tribal representatives on the other side of
the border.



6. (C/NF) While we see no indication that the GOP is
deviating from the U.S. understanding of the jirgas' goals --
inducing tribal leaders to reaffirm loyalty to their
respective national governments and renounce violent
militancy and Islamic extremism in exchange for a renewed
commitment to investment and development in the tribal areas
-- we appreciate the judgment of Pakistani officials who see
haste as a recipe for failure. This view is shared by an
astute observer well-versed in President Karzai's ambitions
for the jirga process: the Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan,
just returned from consultations in Kabul, told the
Ambassador that convening a jirga in his own country is a
particularly complex and risky endeavor requiring exquisite
preparation and stage-management, as the risk of the
assembled tribal leaders deviating from the official script
could lead to disastrous consequences. He concluded that the
Afghanistan jirga "must be done right, not fast" -- an
assessment equally applicable on the Pakistan side of the
Durrand Line.






ISLAMABAD 00021073 003 OF 003



CROCKER