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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07ISLAMABAD2218
2007-05-17 12:27:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

MQM HOLDING EMERGENCY MEETING IN LONDON

Tags:   ASEC  PGOV  PHUM  PK  PREL 
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VZCZCXRO8378
PP RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #2218 1371227
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 171227Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9196
INFO RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY 2411
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA PRIORITY 0149
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU PRIORITY 0143
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY 4191
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 7117
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5629
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0951
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 4772
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY 3143
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 6041
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 2341
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 0661
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2328
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L ISLAMABAD 002218 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/17/2017
TAGS: ASEC, PGOV, PHUM, PK, PREL
SUBJECT: MQM HOLDING EMERGENCY MEETING IN LONDON


Classified By: Charge Peter Bodde 1.5 (b), (d).

1. (C) A/DCM spoke by phone with MQM Party in-country chief
Dr. Farooq Sattar on May 17. Sattar reported he and other
MQM leaders were departing that evening for an emergency
meeting in London, where MQM head Altaf Hussain lives in
exile. Sattar said that many in the MQM's leadership
realized the weekend's violence, widely blamed on the MQM,
damaged the party's reputation and political position.

2. (C) A/DCM responded that it was important that the MQM
work to repair the damage to its reputation and to lessen
tensions in Karachi. She noted that credible criminal
investigations into the violence and into whether the police
behaved appropriately on May 11-13 could help to restore the
public's confidence in the MQM. (Note: The MQM holds
important leadership positions in the Karachi and Sindh
governments and is a partner in Musharraf's ruling coalition
End Note.)

3. (C) Sattar claimed only a small number of MQM supporters
were involved in May 12's violence. A/DCM noted that it was
troubling that the MQM cells had seemed so well armed.
Sattar agreed that the party should consider disarming, but
then launched into a 40 minute monologue blaming May 12's
violence on everyone from President Musharraf to feudal
landholders to the ISI to other political parties.

4. (C) Sattar claimed that he had attempted to call Awami
National Party leader Asfandyar Wali Khan. (Note: The
Pashtun nationalist party reportedly lost at least 13 members
on May 12. On May 16, Asfandyar told us he was eager to speak
to Sattar, but that Sattar had not phoned him. Asfandyar
believed the onus was on Sattar to initiate the call. End
Note.) Sattar stated that Asfandyar had publicly demanded
that the MQM apologize for the violence; the MQM was
unwilling to do so. A/DCM encouraged Sattar to find a way to
acknowledge Pashtun honor and to lower what the press was
describing as a high level of tension between the MQM and
Karachi's Pashtun community. Sattar agreed with this
imperative.

5. (C) Comment: The press and some of our contacts are
reporting that Sattar, whom we have generally found to be a
reasonable if voluble man, is deeply frustrated with
decisions emanating from the party's London headquarters. We
have heard from various contacts that Sattar opposed going
ahead with May 12's rally, but that Hussain overruled him.
The outcome of this weekend's leadership meeting could be a
sign of the future direction of the MQM. End Comment.


BODDE