|07ISLAMABAD2799||2007-06-23 07:25:00||SECRET||Embassy Islamabad|
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 002799
1. (C) SUMMARY: Deputy Secretary Negroponte, Assistant
Secretary Boucher, and Charge d,Affaires Bodde met with
Prime Minister (PM) Aziz on June 16. The PM stressed the
importance of a stable Afghanistan and expressed concern
about Afghan drug production. He reiterated Pakistan,s
commitment to fighting terrorism and said that Afghanistan
was hiding terrorists wanted by Pakistan. The PM also said
he would like the Strategic Dialogue between Pakistan and the
U.S. to be more action oriented and hoped that a Bilateral
Investment Treaty (BIT) could be settled in the context of a
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S. He discussed
Iran,s role in the Middle East and shared his thoughts on
domestic politics. END SUMMARY.
AFGANISTAN AND TERRORISM
2. (C) During a June 16 meeting with Deputy Secretary John
Negroponte, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia
Richard Boucher, and Charge d,Affaires i.a. Peter Bodde,
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz stressed the importance of a
stable Afghanistan. Because of their long porous border,
Afghanistan was the most important country for Pakistan. The
PM said his biggest concern was Afghan drug production.
There was a strong link between drug money and international
terrorism and issues of terrorism and security could not be
resolved until drug production was addressed. Both the U.S.
and the European Union could and should do more to tackle the
3. (C) The PM noted positive developments between the
nations. He reported that, during his recent visit, Kabul
had looked improved. He agreed with President Karzai that
Afghan refugees should be gradually returned to Afghanistan.
The PM noted the refugee camps operated as safe havens for
terrorists and caused security problems for both nations. In
hindsight, the PM said, letting the refugees integrate into
Pakistani society may have been a mistake.
4. (C) Aziz reported the jirga process with Afghanistan was
going well. It was important to support Karzai in this
regard. However, he echoed other government statements that
Pakistan did not want a third party involved in the jirga.
5. (C) A stable Afghanistan, the PM noted, would help keep
terrorists out of Pakistan. Pakistan &would never knowingly
allow8 terrorists on its soil and Pakistan could not allow
itself to be a safehaven for terrorists plotting against the
rest of the world. The PM and Pakistan as a country had been
the victims of terrorist attacks and Pakistan would go after
terrorists &with a vengeance.8 He also noted, though, that
the Afghan border was porous, the refugee situation
exacerbated the terrorism problem, and there sometimes was
local support for militants. The PM also highlighted that
Afghanistan was holding terrorists wanted by Pakistan. The
PM had discussed the issue of wanted Baloch militants hiding
in Afghanistan with President Karzai, reminding the President
that the problem exacerbated the trust deficit between the
6. (C) The PM was pleased the Deputy Secretary would lead
the next round of the Strategic Dialogue. The Dialogue
should be results oriented, not just a photo opportunity.
Both countries were responsible for making the dialogue
fruitful. While eschewing details, the PM also hoped the
dialogue would settle a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) in
the context of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the
IRAN AND THE MIDDLE EAST
7. (S) The PM raised Iran and the Middle East. He agreed
ISLAMABAD 00002799 002 OF 002
Iran was acting aggressively against the U.S. and said it
appeared Iranian policy was to create problems for the U.S.
any way it could. He claimed Pakistan had evidence Iran was
trying to foment controversy over the Danish cartoon issue in
Pakistan before President Bush,s March 2006 visit. As soon
as President Bush left the country, Iran stopped its efforts
and the controversy subsided, according to Aziz.
8. (S) Despite such evidence, Pakistan had to engage Iran
because of their shared border and Iran,s ability to cause
trouble. Aziz noted that Pakistan already received
electricity and gas from Iran. He hoped negotiations with
Iran for a gas pipeline would be successful. Aziz reported
that negotiations were difficult because Iran &was not
rational8 and has a complicated political decision-making
PAKISTAN DOMESTIC POLITICS
9. (C) The PM shared his thoughts on Pakistan,s domestic
--Bringing a reference against the Chief Justice was a
difficult decision and a sad day for Pakistan. Because of
clear issues of integrity, quality of judgments, and the
overstepping of judicial authority, President Musharraf and
the PM decided to go forward with the reference. While they
did not predict the lawyers, reaction properly, the issue
would pass in time after the Supreme Court gave its judgment.
--Karachi,s May 12 violence created anxiety throughout the
country. Opposition parties were trying to politicize the
issue for their advantage.
--The recent budget would help the people and economy of
Pakistan and could be termed an election-year budget.
--Elections would likely occur between September 15 and
October 15. Pakistan has always welcomed election observers,
the best of whom would be the Pakistani press.
--President Musharraf says he will abide by the Constitution
and the Constitution states he can keep both his military and
political offices until the end of the year.
--Religio-political parties are not a significant issue.
Rather, the real problem is those extremist groups who
believe in violence rather than the ballot box.
--Pakistan cannot allow the Talibanization of its society.
Military action alone will not suffice. Economic, religious,
cultural, and social issues must be addressed.
The Deputy Secretary's office has reviewed this message.