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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07ISLAMABAD4766
2007-11-07 13:38:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

MGPK01: SITREP 10, AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD: POLICE

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  PK  AEMR  AMGT  CASC  KFLO  PINR 
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VZCZCXRO0348
OO RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #4766/01 3111338
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 071338Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3061
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 7711
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 6645
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 2144
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 7920
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 3951
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 2479
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 3201
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 004766 

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/07/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PK AEMR AMGT CASC KFLO PINR
SUBJECT: MGPK01: SITREP 10, AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD: POLICE
TEAR GAS PPP MARCH; MORE INTIMIDATION AND ARRESTS

REF: ISLAMABAD 4761

Classified By: DCM Peter Bodde for reasons 1.4 (b), (d)



1. (C) Summary: Police used tear gas to break up a Pakistan
People's Party (PPP) parliamentarians march to the National
Assembly. Earlier, PPP leader Benazir Bhutto issued defiant
statements at a press conference and PPP supporters clashed
with police in front of PPP headquarters. DCM met with
presidential advisor Aziz to repeat the USG message on
elections, the uniform and civil rights; he highlighted the
Aitzaz Ahsan case that is of interest to several U.S.
Senators. Interior Minister Sherpao assured DCM that Ahsan
was being well treated and could receive a visit from his
wife. Small demonstrations and arrests took place across the
country; plans are underway for more organized protests by
various lawyer, civil society, and student groups. Ambassador
has a 1900 meeting scheduled with Bhutto. End summary.



2. (C) DCM met with presidential advisor Tariq Aziz to again
raise USG core concerns about setting a date for elections
and Musharraf's resignation as Chief of Army Staff. He also
repeated USG demands that curbs on the media be lifted
immediately and complained about excessive use of force by
the police against demonstrators. He raised the case of
lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, held incommunicado since November 3; we
understand several U.S. Senators are interested in this case.
In a separate meeting, Interior Minister Sherpao assured DCM
that Ahsan was being well-treated, was receiving his medicine
and could be visited by his wife as soon as possible.

Protests


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





3. (U) Islamabad. Led by PPP Vice President Amin Fahim, along
with PPP parliamentarians and up to 300 supporters, marched
from PPP HQ to the National Assembly building. They clashed
with police who used tear gas to break up the march; there
are reports that 45 PPP members have been arrested. Earlier,
Bhutto was defiant during a press conference where she
stressed the need for Musharraf to schedule elections and
resign as Chief of Army Staff. She warned if Musharraf did
not take off his uniform by November 9, she would lead a
protest march November 13 from Lahore to Islamabad. Earlier
in the day, several hundred PPP supporters clashed with
police in front of the party's headquarters. RSO/Islamabad
described the police response as "heavy."

4 (U) Rawalpindi. The Punjab provincial government and
Rawalpindi police officials denied the PPP's petition to hold
its November 9 campaign rally. Officials said that
demonstrations are banned under Musharaf's state of emergency
and a threat of suicide attack exists in both Islamabad and
Rawalpindi. A PPP spokesman told press that the rally will
be held as planned at Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi.



5. (U) Karachi. CG Karachi reports that a protest took place
at the Quetta court area today where 16 lawyers were arrested
for protesting the emergency rule and chanting anti-Musharraf
slogans. An advocate at the Sindh High Court reports that
the majority of the lawyers at the Sindh and Balochistan High
Courts and City Courts staged a strike today.



6. (U) Civil society organizations (CSO), non-governmental
organizations (NGO), and political activists in Karachi held
a meeting at the offices of the Pakistan Institute of Labor
Education and Research (PILER) in order to mobilize the
participants for a demonstration against the imposition of
emergency and the PCO.



7. (U) Lahore. Approximately 500 students protested at the
Lahore University Management while the police monitored the
situation. The police agreed that it could take place on
campus, but said they would not tolerate it if the
demonstration went into the surrounding neighborhoods.



8. (U) Peshawar. Jamaat-i Islami (JI) party announced today
that is will hold protest rallies in Peshawar on November 8;
in Swat, Dir, Malakand, and Buner districts on November 9;
and in Abbotabad, Mansehra, Battagram, and Kohistan districts

ISLAMABAD 00004766 002 OF 002


on November 10. In addition, the Awami National Party (ANP)
is calling for "anti-emergency" rallies on November 9 in the
NWFP.

9, (U) Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan, now
in hiding, released a video calling for protests against
President Musharraf and the imposition of emergency.

Intimidation and Arrests


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





10. (U) High level party members of both the Pakistan Muslim
League - Nawaz (PML-N) and the Jamaat-i Islami (JI) were
arrested in Peshawar today.



11. (U) The Executive Director of the Commission for Peace
and Human Development in Lahore issued an unconfirmed report
that the numbers of arrested persons has exceeded the space
available in Lahore jails. Because of this, an abandoned
factory in the city's industrial area was converted into a
"sub-jail" and currently holding approximately 450 people.
The Home Department was forced to also declare seven other
locations in Lahore as sub-jails, including homes of Qazi
Hussain Ahmed, Asma Jahangir, and Munawwar Hussan. The
police reportedly also plan to shift some 300 prisoners to
Bahawalpur as well to accommodate the growing numbers.




PATTERSON