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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07ISLAMABAD4805
2007-11-09 08:31:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

MGPK01: SITREP 13, AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD: BHUTTO

Tags:   PGOV  PK  PREL  PINR  KFLO  CASC  AMGT  AEMR 
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VZCZCXRO2561
OO RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #4805 3130831
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 090831Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3113
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 7737
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 6669
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 2181
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 7964
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 3994
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 2519
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 3215
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 ISLAMABAD 004805 

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/09/2017
TAGS: PGOV PK PREL PINR KFLO CASC AMGT AEMR
SUBJECT: MGPK01: SITREP 13, AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD: BHUTTO
UNDER HOUSE ARREST

REF: ISLAMABAD 4797

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, Reasons 1.4 (b), (d)



1. (C) Summary: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Benazir
Bhutto is under virtual house arrest. Ambassador called
Bhutto to urge her to consider the consequences of pushing
for demonstrations and to express our concerns regarding
further political polarization and her own personal safety.
The police have arrested hundreds of PPP supporters and
blocked roads to Rawalpindi in an effort to block the rally.
The GOP restored distribution of international TV news
channels late on November 8 but again blocked their
transmission on November 9. Pakistan's religious party
coalition has called for a November 14 National Consultative
Meeting of all opposition parties, including the PPP.
Seventeen people have been charged with sedition in Karachi,
charged with making anti-government statements. There was
limited violence in some cities last night. Mission
operations continue normally. End summary.



2. (C) Several hundred capital police have surrounded
People's Party (PPP) leader Benazir Bhutto's Islamabad home.
National Security Advisor Tariq Aziz clarified in a November
9 phone call to the Ambassador that the police had been
ordered not to execute an arrest order until she tried to
leave the house.



3. (U) Up to 1,000 PPP supporters have been arrested across
the country, and police blocked roads to Rawalpindi in an
attempt to block the PPP's planned demonstration, scheduled
for 1300 local time. According to RSO sources, approximately
5000 police are controlling access in and around Rawalpindi.
There are also now police checkpoints around Islamabad
International Airport; only ticketed passengers are being
allowed to proceed to the airport. Roads between the
Northwest Frontier Province and Rawalpindi are also blocked



4. (C) The Ambassador called Bhutto November 8 and November 9
to urge her to consider the consequences of pushing for
demonstrations and to express our concerns regarding further
political polarization and her own personal safety. Bhutto
replied that Musharraf's promise to resign as Chief of Army
Staff (COAS) is still too vague and that parliamentary
elections should be held in January. She said the roundup of
party supporters, including one instance of a family and
their guests being jailed, left her little choice but to
proceed with the rally.



5. (C) The religious parties block, Muttahida Majlis-e-Alam
(MMA), met November 8 night and decided to call a November 14
National Consultative Meeting of all opposition parties,
including PPP. The MMA is demanding that Musharraf lift the
state of emergency, restore judges, announce parliamentary
elections, and doff his uniform. They also threatened a
country-wide protest November 16.



7. (C) Police and Rangers broke up a November 8 demonstration
at Karachi City Courts by approximately 100 lawyers; they
were protesting the filing of sedition charges against 17
lawyers, politicians and businessmen. The Sindh High Court
Bar Association and the Balochistan Bar Association,
separately, decided November 8 to continue their boycotts of
the courts.



8. (C) CG Lahore scheduled to meet November 9 afternoon Asma
Jahangir, leader of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.



9. (U) Limited violence was reported during the November 8
Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) demonstration in Peshawar; JI will hold
a demonstration today in Malakand.



10. (U) The government lifted distribution blocks on
international cable TV news networks late on November 8 but
reinstated them the morning of November 9.

PATTERSON