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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07LAHORE671
2007-11-04 15:59:00
SECRET
Consulate Lahore
Cable title:  

ROUND-UPS UNDERWAY IN PUNJAB

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  AEMR  ASEC  CASC  KFLO  MARR  PINR  AMGT  PK 
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VZCZCXRO7399
OO RUEHDE RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHLH #0671 3081559
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 041559Z NOV 07
FM AMCONSUL LAHORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3496
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 0010
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0213
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0058
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0557
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI PRIORITY 0018
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 1746
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 4052
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 1433
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE 4422
						S E C R E T LAHORE 000671 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/4/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PINR AMGT PK
SUBJECT: ROUND-UPS UNDERWAY IN PUNJAB

CLASSIFIED BY: Bryan Hunt, Principal Officer, US Consulate
Lahore, State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)


1. (S) Summary: Normalcy still prevails in Lahore and throughout
the Punjab in the wake of the suspension of the constitution.
Reports are surfacing, however, that the police are conducting
sweeps against key opponents of the government. Punjabi
opposition leaders, lawyers and civil society elements are
pledging to unite to protest the government's imposition of
martial law; nevertheless, key pragmatic opposition figures at
least partially fault the Supreme Court justices for fomenting
this crisis. They added, however, that the political climate
could be pacified if the government refrains from a heavy-handed
crackdown and mass detentions while announcing elections would
be held as scheduled in January or, alternatively, establish a
broad based national consensus government to govern the country
for up to a year. End summary.



2. (S) PPP Secretary General Jehangir Bader, PPP Punjab Assembly
Opposition Leader Qasim Zia and PML-N Leader Pervez Malik (who
recently resigned his MNA seat) besides condemning the
suspension of the constitution expressed unease and dismay over
the implications of the political crisis. In separate meetings,
all expressed frustration that the Supreme Court justices were
fomenting a crisis at a critical moment in Pakistan's transition
to democracy. Although all objected to the emergency measures,
they did at least sympathize to an extent with Musharraf's
predicament. If Musharraf's primary objective were to simply
disarm a Supreme Court overplaying its hand, Bader and Zia saw
no reason why their party could not continue the process of
reconciliation as long as free and fair elections were to be
held on schedule in January or if a broad based national
consensus government would be established for up to a year.



3. (S) All three of them, however, warned that if the actual
intent of the emergency rule was to consolidate Musharraf's hold
on power it would threaten the reconciliation process. Bader
and Zia stated that their party has other options and that they
would consider forming a new alliance to restore democracy in
close coordination with the PML-N. This change in thinking is
notable as they have been vehemently opposed to such cooperation
in the past. Malik was especially concerned on the implications
for domestic stability in the wake of the declaration.



4. (S) Throughout Sunday post has received numerous reports of
lawyers, opposition leaders and civil society leaders being
detained or put under house arrest. Originally the reports
indicated it might have been limited to key specific individuals
but as the day wore on reports of detentions multiplied and it
now appears that an earnest round-up is underway. Numerous PPP
and PML-N politicians are reporting detentions or even that they
have been detained themselves. Arshad Ghurki, a PPP member and
former Member of the National Assembly (MNA) even expressed
disgust that Benazir Bhutto had negotiated with the government
and even took her sign of returning to Pakistan on Saturday
evening as another deal with Musharraf. Other post contacts are
reporting that they are joining hands with the lawyers and will
go out in mass to protest on Monday.



5. (S) Post will continue to keep in contact with its
interlocutors and to monitor the situation as it unfolds.

JORDAN