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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07LAHORE722
2007-11-30 17:08:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Lahore
Cable title:  

PML-N TO COMPETE IN SPITE OF ADPM ANNOUNCEMENT

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  AEMR  ASEC  CASC  KFLO  MARR  PINR  AMGT  PK 
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VZCZCXRO7729
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DE RUEHLH #0722 3341708
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O P 301708Z NOV 07
FM AMCONSUL LAHORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3536
INFO RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 4128
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 0014
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0064
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0217
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0567
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 1761
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 1451
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE 4500
						C O N F I D E N T I A L LAHORE 000722 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PINR AMGT PK
SUBJECT: PML-N TO COMPETE IN SPITE OF ADPM ANNOUNCEMENT

REF: LAHORE 715

CLASSIFIED BY: Michael T. Jordan, Acting Principal Officer,
AMCONSUL Lahore, STATE.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
C O N F I D E N T I A L LAHORE 000722

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PINR AMGT PK
SUBJECT: PML-N TO COMPETE IN SPITE OF ADPM ANNOUNCEMENT

REF: LAHORE 715

CLASSIFIED BY: Michael T. Jordan, Acting Principal Officer,
AMCONSUL Lahore, STATE.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (C) Summary: The nephews of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif indicated November 30 that PML-N
will participate in January 8 elections regardless of recent
press coverage and public statements. We would not be surprised,
however, if Nawaz milks the threat of a boycott a bit longer.
End summary.

2. (C) Poloff met Hamza Shahbaz and Suleiman Shahbaz, the
nephews of PML-N Leader Nawaz Sharif and sons of Shahbaz Sharif,
on November 30, the day after the All Parties Democratic
Movement's (APDM) publicly announced it would boycott the
January 8 elections. (Note: the APDM is a coalition of
opposition parties including the PML-N but not the Pakistan
People's Party.) The nephews said Nawaz reluctantly agreed to
support the APDM decision to boycott the elections, and now
regrets his decision. The nephews said Jamatt-e-Islami (JI)
leader Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman
Imran Khan pressured Sharif to make a public statement as a show
of solidarity with the judiciary. In the view of the nephews, a
boycott would provide both Qazi and Khan with a way to avoid a
weak showing at the polls.

3. (C) Hamza and Suleiman said Sharif believes the PML-N can do
reasonably well in the upcoming elections and he is not willing
to destroy the party's electoral prospects for the sake of APDM
unity. Nawaz will convene a PML-N leadership meeting today to
confirm the PML-N will compete in the elections, although a
public announcement may not be made until later.

4. (C) Hamza and Suleiman ruled out the possibility of a
reconciliation with Musharraf's Pakistan Muslim League (PML)
party. The nephews said senior leaders in the PML, including
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Pervez Elahi, did not trust top
PML-N leaders and noted that some PML members were switching to
PML-N. Both were confident the PML-N can do well in urban
electoral districts in Punjab and Northwest Frontier Province
(NWFP) but admitted the party will have a challenging time in
rural districts. The nephews said the PML-N and PPP will likely
agree to a seating arrangement in rural Punjab districts so
opposition candidates will not have to face one another where
they can beat the PML. The nephews said Bhutto and Sharif are in
occasional contact and will probably meet again in the near
future.

5. (C) Hamza and Suleiman stated Sharif and Shahbaz are
concerned about the rise of militancy and extremism in Pakistan.
They said Sharif would be dedicated to combating militancy if he
returned to power. Musharraf, they believe, lacks enough support
in the PML to combat extremism and they criticized what they
deemed his vacillating policy of peace negotiations one day
followed by kinetic operations the next day. The nephews claimed
Nawaz's political views resonate in NWFP and FATA and could be
used to moderate extremist behavior. They also said Nawaz would
not hesitate to order military strikes against the militants.

6. (C) Comment: We are hearing from multiple sources that Nawaz
will not boycott the elections, especially if Bhutto decides to
participate. We would not be surprised, however, if Nawaz
decides to milk the threat of a boycott a bit longer. The
nephews' assessment of PML-N's electoral prospects in the Punjab
seems balanced, but we see no signs that Bhutto is ready to work
with Nawaz on seat adjustments just yet. We expect weeks of
rumors, party swapping, and trial balloons about coalition
building in the run-up to the January elections.

7. (U) Embassy Islamabad has cleared on this cable.

JORDAN