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08ISLAMABAD3811 2008-12-11 11:52:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

PAKISTAN MEDIA REACTION: DECEMBER 06-09, 2008

Tags:   KMDR KPAO OIIP OPRC PGOV PREL PK 
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O 111152Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0601
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
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USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 
THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
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HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CCPA// IMMEDIATE
JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
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ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 
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UNCLAS ISLAMABAD 003811


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO OIIP OPRC PGOV PREL PK
SUBJECT: PAKISTAN MEDIA REACTION: DECEMBER 06-09, 2008

Summary: No Pakistani newspapers were published on Wednesday and
Thursday on account of the local Eid holidays. The following media
reaction is based on newspapers of December 6-9, 2008. End Summary.




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


News Stories


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



"Pakistan Renews Cooperation Offer; International Obligations To Be
Fulfilled: Defence Committee" "Dawn" (12/09)

"Pakistan has renewed its offer of full cooperation to India,
including intelligence-sharing and assistance in investigation into
the Mumbai attacks as well as setting up a joint investigation
commission. The announcement was made on Monday after a meeting of
the Defence Committee of the Cabinet."

"Pakistan Has Taken Positive Steps: U.S." "Dawn" (12/09)

"The United States said on Monday that Pakistan had taken 'some
positive steps' to help India probe the attacks in Mumbai, but added
that more cooperation was needed to prevent any follow-on attacks.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari telephoned U.S. Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice on Monday to brief her on actions taken by
Pakistan since her visit to Islamabad and Delhi last week, Rice's
spokesman Sean McCormack said."

"Pakistan Had Historic Ties With Lashkar: Rice" "Dawn" (12/09)

"U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said that the
Pakistani establishment has had historic ties with Lashkar-e-Taiba
although now it's committed to fighting them. In an interview to
CNN on Sunday evening, Ms Rice read out a charge-sheet against the
Lashkar, spelling out the reasons for taking action against the
group which, she said, was not only involved in the Mumbai attacks
but also moved in "the same circles" as Al Qaeda."

"Operation Against LeT-Dawa Launched In AJK" "Dawn" (12/08)

"Security forces have launched a 'quiet' crackdown on activists
belonging to the banned Jihadi outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba in different
parts of the country and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said that
more than 20 members of the banned organisation and
Lashkar-i-Taiba's 'commander' Zakiur Rehman Lakhwi had been
arrested."

"Operation continues against LeT-Dawa" "Dawn" (12/09)

"The government launched on Monday a countrywide crackdown on the
banned Jihadi outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and charity organisation
Jamaatud Dawa. Over two dozen people, including top Lashkar
commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi wanted by India in connection with
the Mumbai carnage, have been arrested."

"Extradition Demand Rejected In Response To Demarche" "Dawn"
(12/09)

"Pakistan has rejected India's demand to extradite three fugitives
and urged it to share evidence proving that elements from this
country territory had carried out the recent attacks in Mumbai."

"Militants Torch 150 NATO Supply Vehicles" "Dawn" (12/08)

"At least 150 trucks, loaded with supplies and military vehicles and
other hardware for NATO forces in Afghanistan, were set on fire by
militants who attacked two terminals on the city's main Ring Road,
Peshawar early on Sunday morning."

"Attacks On Supply Depots 'Insignificant': U.S." "Dawn" (12/09)

"The United States on Monday down-played back-to-back insurgent
attacks on NATO military depots in Pakistan as having an
'insignificant' impact on the overall U.S. and NATO Military effort
in Afghanistan, said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman."

"Mullah Omar Vows Violent Response To U.S. Troop Increase" "Dawn"
(12/09)

"The Taliban's fugitive leader said the planned increase in US

troops in Afghanistan would give his fighters incentive to kill and
maim more Americans than ever."

"Pakistani Soil Was Used In Attacks: Rice: Mumbai Carnage" "Dawn"
(12/08)

"U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Sunday there was
evidence to suggest that people living in Pakistan were involved in
the recent attacks in Mumbai.... 'I made very clear to the
Pakistanis that we are a friend of Pakistan, we are an ally of
Pakistan, but when something like this happens, the United States
expects Pakistan to act,' she said."

"Zardari Sent Right Signals After Attacks, Says Obama" "Dawn"
(12/08)

"President-elect Barack Obama offered guarded praise for the actions
of President Asif Ali Zardari in the aftermath of Mumbai bombings
saying 'he has sent the right signals,' and expressed hope for
establishing 'close, effective working relationship,' in an
interview with NBC News for the 'Meet The Press' program on Sunday,
Mr. Obama was asked about President Zardari's response to the
terrorist attacks in India."

"Pakistan, India In A War Of Words" "The News" (12/08)

"Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee while commenting
on news items published in the media about a threatening call made
by him to President Asif Ali Zardari on November 28, said he had not
made such a call to him. However, Pakistan rejected the statement
of Indian foreign minister by declaring it ridiculous."

"Reports About U.S. Pressure For Gul's Extradition Denied" "Dawn"
(12/08)

"The United States has not asked Pakistan to hand over former ISI
Chief Hamid Gul to India, U.S. and diplomatic sources told 'Dawn' on
Sunday."

"Fresh U.S. Troops To Be Deployed Around Kabul" "Dawn" (12/08)

"The United States would deploy the first of its new forces arriving
in Afghanistan next year around Kabul, a U.S. General Mark Milley,
deputy commander of operations in Afghanistan's east said on Sunday,
reflecting fears the Afghan capital was increasingly under threat."


"White House Opposes Punitive Strikes; Engagement Advocated" "Dawn"
(12/07)

"The White House has refused to support calls for punitive actions
against Pakistan, insisting that the best way to resolve the current
crisis was to stay engaged with both India and Pakistan, We want to
see cooperation by all the parties involved to make sure that we
understand what happened last week, said Scott Stanzel a Friday
afternoon briefing at the White House."

"U.S. To Seek UN Curbs Against Pakistani Suspects" "Dawn" (12/07)

"The United States is planning to send the names of some Pakistani
individuals and Pakistan-based groups to the UN Security Council for
tightening sanctions against them. The issue came up at a briefing
on Friday when a reporter asked State Department's deputy spokesman
Robert Wood to confirm."

"Nawaz Meets McCain, Calls A Spade A Spade" "The News" (12/07)

"The Bush administration on Saturday conveyed a secret message to
former premier Nawaz Sharif that it was in the supreme interest of
Pakistan to fully 'satisfy' a furious Indian government on the
Mumbai terrorist attacks.... An official revealed Rice was chosen
to deliver a strongly worded message to Pakistani leaders about the
growing anti-Pakistan sentiments in India. But McCain was assigned
with delivering a similar message to Nawaz Sharif."

"Pakistan To Thwart Terrorist Designs, U.S. Senators Told" "Dawn"
(12/07)

"Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said Pakistan will thwart any
attempt by terrorists to use its territory for their 'nefarious

designs.' Prime Minister told a U.S. Senate delegation, led by
unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, which
called on him at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on
Saturday."

"McCain For Respect To Pak Sovereignty" "The News" (12/07)

"Visiting U.S. former presidential candidate Senator John McCain on
Saturday hoped that the Obama administration in the United States
will respect Pakistan's sovereignty. McCain expressed these views
while meeting Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in Islamabad."

"McCain-Led U.S. Senators Arrive To Discuss Crisis" "The Nation"
(12/06)

"A group of three leading U.S. Senators led by unsuccessful
Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, arrived in Islamabad
on Friday to discuss the Indo-Pak crisis and urge the Pakistani
leadership for strong action against terrorists."

"13 Militants Among 26 Killed In Swat" "The News" (12/07)

"Despite the announcement of a unilateral ceasefire by the
militants, at least 26 people, including 13 militants and two
security forces personnel, lost their lives in the ongoing military
operation and incidents of violence in the Swat Valley on
Saturday."

"Rice Tells Pakistan To Act 'Or U.S. Will'" "Dawn" (12/06)

"The U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, is reported to
have told Pakistan that there is 'irrefutable evidence' of
involvement of elements in the country in the Mumbai attacks and
that it needs to act urgently and effectively to avert a strong
international response...."

"Pakistan Awaiting 'Concrete Proof' Says Zardari" "Dawn" (12/06)

"Pakistan is awaiting "concrete proof" on suspicions that a
Pakistan-based militant group was behind last week's deadly attacks
in Mumbai, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Friday."

"Zardari, Gul, Karzai Join Forces Against Terrorists; Asif Says
Mumbai Disaster Not To Affect War On Terror" "The News" (12/06)

"Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey on Friday vowed to evolve a joint
strategy to combat terrorism, work for regional peace, security and
stability, while burying the past differences."

"Pakistan Ready To Engage India In Exposing Hidden Hands: PM" "The
Nation" (12/06)

"Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday reiterated Pakistan's
commitment to engage India in exposing the hidden hands behind
Mumbai terror attacks."

"Pakistan Not Moving Troops From Afghan Border: U.S." "Dawn"
(12/06)

"Pakistan has assured the United States it is not withdrawing troops
from the Afghan border despite tensions with India following the
Mumbai terrorist attacks, a U.S. general Major General Michael S.
Tucker, the deputy chief of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan said
on Friday."

"Car Bomb Devastates Peshawar Market; 22 Killed, 90 Injured" "Dawn"
(12/06)

"At least 22 people were killed and over 90 others injured when a
car bomb ripped through a congested locality of Kocha Risaldar near
Qissa Khwani Bazaar on Friday evening."

"Three Die In Miramshah Drone Attack" "Dawn" (12/06)

"A missile strike by a suspected U.S. drone killed at least three
people on Friday in a Pakistani tribal area, a security official
said."



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


Editorials/Op-eds



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



"The Terrorism Riddle," an editorial in the Karachi-based
center-left independent national English daily "Dawn" (cir. 55,000)
(12/09)

"If Lashkar-e-Taiba has grown to a position of such strength that it
could execute the Mumbai attacks with consummate ease, it has not
done so in a vacuum.... So for Pakistan the priority then must be
to push back against all militants, not just the ones that the US or
India wants us to stamp out. However, no plan will succeed if
foreign countries regard terrorism in Pakistan in a piecemeal way
that only narrowly focuses on their own interests."

"Operation Against LT," an editorial in the center-right national
English daily "The Nation" (cir. 20,000) (12/09)

"The crackdown on Lashkar-e- Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa activists,
leading to the arrest of some of its key commanders, comes amid
unrelenting U.S. pressure to act against suspects in the Mumbai
terror attacks.... The failure to own the action raises disturbing
questions regarding how and at what level the decision was taken,
and if all relevant people were taken into confidence.... This
could encourage India to make other unreasonable demands."

"Rice Put Her Weight On Indian Side," an editorial in the
Islamabad-based rightist English daily "Pakistan Observer" (cir.
5,000) (12/09)

"The U.S. top diplomat said on return to Washington makes it clear
that the United States has decided to adopt a partisan approach in
favor of India. The remarks of Dr. Rice are self-contradictory and
send a loud and clear message of bias against Pakistan.... By doing
so the United States has lost credibility as honest broker and one
can say without fear of contradiction that Washington was in a way
trying to maintain tempo of anti-Pakistani tirade. The United States
is clearly identifying itself with the interests of India and that
too at the cost of its old ally."

"U.S. And Indian Allegations," an editorial in the Lahore-based
populist center-right Urdu daily "Khabrain" (cir. 50,000) (12/09)

"U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said that we have
evidence that the terrorists in Mumbai used Pakistani soil.... What
can this statement of the U.S. Secretary of State be called other
than a plot against Pakistan.... This statement of the U.S.
Secretary of State can only be termed interference in Pakistan's
internal matters as it was made only to appease India."

"Struggle Against Terrorism," an editorial in the second-largest,
center-right nationalist Urdu daily "Nawa-i-Waqt" (cir. 125,000)
(12/07)

"Unfortunately, in the aftermath of Mumbai terrorism, America is
siding with India in its campaign against Pakistan.... According to
a press report, America and India have asked Pakistan to take action
against terrorists otherwise 'we will take action.' India has
written two letters to Pakistan, whereas Pakistan says that
Secretary Rice did not visit Pakistan to give it directions.... The
government of Pakistan should focus on Indian conspiracies and
America's anti-Islam designs."

"Indian Designs, American Lollypop And Demands Of National Defense,"
an editorial in the second-largest, center-right nationalist Urdu
daily "Nawa-i-Waqt" (cir. 125,000) (12/06)

"Looking at the emergent nature of the American Secretary of State's
South Asia visit and her advice to India to refrain from any strict
action demonstrates that India is up to some mischief against
Pakistan.... The government of Pakistan should stick to its
justified stand.... America, Israel and India collaboration is
dangerous for the entire region and Pakistan and a 1971 like
mischief could be repeated."

"India: Why Does India Always Wait For An American Order?," an
editorial in the Lahore-based populist center-right Urdu daily
"Khabrain" (cir. 50,000) (12/06)

"Following a brief tour of Pakistan, U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice warned that India must not take any step that has

devastating results. She added that she did not feel any threat of
an Indo-Pak war.... It seems from the U.S. Secretary of State's
visit that India has saved itself from making a gigantic mistake by
deciding not to attack Pakistan. But why does it always wait for an
American order; it must act wisely on its own."

"International Pressure And The U.S. Secretary Of State's Visit To
Pakistan," an editorial in Lahore-based Urdu daily "Waqt" (cir.
5,000) (12/06)

"It can be said that the U.S. Secretary of State was successful in
the mission of bringing an improvement in Indo-Pak relations....
She also said that Pakistan must take effective measures against
terrorists and that both India and Pakistan must jointly bring
terrorists to justice. However, India has always declined such an
alliance."

"Indo-Pak Tension And American Role," an editorial in liberal Urdu
daily "Express" (cir. 25,000) (12/06)

"Secretary Rice's statement that all information about the Mumbai
attacks has been provided to Pakistan points to the fact that the
U.S. has completely accepted the Indian stance. Important U.S.
officials are nodding at everything India says and are terming an
incident in one Indian city as a threat to global peace. India is
also making new allegations every day. It seems as in the days to
come, pressure will mount on Pakistan vis-a-vis ISI.... Influenced
by India, if the U.S. mounts pressure on Pakistan it should be told
that Pakistan can no longer cooperate in the war on terror."

"Devil's Advocate," an editorial in the center-right national
English daily "The Nation" (cir. 20,000) (12/08)

"The Americans must stop playing the devil's advocate and compel New
Delhi to furnish concrete evidence to Islamabad of involvement in
the Mumbai tragedy from the Pakistani side. India needs to be
delivered a stern warning against creating war hysteria and at the
same time also threatening Pakistan's security by spreading its
intelligence network in Afghanistan."

"Rice & Responsibility," an editorial in the centrist national
English daily "The News" (cir. 55,000) (12/06)

"In typically tough language, the U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice, has made clear what Washington expects Pakistan to
do in the stormy aftermath of the Mumbai attacks.... The U.S.
official played down the possibility of any attack from India while
praising the 'focused' approach of the Pakistan government to the
terrorist issue. It is obvious Rice was in Islamabad to deliver a
stern warning. The impression seems to be that Pakistan is dragging
its feet."

"U.S. Diplomatic Drive," an editorial in the Lahore-based liberal
English daily "The Post" (cir. 5,000) (12/06)

"The new calm owes much to the strenuous campaign the US Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice launched by first going to New Delhi and
the dashing to Islamabad to secure a diplomatic success and save
about 1.5 billion people from what many common friends of Pakistan
and India see as a catastrophe if weapons of mass destruction are
employed should a war erupt between the two estranged neighbors....
The calm after the departure of Rice from Islamabad would sustain
only if Islamabad goes for firm action against militant outfits
which directly or indirectly have roots in our soil, and which
provide an easy argument of Pakistan's involvement when these groups
strike for their clandestine motives anywhere in the world."

"Peace And Probe," an editorial in the center-right national English
daily "The Nation" (cir. 20,000) (12/06)

"War clouds of war gradually dissipating, demands for a fair probe
are also being made by major democracies.... It is time Pakistan
seeks proofs from India.... The evidence so far leaded out to the
Indian press is flimsy and leads nowhere. Pakistan should have no
fears from a fair probe."

"Actors And Stages," an editorial in the centrist national English
daily "The News" (cir. 55,000) (12/06)

"Post to the Mumbai incident we have heard much of the activities of

'non-state actors' with both our own president and the U.S.
Secretary of State using the phrase to refer to those who were
responsible for the attack, but few will have stopped to consider
either what precisely is meant by 'non-state actor' and even fewer
to perceive that it is a somewhat disingenuous fig-leaf being
deployed to preserve the modesty of the state."

"Peshawar Terrorism Weakens Pakistan's Case," an editorial in the
Lahore-based liberal English language daily "Daily Times" (cir.
10,000) (12/07)

"The attack undermines Pakistan's protest of sovereignty in the face
of an international demand for 'cooperation' on terrorist incidents
taking place in India. Pakistan has drawn the line on how much it
can cooperate and what measure of 'intrusion' it will allow into its
sovereign functions in order to get to the bottom of the Mumbai
attack."

"Talks On Hold," an editorial in the Lahore-based liberal English
daily "The Post" (cir. 5,000) (12/08)

"Instead of playing the blame game, it is time that both India and
Pakistan try to root out the menace of terrorism from the South
Asian soil. By getting into a war of words and heightened tensions,
the two South Asian neighbors are only playing into the hands of
terrorists who want to derail the peace process between India and
Pakistan.... The people of South Asia need peace. It must not be
sacrificed at any cost. Peace must prevail."

"The Terrorist Trap," an op-ed by Ahmad Faruqui in the Karachi-based
center-left independent national English daily "Dawn" (cir. 55,000)
(12/08)

"The terror-mongers dispatched the terrorists so as to lure India
and Pakistan into a trap. They have succeeded in part. The blame
game that has already begun between the official and unofficial
elites of the two countries is just as alarming as it is childish.
It must be stopped before it escalates into a much more dangerous
game."

"Rising To The Challenge, Or Are We?," an op-ed by Kamal Siddiqi in
the centrist national English daily "The News" (cir. 55,000)
(12/08)

"Pakistanis, for their part, are upset that the Indians have been
quick to blame them. But at this point the onus is on Pakistan to
act. If it does not do so, chances are that not only will relations
with India deteriorate but Pakistan's standing as being in the
forefront of the war on terror will also suffer."

"Escalating External Pressures," an op-ed by Inayatullah in the
center-right national English daily "The Nation" (cir. 20,000)
(12/06)

"All the more so as pressure on Pakistan from the trio - U.S., India
and Israel - is bound to increase tremendously in the days to come.
The situation calls for mature thinking, mobilization of the
national will and exercise of prudence and restraint in articulating
the government's response to external demands and challenges. Quick
and snap assurances and commitments must be avoided."

"Aftermath Of The Mumbai Attacks," an op-ed by Rahimullah Yusufzai
in the centrist national English daily "The News" (cir. 55,000)
(12/06)

"The U.S. and its western allies, and in future India and even
Afghanistan, would claim justification in launching strikes on
Pakistan's soil due to the admission of President Zardari that the
stateless elements based in Pakistan could be involved in terrorist
attacks in other countries."

"Beware This Trap," an op-ed by Asif Ezdi in the centrist national
English daily "The News" (cir. 55,000) (12/06)

"If Rice's demand for transparency means that we have to satisfy any
outside country on the way we conduct our investigations, it must be
turned down. Giving India an opportunity to probe into these
matters, which is implicit in the proposal for joint investigation,
would amount to laying a trap for ourselves."


Patterson