Kayani not on board with Zardari's 'no-first-use' N-policy: WikiLeaks
Pakistan's powerful army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani does not support President Asif Ali Zardari's "no-first-use" nuclear policy, according to a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.
On February 19, 2009, just days ahead of General Kayani's week-long trip to America, Anne Patterson, who was the US ambassador to Pakistan wrote, "Although he has remained silent on the subject, Kayani does not support Zardari's statement last year to the Indian press that Pakistan would adopt a "no first use" policy on nuclear weapons."
(Read: WikiLeaks cable)
She stressed, "Despite increasing financial constraints, we believe that the military is proceeding with an expansion of both its growing strategic weapons and missile programs. Pakistan's strategic assets are under the control of the secular military, which has implemented extensive physical, personnel and command and control safeguards."
Ms Patterson says her major concern is that someone working in a nuclear facility "could gradually smuggle enough fissile material out to eventually make a weapon."
The cable, sent just three months after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, makes multiple references to the Pakistani army and ISI's support to terror groups including the Lashkar. At one point, the Ambassador states, "Zardari and Gilani agree that Pakistan's biggest threat comes from a growing militant insurgency on the Pak-Afghan border. The military and ISI have not yet made that leap; they still view India as their principal threat and Afghanistan as strategic depth in a possible conflict with India. They continue to provide overt or tacit support for proxy forces (including the Haqqani group, Commander Nazir, Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, and Lashkar-e-Taiba) as a foreign policy tool."
She also writes that when General Kayani is in Washington, he must be told "that Pakistan's Army/ISI must stop overt or tacit support for militant proxies (Haqqani network, Commander Nazir, Lashkar-e-Taiba).... The single biggest message Kayani should hear in Washington is that this support must end. It is now counterproductive to Pakistan's own interests and directly conflicts with USG objectives in Afghanistan--where Haqqani is killing American soldiers and Afghan civilians--and the region--where Mumbai exposed the fruits of previous ISI policy to create Lashkar-e-Taiba and still threatens potential conflict between nuclear powers."
The cable also reveals that the Pakistani government was as worried then as it has been this week about how to handle the Public Relations aspect of US military operations violating Pakistan's sovereignty.
"As recent media reports indicate, the U.S. has eliminated 10 of the top 20 Al Qaida operatives in Pakistan over the last year. However, the strikes have put increasing political pressure on the Pakistani government, which has struggled to explain why it is allowing an ally to violate its sovereignty. The GOP (Government of Pakistan) so far has denied recent media reports alleging that the U.S. is launching the strikes from bases in Pakistan," the cable states.
Source: Kayani not on board with Zardari's 'no-first-use' N-policy: WikiLeaks