Kayani doesn`t back Zardari`s N-policy: WikiLeaks

According to WikiLeaks, Kayani does not support Prez Zardari`s "no-first-use" nuclear policy.

Last Updated: May 07, 2011, 00:38 AM IST

Washington: Pakistan`s powerful Army Chief
Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani does not support President Asif Ali
Zardari`s "no-first-use" nuclear policy, according to US
diplomatic cables released by whistle-blower website
WikiLeaks.

"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.

"Despite increasing financial constraints, we believe
that the military is proceeding with an expansion of both its
growing strategic weapons and missile programs," the
"scenesetter" cables sent by the then US Ambassador to
Pakistan Anne Patterson prior to Kayani`s Washington visit
between February 20-27, 2009, said.

The major US concern has not been that an Islamic
militant could steal an entire weapon but rather the chance
someone working in government of Pakistan`s facilities could
gradually smuggle enough fissile material out to eventually
make a weapon and the vulnerability of weapons in transit,
according to the recently released cables.

However, they also noted that Pakistan`s strategic assets
are under the control of "the secular military, which has
implemented extensive physical, personnel and command and
control safeguards."

The cables that were generated on February 19, 2009,
just months after the Mumbai terror attacks, also talk about
Pakistan military and ISI providing support to terror groups
like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) as a foreign policy tool.

About ISI and Pakistan military, the cables said they
still view India as their principle 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."

The cables said: "The single biggest message Kayani
should hear in Washington is that this support must end. It is
now counter-productive to Pakistan`s own interests and
directly conflicts with USG (US government`s) objectives in
Afghanistan...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."

"We need to lay down a clear marker that Pakistan`s Army/
ISI must stop overt or tacit support for militant proxies...

We should preface that conversation with an agreement to open
a new page in relations; Kayani, who was ISI Chief from
2004-2007, does not want a reckoning with the past."

The cables end with a section called `bio notes` on
Kayani in which the army chief is being described as "often
direct, frank and thoughtful."

They also said he values his personal relationships,
particularly with US military leaders. "He smokes heavily and
can be difficult to understand as he tends to mumbles."

PTI