New Delhi: A secret US diplomatic cable has revealed that French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s diplomatic adviser, Jean-David Levitte, said Pakistan remains “an Army in search of a country”.
The cable, dated September 03, 2009, is accessed by Pakistan’s Dawn through WikiLeaks.
During a conversation with former US ambassador Richard Holbrooke and US Ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, on August 31, 2009, Levitte stressed that “the Pakistani Army is well regarded by the Pakistani people when not in power, but that it fails when in power”.
The US embassy in Paris considers Levitte as “one of the most important and influential voices within the GOF [Government of France] on national security policy”.
The French adviser further noted that Pakistan has “chosen Islamicisation for generation after generation” leading to a now “transformed society”.
Levitte also said that the French government was “not sure that the Pakistani nuclear deterrent is secure”, especially “with the frequent movement of nuclear weapons by the Pakistani military”.
In the meantime, another cable dated January 22, 2010 cited Jasmine Zernini, head of the French government’s interagency Afghanistan-Pakistan cell, as telling US officials that she felt (Pakistan Army Chief) General (Ashfaq Parvez) Kayani was “manipulating the government and Parliament, including to prevent change on Pakistan’s policy towards… FATA along the Afghan border, and also to stir up controversy regarding the Kerry-Lugar bill.”
Jon Day, the UK’s director general for Security Policy in the Ministry of Defence, in a cable dated September 22, 2009, described Nawaz Sharif as "potentially less venal” than other Pakistani leaders.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi told US Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair (December 21, 2009) about level of suspicion between Cairo and Islamabad. He said “while the Pakistanis were ‘difficult’… Egypt was still trying to ‘work with them’.”
In a cable dated January 23, 2010, a senior Saudi intelligence official told a US official that “the SAG [Saudi Arabian government] viewed the Afghan Taliban as largely under the control of Pakistan” and that “the Afghan Taliban needed support to be able to become more independent of Pakistan”.