Zardari was ready to take political heat for cross-border raid: WikiLeaks

Pakistan`s civilian and military leadership have said they were not informed in advance about the US raid against bin Laden.

Updated: May 26, 2011, 17:27 PM IST

Islamabad: Over two years before US
commandos swooped into the Pakistani city of Abbottabad and
killed Osama bin Laden, President Asif Ali Zardari had said he
would be willing to "take the political heat" for a
cross-border raid against a high-value target, according to a
secret US diplomatic cable.

During a meeting with then US Ambassador Anne
Patterson on October 2, 2008, Zardari "noted he would be
willing to `take the political heat` of a cross-border raid if
a really important high value target was captured", said the
cable sent by the envoy and released by WikiLeaks.

He was speaking to Patterson shortly after a visit to
New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly session.
Zardari, who had attended the UN meet for the first
time after becoming President, "was appreciative of his
briefings and meetings in New York", the cable said.

Patterson did not say whether she and Zardari had
discussed the possibility of cross-border raids by the US
against terrorist leaders believed to be hiding in Pakistan.
The cable made no other reference to cross-border
raids.

However, Zardari spoke to the US envoy about reforms
in the Inter-Services Intelligence agency and "political
consolidation".

He said he was "particularly pleased that ISI chief
(Lieutenant) General Nadeem Taj had been reassigned".
"See, I told you that we would begin to make progress
on ISI and political consolidation," Zardari was quoted as
saying by Patterson.

Pakistan`s civilian and military leadership have said
they were not informed in advance about the US raid against
bin Laden.

PTI