WASHINGTON: According to the latest cache of US embassy cables released by Wikileaks, President Asif Ali Zardari once told the US Vice President, Joseph Biden, that he feared the military “might take me out”. According to Wikileaks latest document President Zardari has made preparations in case of being killed like his wife, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated.
General Ashfaq Kayani, Chief of Army Staff , told the US ambassador during a March 2009 meeting that he “might, however reluctantly,” pressure Zardari to resign, according to a cable cited by the US paper “New York Times”. Kayani was quoted as saying that he might support Asfandyar Wali Khan, leader of the Awami National League Party, as the new president after the ouster of Zardari.
Zardari told him that Kayani and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency “will take me out,” according to the cable. Zardari reportedly made extensive plans in case he was killed, telling US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson “he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his (Zardari’s) sister, Faryal Talpur, as president”. Meanwhile the Wikileaks Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman had sought support from the US ambassador in Pakistan in 2007 to assume the office of Prime Ministership.
As the Wikileaks saga continues to gather steam, disclosing a lot of secret chapters about Pakistan, very serious question marks have been raised on the moral integrity of country’s politicians – Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif.
The data, which laid bare American diplomatic cables revealed that Pakistan’s religious leader and chief of his own faction of JUI had hosted a banquet in the honour of then US envoy Anne W. Peterson in 2007 and sought US support for his election as Prime Minister.
The reports say he also signaled to the US officials that his faction’s members in National Assembly “are for sale if he was given support to be elected as Prime Minister”. The Wikileaks also laid bare Nawaz Sharif. According to the data, the PML-N Chief has time and again said he was a strong supporter of United States and its policies.
The two-time former prime minister has also thanked the US envoy for backing Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani as Army Chief. It said the Sharif family has also employed army and other institutions for its political strength in the country.
The memos have suggested that the United States was more concerned than it let on publicly about Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, and revealed how the army considered forcing out a president who dreads his own assassination. In the wake of the leaks, US ambassador Cameron Munter on Wednesday headed into talks with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Meanwhile Spokeman of the Foreign Office Abddl Basit dismissed American and British fears that its nuclear weapons programme could fall into hands of terrorists as laid bare in leaked American diplomatic cables.
He said that there has not been a single incident of involving Pakistan’s fissile material, which clearly reflects how strong our controls and mechanisms are. “It is time they part with their historical biases against Pakistan,” Basit said, referring to Britain and the United States.-SANA