The News International
WASHINGTON: A cable from US Embassy in Islamabad leaked by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks disclosed that there were enough evidences of Indian involvement in Waziristan and other tribal areas of Pakistan as well as Balochistan.
The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s extension in services was termed as a good omen in one such cable and it was added that his further presence on the scene would enhance the agency’s abilities to combat anti-terror war.
An earlier cable ruled out any direct or indirect involvement of ISI in 26/11 under Pasha’s command while Mumbai’s dossier, based on prime accused Ajmal Kasab’s confessional statement was termed funny and “shockingly immature”.
WikiLeaks revealed that a cable sent from a US mission in India termed former Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor as an incompetent combat leader and rather a geek.
His war doctrine, suggesting eliminating China and Pakistan in a simultaneous war front was termed as “much far from reality”. Another cable indicates that General Kapoor was dubbed as a general who was least bothered about security challenges to the country but was more concerned about making personal assets and strengthening his own cult in the army. The cable also suggested that a tug-of-war between Kapoor and the current Indian Army chief had divided the Indian Army into two groups.
General Singh has also been described as “Pakistan, China centric”, with an added aggression towards China. The cable mentioned General Singh as an egotist, self-obsessed, petulant and idiosyncratic general, a braggadocio and a show-off, who has been disliked (and barely tolerated) by all his subordinates.
An earlier cable described Indian Army involved in gross human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir while some Lt Gen HS Panag, the then GOC-in-Chief of the Northern Command of the Indian Army, was equated with General Milosevic of Bosnia with regard to butchering Muslims through war crimes.
The cable urged Washington to secretly divert UN attention towards the genocide of innocent civilians in held Kashmir at the hands of Indian Army and also suggested that US should avoid holding any joint drill with Indian Army until it stops inhuman activities in Kashmir. The cable termed one Lt Col AK Mathur as “devil’s advocate” at Srinagar.
Another cable indicated involvement of top Indian Army leadership in engaging Hindu extremist militants to carry out certain terror operations to keep Indian Muslims on the back foot and to keep pressure on neighbouring Pakistan’s Army and intelligence agencies, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence.
The cable confirmed the active presence of ISI in India but it refused to confirm any involvement of ISI in any terror incident across India and did confirm intelligence collection by its agents and operatives. Another cable confirmed that there was a nexus of top Indian Army officials and extremist Hindu outfits. This cable suggested that an Indian police officer, a counter-terror specialist with the name of Hemant Karkare, had exposed this nexus to some extent when he arrested a serving colonel of Indian army, Lt Colonel Purohit, for blazing a Pakistan bound train (Samjhota Express).
The cable suggested that Hemant Karkare held a secret meeting with a senior US diplomat in New Delhi during the national day reception of a friendly country and briefed him about the gravity and the growing depth of the nexus between top Indian Army leadership and the militant Hindu fanatic groups. Karkare sought security for him and his family from the said American diplomat as he feared that the army and establishment would eliminate him as he intended to move further to expose the network. He had further briefed the said US diplomat that a former commander-in-chief of the Central Command of the Indian army, Lt Gen PN Hoon, was heading the militancy wing of the Hindu extremists and was getting full tactical, logistic and financial support from senior army officers. The day, Karkare was eliminated in a pre-planned ambush during the Mumbai attacks, a cable sent to the US read “we have lost an important link and a vital evidence”.
Another cable sent to Washington termed Hindutva brotherhood in general and Shiv Sena in particular, as ticking time bombs with regard to militancy and terrorism. It was suggested that fundraisers like Hindu Students Council of America etc should be banned to raise funds as they were generating funds for the Hindu militant outfits under the garb of charity. Another file dubs Hindutva Brotherhood as a far bigger threat to regional and global peace than Taliban, al-Qaeda and LeT and the later three were declared as “peanuts” if equated with Hindutva Brotherhood and Sangh Parivaar and Washington was urged to take up the issue with New Delhi. Another cable expressed grave concern over the Indian government’s ability to handle Naxal insurgency movement as 80 per cent of Indian nuclear and missile facilities were present in the insurgency hit areas of India while the Indian security forces were totally helpless in ensuring the writ of the government in that particular area, known as the “Red Corridor of India”.
A cable sent from Israel described the then Israeli Military Intelligence chief, Major General Amos Yadlin as an aggressive general. He was quoted in the cable as a dire seeker of “annihilation” of Islamic Republic of Iran. In a meeting with an American diplomat, General Yadlin dubbed Iranian, Syrian and Hezbollah’s weapons as “tools of terrorism” and not war weapons. He also showed immense eagerness to attack Syrian nuclear facilities.
General Yadlin also told American diplomat that timeframe of Iran nuclear weapons preparation and timeframe to attack Iran were to be totally different issues. He also differed with Americans over the ability of Iran to prepare nuclear weapons and instead said that Iran had sufficient enriched uranium to manufacture a single nuclear device and may soon have enough for making another bomb.
Iran is busy setting up two new nuclear installations, Yadlin told the US diplomat adding that M-I has indications that work has began on the installations, but did not comment on the sources. Yadlin, who was later-on replaced by Brigadier General Aviv Kochav, also spoke of Iran as the greatest threat facing Israel, not only in the nuclear respect. “Iran is sending its long arms to aid anyone who is working against Israel,” Yadlin said. “Such assessments are undoubtedly weighing on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s mind as he considers the possible need for an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran,” the cable said.
Mossad chief Meir Dagan very proudly told Americans that his special team had eliminated Hamas top military strategist Izzadin Sheikh Khalil through a terror plot. The cable informed Washington that in fact Dagan had established a number of “hit teams” through which he was getting engaged in non-intelligence operations and also used these hit men for certain personal vendettas as well.
Dagan, in a meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, William Burns, proposed Americans a five point agenda to fix Iran. The focus of the agenda was to change the regime at Tehran and to launch an ethnic movement throughout Iran to destabilise the country before launching the final attack.
A cable from Kabul termed Afghan President as the “patron-in-chief” of the Afghan drug mafia. The cable, citing certain verified UNODC figures, stated that Karzai was living at the mercy of Afghan warlords who, with the passage of time, had transformed into drug lords. The cable stated that there was an annual drug trade of 3 trillion dollars from Pakistan while the Karzai administration was keeping mum over the same.
Another cable stated that Indian involvement in Afghanistan was increasing considerably and all was going on with the consent and knowledge of President Karzai and his administration. The cable further reads that growing Indian influence and presence in Afghanistan was focused towards Pakistan and China, both simultaneously.
Saudi Arabia proposed setting up an Arab force to fight Hezbollah militants in Lebanon with the help of the US, UN and Nato, according to a leaked document. In a meeting in May 2008 with a US diplomat in Iraq, David Satterfield, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said a “security response” was needed to the “military challenge” posed to Beirut by the Iran-backed militants.
The Saudi prince feared a Hezbollah victory against the Lebanese government, led by then prime minister Fuad Siniora, would eventually lead to Iran’s takeover of the country.
There was a need for an “Arab force” to create and maintain order in and around Beirut, he argued, saying the Lebanese army was “too fragile to bear more pressure,” according to the cable from the US embassy in Riyadh.
Such a force would be aided by UNIFIL troops deployed in southern Lebanon, while the “US and Nato would need to provide movement and logistic support, as well as naval and air cover,” the cable added.
According to a leaked document, Saudi armed forces killed Yemeni civilians when fighting Shia rebels in a brief border war despite assurances that only rebel targets were hit.
Saudi Arabia fought Yemeni rebels for several months in a border war that ended with a ceasefire in February.
In public statements during the fighting, Saudi Arabia said that only rebel positions in the border area were attacked. But the leaked cables suggest civilians died.
“Obviously some civilians died, though we wish that this did not happen,” the prince, who is also assistant defence minister, said in the meeting requested by the ambassador to relay US concerns about civilian casualties in the conflict.
Prince Khaled confirmed that Saudi forces hit a building the United States believed to be a clinic but the Saudis thought it was being used as a base by rebels.
He also said the Yemeni military had helped recommend rebel targets, the cable said.The Saudi military used “massively disproportionate force” in a campaign last year against guerrillas seen by the army as “embarrassingly long,” according to another leaked cable.
“Day and night aerial bombardment and artillery shelling have been the main instruments of what is increasingly regarded within the Saudi military as an embarrassingly long campaign,” said the memo from the US embassy in Riyadh.
The three-month operation against the lightly armed Huthi guerrillas on the border areas with Yemen was also seen as “poorly planned and executed” and “brought unexpectedly high Saudi casualties”.
“Nonetheless, the conflict has been carefully spun as a heroic and successful struggle to protect Saudi sovereignty,” the memo added.
Britain faced threats from Libya of dire consequences if the ailing Lockerbie bomber died in a Scottish prison. Threats included the cessation of all British commercial activity in Libya and demonstrations against British facilities, as well as suggestions Britons in the country could be put at risk, according to the cables.
And despite London’s attempts to publicly distance itself from the decision to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi – which was made by the devolved Scottish government – the cables show enormous British relief at the move.
Libyan officials warned their British counterparts that “consequences for the UK-Libya bilateral relationship would be dire were al-Megrahi to die in Scottish prison,” read one dispatch from the US ambassador to Tripoli in January 2009.
And if Washington publicly opposed the release, “the US Embassy and private Americans in Libya could face similar consequences,” read the cable from the ambassador, Gene A Cretz.
Megrahi was the only person ever convicted over the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am Jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people, most of them US nationals.
He was released in August, 2009, on compassionate grounds after doctors diagnosed him with prostate cancer and gave him just three months to live, sparking outrage in the United States. More than a year later he remains alive in Tripoli, however, renewing anger in the US.
One cable showed Britain’s then justice minister, Jack Straw, told US diplomats that although Megrahi might have up to five years to live, the Scottish government appeared inclined to release him. “Megrahi could have as long as five years to live,” said the correspondence, cited in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.