WikiLeaks: Don’t Tell Us What To Do, India Warns U.S.
Document 1: In a meeting shortly after controversial stopover visit of Iranian president – who told Indian prime minister that the “world is changing in Iran’s favour” – Delhi’s top diplomat was uncomplimentary about the visitor to the US ambassador but told the US not to tell India who to meet or not to meet.
Document 2: A senior Indian official outlines Delhi’s position on Pakistan, Afghanistan and US policy in the region. Aid is the key to Indian influence in Afghanistan, he says, and Pakistan must cooperate on terrorism. But hostility will remain for the long term. Delhi hopes to use links between Shia Muslim clerics in the Indian city of Lucknow and their counterparts in the Iranian religious centre of Qom to influence the Iranian political leadership.
Document 3: One cable reveals a worried Indian official informing the Americans that the Iranians were to fly a dozen elite opinion-makers, described as “notorious anti-American critics” by the embassy, to Tehran on an all-expenses paid trip. The Indian told their US counterparts that “this trip was part of an effort on the part of the Iranian government to encourage anti-American, pro-Muslim scholars and thinktankers in India to influence Prime Minister Singh’s supporters to take a more pro-Iranian, anti-US view”, the cable reported. The Americans told Washington that they had already seen evidence that Iran has been buying off journalists, clerics and editors in Shia-populated areas of [the northern state] of Uttar Pradesh and Kashmir, doling out large sums to stoke anti-Americanism. Now, the officials said, “it seems Iran is focusing squarely on influential elite audiences in Delhi, with a view to shaping the debate of India’s International Atomic Energy Agency policy and the nuclear deal”.
Document 4: In a wide-ranging discussion in Delhi, top Indian security officials shared intelligence and concerns with Robert Mueller, director of the FBI. Chief amongst them were the changing profile of jihadi militants and Pakistan’s alleged support. A constant theme in all conversations, particularly after the attacks in Mumbai, is Indian protests that the US is too soft on Pakistan. Diplomats make repeated demands that Washington insist that Islamabad – or the Pakistani army – shut down Lashkar e-Toiba, the Pakistan-based militant group responsible for the attack. A former Indian national security advisor told the director of the FBI in a meeting last year that “if you want to end malaria you have to get rid of the swamp”.
Read related article “WikiLeaks cables show warming relationship between India and US” in the Guardian here.
Thursday, 01 May 2008, 11:39
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 NEW DELHI 001194
EO 12958 DECL: 05/01/2018
TAGS PREL, PGOV, KNNP, EPET, KISL, ENRG, ECON, ETRD, IR, IN
SUBJECT: MENON SAYS AHMADINEJAD PLAYED TO MASSES DURING
Classified By: Ambassador David Mulford for Reasons 1.4 (B and D)
1. (C) Summary: Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon related to the Ambassador May 1 that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the Prime Minister during his April 29 stop in Delhi that the world is changing in Iran’s favor. When asked for specifics, Menon noted, Ahmadinejad voiced more mild opinions, and called for strengthening the governments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Regarding the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, Menon said that the Prime Minister laid down three criteria that would determine whether India signed a deal with Iran: commercial and economic viability, assured supply, and security. Menon confided that Ahmadinejad concocted the widely reported 45-day window for negotiating the pipeline when he talked to the press on his way to the airport, and Menon doubted that the countries would resolve the outstanding pipeline issues anytime soon. The Ambassador underlined that senior leaders in the U.S. Congress will likely criticize India for giving a platform to the leader of a country engaged in killing American soldiers in Iraq, developing nuclear weapons with which to blackmail other countries, and sponsoring terrorism worldwide. End Summary.
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Ahmadinejad Broadly Ideological But Mild on Specifics
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2. (C) Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon related to the Ambassador May 1 that he wanted to provide a briefing of the April 29 “transit stop” in Delhi by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Note: Menon had originally requested the meeting on the evening of April 30, but rescheduled when the Prime Minister summoned Menon to his residence. End Note.) Menon outlined that, after landing at the airport at 16:30, Ahmadinejad met the Indian President for 45 minutes, followed by a meeting and dinner with the Prime Minister, in which Menon participated. During the meeting with the Prime Minister, Menon related, Ahmadinejad described a world that has improved from Iran’s point of view, and would continue to shift in Iran’s favor. Menon admitted that “I had not realized how ideological Ahmadinejad is.” He noted that while Ahmadinejad did not attack the U.S. explicitly, he opined that the U.S. has destabilized Iraq and would withdraw soon. When asked about specifics, Menon continued, Ahmadinejad became “relatively mild.” Regarding Afghanistan, Ahmadinejad noted that there was no alternative to Hamid Karzai and called for strengthening the government in Kabul, and regarding Iraq, he called for greater law and order, but considered the Maliki government good. “There was no fire and brimstone in the details,” Menon observed.
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India Lays Down Criteria for Pipeline
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3. (C) Menon said that the discussion with the Prime Minister focused on the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, and Ahmadinejad made clear that he aimed to produce an agreement in Delhi. However, the Prime Minister laid down that India required more detailed discussions to obtain three conditions that would allow India to sign up to the IPI: commercial and economic viability, assured supply, and security of the pipeline. Ahmadinejad gave his word that the pipeline would satisfy those conditions, and asked that Indian leaders trust him. He then agreed to more detailed discussions, but to commence within a month. “We said no to artificial deadlines,” Menon stressed to the Ambassador. Ahmadinejad later told the press that the countries have 45 days to work out an agreement, but Menon maintained, “I don’t know where he got that number from, but his goal in India was to say that.” (Note: Menon has not corrected Ahmadinejad’s statement in public. End Note.) “We made clear that our issues are more than just the price of a transaction,” he underlined, averred that it would take a long time to resolve the conditions set out by the Indian government.
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India Pushes Iran for Full Disclosure in IAEA
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4. (C) Regarding Iran’s nuclear program, Menon related that Ahmadinejad reiterated his public points that Iran intended the program for peaceful use. Menon said that the Prime Minister acknowledged Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program, but urged Ahmadinejad to assure the international community of its peaceful intentions by coming clean with the IAEA, which Iran has not done. Ahmadinejad also made clear that the uranium enrichment program would continue, Menon added. India’s votes against Iran in the IAEA did not come up, he continued. Menon thanked the Ambassador for the April 27 briefing prior to Ahmadinejad’s arrival, and enthusiastically remarked that he found it “very useful.”
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Ahmadinejad Performed in Delhi
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5. (C) Menon puzzled about Ahmadinejad’s “self-congratulatory, self-referential” style, which he found particularly odd during an exchange about oil prices, during which Ahmadinejad bragged that the cost of oil would remain high. Ahmadinejad also bad-mouthed other countries, including China, which he claimed had put all its money in U.S. dollars and now had nothing left. As a result, Menon judged, “we assume he speaks badly about us to other countries.” Menon also noted that Ahmadinejad refrained from direct attacks on Israel, and did not bring up the Indian launch of an Israeli satellite nor the U.S.-India relationship. Overall, Menon assessed, Ahmadinejad appeared to have performed in Delhi for his domestic audience, showing Iranian voters that he can still travel and interact with other countries.
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Expect Senior-Level Criticism, Ambassador Warns
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6. (C) The Ambassador underlined that Americans, particularly members of Congress, will view Ahmadinejad’s visit as India providing a platform for an enemy of the U.S. Members of Congress and the Administration strongly believe that Ahmadinejad is guilty of killing Americans in Iraq, developing a nuclear weapons program to blackmail the world, and sponsoring international terrorist activities, the Ambassador outlined. Moreover, the U.S. has maintained a long-term alliance with Israel, which Ahmadinejad has called for “wiping off the face of the earth,” the Ambassador added. The average American will wonder why the U.S. has gone out of its way to have a nuclear cooperation initiative with India, when India is so friendly to Iran, he warned. “I cannot predict what the effect of this visit will be,” he cautioned, but noted that he expected the Ahmadinejad stop to exercise those members of Congress who have gone out of their way on India’s behalf.
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Nothing Should Upset You, Menon Presses
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7. (C) Menon responded that “there is nothing in this visit that should upset you.” He emphasized that the Indian government had little choice to say yes when the Iranian government requested a stop in transit. Moreover, Menon explained, India and Iran need to talk about Afghanistan and energy issues. “We can talk with him without affecting our other relationships,” Menon contended, and cited the strong India-Israel relationship that withstood India’s flirtation with Iran. Menon also cautioned the U.S. against telling India what to do, especially in public. “This government has to be seen following an independent foreign policy, not responding to dictation from the U.S.,” he stated. He recognized that Iran presents a global problem, and the U.S. and India differ in how to fix the situation because of geography. For instance, Menon pressed, India must work with Iran to deal with Afghanistan.
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Ambassador Asks If India Is Ready for Prime Time
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8. (C) The Ambassador recounted that the U.S. government and Congress stood up for India by passing the Hyde Act because they believed that as a rising power, India must come into the global nonproliferation system. However, the Ambassador posited, those supporters will wonder if India is ready for prime time since it “let the enemy in and did not stand up and say, ‘don’t do this.’” Menon countered that such a position sounded like what the Communists have accused the U.S. of doing. The Ambassador clarified that the Communists suspect the Indian and U.S. governments of trading foreign policies in a clandestine cabal, when in this case, the Ambassador simply wished to make the Indian government aware of the possible repercussions that come from hosting the hostile Ahmadinejad.
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Comment: India and Iran Relationship Needs No U.S. Interference
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9. (C) By providing Ahmadinejad with a platform to berate the U.S., the Indian government has attempted to prove that it has an independent foreign policy, as the Communist critics have demanded since India’s first vote against Iran in the IAEA in 2005. By kowtowing to political concerns, India has put at risk its image of an emerging, responsible major player in the world. We have warned the Indian government quietly about the implications, but sharp, public comments from the U.S. government will only push India and Iran closer together. MULFORD
Friday, 27 November 2009, 11:52
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 002396
EO 12958 DECL: 10/01/2020
TAGS PREL, PGOV, IN, PK, AF
SUBJECT: CURRENT INDIAN GOVERNMENT THINKING ON AFGHANISTAN
REF: STATE 118297
Classified By: A/DCM Uzra Zeya. Reason: 1.4 (b,d).
1. (C) Summary: In an extended November 24 meeting, Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary for Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran Affairs Y.K.Sinha lamented that recent media focus on the corruption and inefficiency of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government is “undermining” international community efforts in Afghanistan. Sinha, who is the functional equivalent of an Assistant Secretary and the GOI’s senior point person on Af-Pak policy, stated that the GOI avoids “micromanaging” its dealings with Karzai but stresses instead the importance of keeping Taliban elements and Islamists out of the government. Sinha said the GOI takes a dim view of Afghan reconciliation prospects, since true reconciliation can take place only among people — unlike the Taliban — who adhere to the Afghan constitution and are committed to democratic government. Sinha repeatedly stressed the need for greater USG-GOI coordination and cooperation in Afghanistan that goes beyond development assistance cooperation. Turning to Pakistan, Sinha called on the USG to recognize and resist Islamabad’s “game” of promising cooperation in Afghanistan in return for USG pressure on India to improve ties with Pakistan, while also exaggerating India’s threat to Pakistan and “trying to internationalize every bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.” He stated that India has “no benchmarks” for resumption of the “paused” Composite Dialogue with Pakistan, and he delivered a bleak long-term prognosis for bilateral relations: “call me a cynic, but even if India were to lop off Kashmir and hand it on a platter to Pakistan, they would still find a reason to make trouble for us.” End Summary.
Afghanistan: “Micromanagement” No, Anti-Taliban Yes
2. (C) Drawing from reftel points, A/DCM summarized USG priorities in Afghanistan and emphasized the need for the Karzai administration to make merit-based governmental appointments and take firm steps to end the perception of a culture of impunity. Sinha stated that the GOI does not discuss corruption-related issues with Karzai, since India wants to avoid “micromanaging” the Afghan government. He lamented recent media focus on corruption in Karzai’s government, stating that such coverage “undermines” international community efforts in Afghanistan. Sinha paraphrased a statement he attributed to Prime Minister Singh to the effect that negative media attention focus on corruption detracts completely from good-news stories about tangible progress in education and other areas. “When you undermine Karzai,” Sinha warned, “you undermine your own efforts.” He said that he believes that Karzai “has gotten the message” about international community frustration with his government’s corruption and inefficiency and “realizes he must do better.” He said he observed the Secretary’s interaction with Karzai at his inauguration in Kabul, and believes that their “excellent personal rapport” will assist international community dealings with the Afghan government.
3. (C) In GOI dealings with Karzai, Sinha said the Indians stress the importance of keeping Taliban elements out of the government. He stated that the GOI works closely with the Afghan government when identifying projects to disburse the GOI’s claimed USD 1.3 billion assistance to Afghanistan. As a result of this and India’s historical links to Afghanistan, India remains popular among the Afghan people (as evidence, he claimed that a recent Gallup poll found that 56 percent of Afghans favored an Indian presence in Afghanistan while 33 percent believed that Pakistan supports the Taliban). He stated that a recent delivery of 3 tons of Afghan apples to India via air freight demonstrates the scope for increased economic ties between India and Afghanistan. When asked about GOI views on Afghan reconciliation efforts, Sinha said the Indians believe that true reconciliation can only take place among people who adhere to the Afghan constitution and are committed to democratic government. He does not believe that most Taliban and Islamists adhere to the constitution or are committed to democracy in Afghanistan.
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4. (C) Sinha repeatedly stressed the need for greater USG-GOI coordination and cooperation in Afghanistan that goes beyond development assistance cooperation. He stated that India has ability and interest in expanding military and police training for Afghans in India. Sinha was pleased to learn of discussions about placing an Indian military liaison officer at CENTCOM headquarters. “We understand the sensitivities involved, but we can help.”
Pakistan: Don’t Go For The Head Fake
5. (C) While Sinha’s remarks about Afghanistan were largely upbeat, the tone and substance of his comments regarding Pakistan were relentlessly negative. He called on the USG to see through and resist Pakistan’s “game” of promising cooperation in Afghanistan in return for “U.S. pressure on India to sort out Pakistan’s problems with India.” Sinha accused Pakistan of falsely claiming that India poses a grave threat on Pakistan’s eastern border: “if they really believed that,” he intoned, “they never would have withdrawn an entire army corps from the east and deployed it in the west.” He also claimed that an essential element of Pakistani policy is to “try to internationalize every bilateral issue between us.” To illustrate his point, he cited Pakistani claims that India is unjustly diverting water from Pakistan, accusations that he said were shown to be false by Pakistan’s recent bumper harvest in Punjab. In fact, Sinha claimed, water cooperation is the “one area of the bilateral relationship that actually works” due to the effectiveness of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. He confirmed that biannual meetings of the Indus Water Commission continue, with an Indian delegation expected to visit Pakistan before year-end. Sinha said Pakistan has been unable to show evidence to back its assertion that India is providing arms to anti-government fighters in Waziristan.
6. (C) Repeating the standard GOI mantra, Sinha stated that the “Composite Dialogue” with Pakistan is “paused” and will not resume until Pakistan takes “credible and verifiable” measures against terror directed at India. “We have no benchmarks” for resumption, Sinha stated, adding that improvement in bilateral ties is not dependent on a single measure such as Pakistani action against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) supremo Hafez Saeed. Sinha stated he is “convinced that LeT is a creature of the ISI and armed by the ISI.” He recounted that Indian Foreign Minister Krishna asked Pakistani FM Qureshi during an impromptu encounter at Karzai’s inauguration lunch about constant delays and adjournments in the trial of alleged Mumbai attack conspirators. Qureshi replied that the Pakistani government can not interfere in Pakistan’s judicial process. Sinha cited this reply as proof that Pakistan is not serious about bringing Mumbai conspirators to justice “because the Pakistanis constantly interfere in the judicial process when it suits them to do so.” He delivered a bleak long-term prognosis for India-Pakistan relations. “Call me a cynic,” Sinha sighed, “but even if India were to lop off Kashmir and hand it on a platter to Pakistan, they would still find a reason to make trouble for us.” ROEMER
Friday, 04 May 2007, 11:42
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 002142
NSC FOR ABRAMS
EO 12958 DECL: 05/04/2017
TAGS PREL, PGOV, PINR, IR, IN
SUBJECT: IRAN MANIPULATING INDIAN ELITE OPINION-MAKERS
Classified By: Charge Geoffrey Pyatt for Reasons 1.4 (B,D)
1. (C) This cable contains an action request for SCA. Please see paragraph 6.
New Iranian Mischief
2. (C) Ambassador K.V. Rajan, former Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs and current Chairman of the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), called Charge May 4 for an urgent meeting in which he told Charge that he had been invited by the Iranian Embassy for an all expenses paid trip for “politicians, scholars and commentators.” The list of invitees in a fax from the Iranian Embassy press section included notorious America-critics, such as XXXXXXXXXXXX. The visit was scheduled for April 28-May 4, and the Embassy said the guests would meet Iranian officials, scholars and would visit “one or two Iranian nuclear establishment(s).” Reports this week in the “Asian Age” and “The Hindu” indicate the group visited the Arak Heavy Water Complex and met with Minister of Energy Parviz Fatah.
3. (C) Rajan told Charge that this trip was part of an effort on the part of the Iranian government to encourage anti-American, pro-Muslim scholars and think-tankers in India to influence Prime Minister Singh’s supporters to take a more pro-Iranian, anti-U.S. view, and that his presence on the delegation would have handed Iran a PR coup. In light of his suspicions, Rajan canceled at the last minute, citing a sudden family emergency. Following is the invitee list, which Rajan provided to Charge:
India Seeks U.S. Help
4. (C) To counter this new and worrying effort to reach out to Indian opinion makers, Rajan proposed a visit to the United States starting May 14 in his NSAB capacity for five to seven days to talk to officials, think tanks, and the intelligence community to discuss ways to understand better U.S. assessments of Iran. He would expect this to feed into NSAB discussion of Iran policy options.
5. (C) Rajan’s analysis of Iranian intentions to influence PM Singh’s domestic constituencies is deeply worrying and spot-on, and confirms what we have been reporting. Rajan also noted stepped up Iranian funding to sympathetic Shia clerics. The United Progressive Alliance government is deeply interested in appeasing its Muslim and Left Front
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supporters, and is concerned about the outcome of elections in Uttar Pradesh state, where a large number of Muslim constituents reside. We see evidence that Iran has been buying off journalists, clerics and editors in Shia-populated areas of Uttar Pradesh and Kashmir, doling out large sums to stoke anti-Americanism. Now, it seems Iran is focusing squarely on influential elite audiences in Delhi, with a view to shaping the debate of India’s IAEA policy and the nuclear deal.
ACTION REQUEST: HIGH-LEVEL MEETINGS
6. (C) To counter this insidious new Iranian effort, we recommend Rajan receive meetings, if possible, with:
Wednesday, 04 March 2009, 13:46
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 NEW DELHI 000412
EO 12958 DECL: 03/03/2019
TAGS PTER, KJUS, PGOV, KCRM, PINR, PREL, IN
SUBJECT: INDIAN NSA SHARES DESIRE FOR COOPERATION WITH
Classified By: Charge d’Affaires a.i., Steven White for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)
1. (S) Summary. In a cordial March 3 meeting with FBI Director Robert Mueller, Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan:
– recognized the importance of the improved cooperation between the U.S. and India since November’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai;
– identified Lashkar-e-Taiba as the number one threat to India, while acknowledging that al Qaeda was the most dangerous threat to most other countries;
– agreed on the need for India to integrate its intelligence and law enforcement operations as it builds preventative counter-terrorism institutions;
– described today’s extremists as differing from those of the past; they are less likely to be from the economically downtrodden, but now include professionals and affluent religious extremists;
– suggested that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) was the root of India’s terrorism problems, adding that major reform of ISI was needed to stop Pakistan’s terrorist problems; and
– dismissed the notion of conducting a joint investigation into the Mumbai attacks with Pakistan, also noting that the existing bilateral Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism had not yielded any tangible results.
2. (S) FBI Director Robert Mueller met with Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan March 3 to discuss counter-terrorism, law enforcement and intelligence cooperation. Narayanan began the meeting on a friendly note, describing his experience in fostering Indian relations with the FBI, dating back to his days in the Intelligence Bureau when he was involved in getting the first Indian official to do an exchange with the FBI, and he even recalled a dinner both he and the Director had attended in Toronto in 2001. Narayanan emphasized that he recognized the importance of the improved counter-terrorism cooperation between the U.S. and India following the November 26 attacks in Mumbai, saying the pace of improving relations has been “frenetic” since then and adding that he hoped progress could be maintained. He stressed that what India needed was more than just good liaison work between law enforcement agencies, but broader, real-time, effective cooperation, to include work between our intelligence agencies.
3. (S) While acknowledging that most of the world considered al Qaeda to be the largest terrorist threat, Narayanan said that India was obsessed with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), noting that the LeT was now in over 20 countries and had a global reach. He stated that “there are signs” that another attack on India is being planned, but said the GOI did not have any information on where such an attack would take place or how it would take place. Citing the attack earlier in the day on the Sri Lankan cricket team traveling in Lahore, the National Security Advisor described the ease with which recent attacks have taken place in public, and agreed with the Director on the need for intelligence to uncover attacks in advance.
Terrorists – Changing Demographics
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4. (S) Narayanan said he “entirely agreed” with the Director’s assertion that as India constructs its counter-terrorism institutions, it must integrate law enforcement and intelligence functions, and Director Mueller offered U.S. assistance in helping India build its counter-terror capabilities. Narayanan described several recent cases of interrogations the GOI had conducted, including that of the lone surviving Mumbai terrorist suspect, Mohammad Kasab, which yielded both law enforcement and intelligence information. He then described a changing trend in terrorists being recruited to jihad, saying that while in the past Kashmiri terrorist recruits were vulnerable because they were economically disadvantaged, any of today’s terrorists were professionals who came from well-to-do backgrounds. India, with its vast Muslim community living side-by-side with Hindus, was having difficulty identifying the sources of radicalization, he explained, adding that even Muslim leaders XXXXXXXXXXXX were confessing they were “losing control of their flock.” India is also seeing the beginnings of Hindu extremist groups that use violence, he said, agreeing with the Director’s point that terrorists come from more than just Muslim backgrounds.
Pakistan: The Source
5. (S) Referring to Pakistan, Narayanan said India was “next to the epicenter of today’s terrorism problem.” Offering his advice to the Director for his trip to Pakistan the following day, Narayanan lamented that nearly every major attack on India had come from Pakistan, yet despite numerous promises from Pakistani officials over the years to not allow terrorism to emanate from its soil, the problem is worse than ever. He urged Director Mueller to keep the pressure on Pakistan to prosecute terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure, saying “if you want to end malaria you have to get rid of the swamp.” Narayanan acknowledged progress which had been made at times in the past, particularly just prior to President Musharraf’s downfall, but said India remains disappointed with the results. He specifically cited the Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism (JATM), which the two countries had established — despite a lack of popular support for it in India — as being unproductive, blaming the Pakistanis for not following through on information India provided. In the end, Narayanan maintained, Pakistan will need to fight terrorism for its own purposes, or it will implode. India’s interest was not, as one might think, in Pakistan’s demise, but rather in a stable Pakistan; “When we say we want a stable Pakistan, it’s enlightened self-interest,” he said. Given America’s experience in dealing with 9/11, Narayanan felt the U.S. should be able to convince Pakistan that if it doesn’t deal with terrorism, it won’t last.
Narayanan: No Joint Investigation of Mumbai Attacks Now
6. (S) Responding to the Director’s comment that Islamabad was seeking a joint investigation of the Mumbai attacks, Narayanan dismissed the idea, saying the timing is not right given the levels of suspicion India and Pakistan have for each other. He referred again to the JATM, saying it had been designed to serve as a vehicle for the sharing of information, but hadn’t worked that way. Narayanan felt Pakistan could conduct its own investigation, asserting that if the government is not complicit with the terrorists, it should want to investigate and prosecute those responsible. As India gets “two to three” intercepts per day on possible terrorist activity, the National Security Advisor added that the joint investigation the Pakistanis were offering should be across the board, and not just in response to Mumbai, but India felt it couldn’t share that information at this time. Rather than joint investigations, Narayanan encouraged the U.S. to continue to play the role of honest broker in the Mumbai investigation. In response to the Director’s suggestion that perhaps India and Pakistan could send investigators to Washington to work together, rather than in India, Narayanan said he could consider it,
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“but at this point both sides are so suspicious of each other that to say India and Pakistan could have an honest joint investigation is difficult.” Narayanan acknowledged that India’s upcoming general elections — and more specifically, the politics surrounding them — would affect the government’s ability to cooperate with Pakistan, and said it would be “unpalatable” for the government to agree to a joint investigation at this time.
7. (S) Narayanan ended the meeting by describing ISI as being the root cause of terrorism in Pakistan, and said that in order to effectively address the problem ISI would need to be seriously reformed. The United States has done a lot to pressure ISI, Narayanan opined, particularly the agency’s leadership, however, the current ISI — and its Pakistan Army leadership would not be capable of sufficient reforms by itself. He argued that lower levels of the organization, who often support terrorist attacks without their superiors’ knowledge, would also need to be addressed. WHITE