‘PML-N a “pro-American” party’, Nawaz, Nisar told US envoy: WikiLeaks

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the then US envoy to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson, that his party- Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was pro-American, according to whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

According to a leaked US cable classified as ‘confidential’, Patterson met Nawaz on January 31, 2008 for an hour during his visit to Islamabad. PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also attended the meeting.

“Nawaz and Khan both repeatedly said that the PML-N was pro-American,” stated the cable, whose subject was “The best thing that could happen in Pakistan”.

“As proof of his pro-Americanism, Nawaz reminded Ambassador that he had overruled his Chief of Staff to deploy Pakistani forces with the U.S. coalition in the first Gulf War,” said the cable in its summary.

“Meanwhile, Khan noted, the PPP and its leaders were organizing street demonstrations against Pakistan joining with the U.S. coalition. Now, Nawaz said, he was hurt that the U.S. did not remember,” the cable noted.

Nawaz said that he understood things had changed post 9/11, but “urged that the US apply some balance to the relationship”, it added.

The cable went on to say: “In the past, the U.S. was known as the power that rejected dictatorships, that fought for independence of the judiciary and the rule of law. Why, he asked, did we continue to support a man who fired the Supreme Court, abrogated the constitution, and arrested civil society activists?”

In response to Patterson’s question whether the PML-N could work with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in a possible coalition government, Nawaz recounted “how he had immediately gone to the hospital when he heard Benazir Bhutto had been shot, and he had made a special effort to pay a condolence call on Asif Zardari in Larkana.” The US Ambassador said that Zardari had noted his appreciation for this gesture of support .

“A PML-N/PPP alliance would be “the best thing that could happen to Pakistan,” if it materialized, the cable quoted Nawaz, as saying.

“The PML-N had reached out to the PPP, and time would tell what alliances could be built. They could also work together in the provincial government of Sindh or Punjab,” the cable added. (ANI)

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