ISI chief conspired against Zardari: WikiLeaks

Saturday, December 4, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik had told then US ambassador Anne Patterson that it was not chief of army staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani but ISI chief Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha who was hatching conspiracies against President Asif Ali Zardari, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

The US embassy cables revealed that Malik sought an urgent appointment with Patterson in November 2009 and said that Pasha was hatching plots against Zardari, adding that the president needed political security, The News International reported.

However, Patterson was certain that the chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) could not do it alone.

According to another diplomatic cable, Kayani had told the US ambassador during a March 2009 meeting that he “might, however reluctantly” pressure Zardari to resign.

Kayani said he might support Asfandyar Wali Khan, leader of the Awami National League party, as the new president - not Zardari’s arch-nemesis Nawaz Sharif.

Patterson said Kayani made it clear that regardless of how much he disliked Zardari, he distrusted Sharif even more.

In yet another cable, US Vice President Joe Biden told then British prime minister Gordon Brown about a conversation he had with Zardari in 2009.

Zardari told Biden that Kayani and the ISI “will take me out”, according to the cable, which added that Zardari had made extensive preparations in case he was killed.

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