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WikiLeaks: US backed ISI demand on 26/11

Dec 03, 2010 07:29 AM IST India India

Damaging revelations have emerged on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack from the Wikileaks expose.

The leaked cables show that the US backed ISI's request to make India delay the release of 26/11 information and the Chief of Pakistan Army told the US that they would respond to an attack by India in the aftermath.

It has also emerged that the US and Pakistan were in close contact over the response to the Mumbai attacks.

Though ISI Chief Shuja Pasha had agreed to the CIA's request to share information with Indian intelligence agencies on 26/11, he had rejected Washington's proposal of signing a non-aggression pact with India.

In 2006, the US embassy also advised its govt to delay notifying the Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a proxy of the Lashkar e Toiba - which may have led to a delay in the UN banning the outfit.

Will respond to Indian attack: Kayani to US

Post 26/11, amid growing tension between India and Pakistan and mounting evidence that
people in the Pakistani establishments were involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, told the US that his army would respond to an Indian attack.

In a meeting with General David Petraeus, the ((US Central Command) CENTCOM Commander, in Islamabad on January 24, four days after Barack Obama took over the US presidency, Kayani claimed Pakistan is exercising restraint in the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attack, according to a
US Embassy Cable from Islamabad, released by Wikileaks, a whistle blower website.

The United States, which has charged the Wikileaks of indulging in a criminal act by stealing and releasing these cables, has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of these documents.

"Kayani said he was going to exercise restraint with India, but would respond to an Indian attack," the cable says.

"Petraeus said the most important threat to Pakistan was on the western border and internally. Terrorists were an existential threat to Pakistan.

Kayani agreed. However, Kayani observed that he had postponed a missile test. The Indians, he said, in contrast, had conducted one just a few hours before," the cable said.

Kayani said he had no intention to resume missile testing as long as the current tensions persisted and promised to be transparent with allies about his plans and had briefed us about his move of 6,000 troops to the Indian border.

Kayani said he was determined to exercise restraint in his actions with India.

"He recounted that he had taken no action the evening that Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had supposedly called President Zardari and threatened to declare war," the cable said.

It later came out that Mukherjee never made such a call. "Kayani asked to be alerted if the US had any warning of another attack - he understood that the Indians had been warned about the Mumbai attack.

He mentioned that discussion of the consequences of a follow-on attack made both India and Pakistan hostage to extremists and increased the likelihood of an attack.

"If there is any clue about another attack," he said, "please share it with us." the cable said.

According to the cable, Kayani explained that his military budget had been flat lined, and therefore had dropped sharply in real terms; military spending now represented only 16 per cent of the government's budget.

(With PTI inputs)