Zardari, Kayani systematically worked for Musharraf’s ‘honourable exit’: Wikileaks

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

KARACHI - A series of political and strategic blunders by former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had given the cause and justification to current President Asif Ali Zardari and Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani to work for his “honourable exit”, according to some classified US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower website Wikileaks.

According to the Dawn, two separate cables written by then US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson, describes how Zardari and Kayani had systematically started to distance themselves from Musharraf.

In a cable about a meeting of US Representatives, Adam Schiff and Allyson Schwartz, with Zardari in May 2008, Patterson has given details of how Zardari advocated for a “honourable exit” of Musharraf.

According to the cable, “Zardari blamed President Musharraf for not taking enough responsibility for the ‘war on terrorism’ in Pakistan,” which resulted in a marked increase in anti-American sentiments in the country.

“Anti-U.S. feeling will go away when the old faces go away,” the cable said, adding that the American government should no longer rely on just Musharraf in fighting terrorism.

In a separate cable prepared for US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen during his early 2008 visit to Pakistan, Patterson states: “As expected, Kayani is taking slow, but deliberate steps to distance the Army from now civilian President Musharraf”.

She then goes on to say that Kayani has announced that army “generals would need his permission to meet the President”, which was a move apparently aimed at denying the beleaguered former military ruler from lobbying for his further extension as head of state. (ANI)

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