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WikiLeaks: 'Dr Singh doesn't understand my constraints'

Last updated on: December 2, 2010 15:45 IST

WikiLeaks: 'Dr Singh doesn't understand my constraints'

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President Asif Ali Zardari had told a top US official that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not understand the constraints under which he was functioning and had no clue of what it takes to change the mindset of the Pakistani establishment.

Praising Dr Singh as an "excellent economist", Zardari told the then National Security Advisor Gen (rtd) James Jones in a meeting in Islamabad on June 25, 2009 that the Indian Prime Minister was unaware of what it took to change the mindset of the Pakistani establishment.

Such a discussion took place in Islamabad on June 25, 2009 when Jones leading a delegation from the National Security Council met Zardari and other Pakistani officials.

A secret cable that gives details of the meeting has been released by WikiLeaks.

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Image: Dr Singh with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in New York
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
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"Zardari signalled that there had been some progress in his talks with Indian PM Singh in Russia, even though he had noted earlier that India's military capacity was ten-fold Pakistan's," it said.

He regretted not being able to meet Dr Singh at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit and said, "Unfortunately, PM Gilani had already announced he would be going to Sharm," the cable said.

"In his meeting with Dr Singh, said Zardari, he had underscored that 'there could not be a better political moment' to improve relations across the board," it said.

India was a mature democracy and an ancient nation, said Zardari.

"Singh is an excellent economist," he said. Zardari, however, was not convinced that the Indian Prime Minister understood the constraints under which the President was operating, said the cable signed off by the then US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson.



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"Helping Dr Singh to understand them was important," hinted Zardari.

"NSC Senior Director Don Camp said the Indian perspective was to question the government of Pakistan activism and to ask what it had done to quash terrorist organisations," the cable said, adding that Jones reminded Zardari how important it was to ensure there was not another Mumbai-style attack.

Zardari reiterated that Dr Singh was unaware of what it took to "change the mindset of Pakistan's establishment, given Pakistan's short history of fragile democratic regimes toppled by the military," it said.



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In another cable the US Embassy in Pakistan said the June 16 meeting between Zardari and Dr Singh in Russia was marred by what the Pakistani side viewed as Dr Singh's "rudeness" in telling the press in front of Zardari that he was only charged with speaking to the President about the use of Pakistani soil by terrorists aimed at India.

"PM Gilani will attend the NAM Summit in Egypt in July, instead of Zardari, thus obviating what the Government of Pakistan had initially said would be the next opportunity for the leaders to meet," the cable said.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests that only US government pressure will cause the Government of India to re-establish the 'Composite Dialogue' -- the bilateral forum meant to develop a series of confidence building measures between the two nations," the cable said.




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