ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ex-foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi joined forces with cricketer-politician Imran Khan Sunday, becoming the most high-profile defector to his growing campaign to win the next general election. Qureshi made the announcement at a rally led by Khan in the southern town of Ghotki, part of the broad hinterland in the southern province of Sindh and central province of Punjab where the former minister is considered powerful. “I announce I am joining a movement, which is struggling to win justice for people,” Qureshi said of Khan’s Tehrik-e-Insaaf (Movement for Justice) which is fast emerging as a powerful player in the run-up to elections due early 2013. Qureshi lost his position as cabinet minister in a February reshuffle. He was offered another portfolio, which he refused, and this month resigned as lawmaker representing the main ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). “Winds of change have now begun,” Qureshi told the rally attended by several thousand supporters 420 kilometres (260 miles) north of Karachi, Pakistan’s port city used by the US to ship supplies to landlocked Afghanistan. “I am embarking on a new journey and from today onwards, Shah Mehmood is part of your team,” he told Khan to thunderous applause. Qureshi fell out with President Asif Ali Zardari around the time of the reshuffle and says he withstood pressure to approve diplomatic immunity for a CIA contractor who killed two Pakistanis in Lahore in January. He used the rally to criticise Zardari, whose five-year mandate expires in 2013, a day after Pakistan was plunged into fresh crisis with the US over accusations that Nato air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border. “They have indulged in loot and plunder,” he said. “The time has come to seek a fresh mandate from the people,” Qureshi added. Khan, a staunch critic of the US alliance, condemned the Nato strike and demanded that Pakistan order all CIA agents to leave in protest. “We should raise the issue at the UN Security Council because it was an attack on our country and soldiers,” he said. “We need not bow before any one. The time has come to build a new Pakistan by introducing a new system reflecting will of the people.” REFERENCE: Shah Mehmood Qureshi joins Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf http://www.dawn.com/2011/11/27/qureshi-addresses-rally-at-ghotki.html
Shah Mehmood Qureshi Joins PTI - Tehreeke Insaf - Imran Khan - Ghotki Sindh Jalsa
Monday, November 28, 2011, Moharram alharam 02,1433 A.H.
When Shah Mahmood Qureshi was still Foreign Minister, he swore that Pak's nukes were "very safe". It became unsafe as soon as Shah Mehmood Qureshi leaves the Foreign Ministry & PPP Government and joins PTI:)
FM Pakistan says Nuclear Arsenal is Safe in Pakistan 2009
Shireen Mazari The Thinking Tank Leaves PTI Jang 28 Nov 2011
ISLAMABAD: While new faces are joining the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in a large numbers, its former secretary information Shireen Mazari is giving serious thoughts to quitting Imran Khan’s party sensing that he has softened his stance against the US and India after the successful October 30 Lahore rally, it is learnt. Credible sources told The News that another major reason for Shireen’s change of mind was Khan’s extremely relaxed policy of accepting new faces without considering their past. The sources said though the PTI workers were neglecting media criticism in this regard, but after the joining of Zafar Iqbal Warriach, former minister of state for interior during Musharraf’s dictatorial regime, a sense has prevailed that the party is changing into a team of Musharraf’s cronies. PTI sources said Zafar Warriach was in-charge of the slamabad administration during the incidents of Lal Masjid and dragging of the chief justice in March 2007. The sources said Shireen Mazari might quit the party if it continued for some more days as her major ideology that there must be nationalistic change in Pakistan’s foreign policy is being ignored by the party chief and she is pushed to believe that Imran wants power like other politicians by pleasing the Uncle Sam. “Shireen also believes that after joining of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the PTI will also be changed into a status quo party like others,” they added. The sources said Shireen strongly believed that after Lahore’s show, Imran Khan had changed his strong and consistent stance against expansionist and imperialistic designs of America and against the cruelties of India. “Shireen also believes that softening of Imran’s stance regarding the US is on the ‘instruction’ of the establishment,” the sources added. REFERENCE: Shireen Mazari may quit PTI Ahmad Noorani Monday, November 28, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10595&Cat=13
Shireen Mazari "LOVED" Musharraf and Kargil:))))
It looks like a revenge scene from a movie but it has actually happened. After eight long years, Dr Tanvir Ahmed Khan, a former foreign secretary, reclaimed the title of Director General Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), a post he lost to Dr Shireen Mazari in August 2002. Despite the fact that Dr Shireen has been unceremoniously removed from the post at least 15 months before the expiry of her contract in August 2009, she has earned the distinction of being the longest serving DG of the Foreign Office-controlled think tank. Dr Tanvir's held the post between 1998-2000. He was appointed around the time of the May 1998 nuclear detonation, and was in the lead of the pro-bomb lobby in Pakistan. However, after Gen Musharraf took over he lost favour with the military and was replaced by the hawkish Shireen Mazari. Shireen Mazari reacted angrily on the termination of her contract on May 14. She told the media that the news of her removal was conveyed to her by the new foreign secretary Salman Bashir. She likened her removal to the sacking of former foreign secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan. She claimed the United States government had influenced her removal as she was writing hard-hitting articles highlighting US intervention in internal Pakistani affairs. Riaz Mohammad Khan who took over as the Foreign Secretary in Feb 2005 was sacked by the PPP government last month. His term in office was due to end on Oct 1, 2008 Mazari also claimed that on May 15 she was ordered to leave the office in 15 minutes as the new DG was to take over. Clarifying, a foreign office spokesman said: "Dr Shireen Mazari had been Director General of ISSI since August 2000. She has been the longest serving Director General of the Institute. There is no particular reason to replace Dr Mazari. Dr Mazari was a contract employee and had served with great distinction. All her contract terms will be honoured. Dr Tanvir Ahmed Khan, who is a distinguished scholar and former Foreign Secretary, will take over as the new Director General (ISSI)." During her stint in ISSI, Mazari was more recognised for her hard-hitting views reflecting some portions of the establishment. She has close relations with Mushahid Husain Syed, PML-Q secretary general and his wife Dushka Syed, a professor in Quaid-e-Azam university. Mushahid, a confidante of Nawaz Sharif was briefly detained after Sharif's removal but later he became an ardent supporter of Musharaf's regime. Along with Dushka Syed, Shireen was also seen leading civil society protests in 2006 against conversion of a public park into a mini-golf court by the Capital Development Authority and in 2007 against Jamia Hafza dubbing it 'MullaGardi'. Recently she was seen openly criticising US policies and visits of PPP co-chairperson to the residence of the American ambassador. Dr Tanvir, who had served in Benazir Bhutto's first government as foreign secretary in the late 1980s, has gradually shifted from his PTV-friendly hawkish views to a more diversified outlook on security issues. In fact after his removal as DG ISSI he gradually became a leading critic of the military-led government. Last year he was present at the launch of Ayesha Siddiqa Agha's controversial book Military Inc. at a time when the government forbade all hotels and clubs not to give a place for the function. In December last year, while opposing the Musharraf emergency, he was part of 20 former ambassadors and foreign secretaries who called upon Musharraf to restore the rule of law and reinstate senior judges. Later, he also supported the PPP position that Benazir Bhutto's murder investigations should be done under UN. Dr Khan said the government had offered him four positions including that of DG ISSI. Out of those, he must have preferred going back to his old job. Islamabad has three think tanks -- Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), ISSI and Islamabad Policy Research Institute. Their functions are not much different from each other. Over the years these think tanks have failed to produce any original work that could influence or change the country's regional or domestic policy. Most of the research done by these institutes is based on secondary sources. They are mainly following the official line on controversial issues. ISSI is mainly seen as a think tank made for retired foreign secretaries who are accommodated as its DGs and Chairmen. During Dr Tanvir's first stint, there was no chairman but later Aga Shahi became its chairman. After his demise now former foreign secretary and minister Inamul Haq has been serving as its chairman. ISSI has two directors and seventeen research fellows. IRS, controlled by federal information ministry, is considered a post-retirement place for military officers. Since its inception in 1982, many retired military men have served it as its president. Many of them developed the required academic credential while on the job. The incumbent president Maj Gen. (Retd.) Jamshed Ayaz Khan took over in April 2002. Before joining the Institute, he served as Additional Secretary Defense Production (DP) Division of the Ministry of Defense from 1999-2001. The nascent IPRI was established by a group including Shireen Mazari, Mushahid Husain and Gen Syed Rafaqat, who was also the founder president of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI). But soon controversy struck and the president was replaced by Brig (Ret) Sahukat Qadir who was also forced to resign. Since Oct 2000, Dr. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, a academician who previously served as the Chairman of International Relation's Department as well as Defence and Strategic Studies Department of Quaid-e-Azam University, has been working as IPRI's President. It has been a tradition that with the change in the government the head of these institutes are also changed. No wonder Shireen's ouster was seen as the first in line. REFERENCE: Non-thinking tanks With the change in the government, the head of govt institutes are also changed. Dr Shireen Mazari's ouster is a case in point By Nadeem Iqbal http://jang.com.pk/thenews/may2008-weekly/nos-25-05-2008/dia.htm#2
When Shah Mehmood Qureshi was Foreign Minister, the same Imran Khan was like this
Capital Talk 1st October 2009 Part 1
Mr Kerry (right) says the bill does 'not have to be changed' - A top US senator behind a major aid package to Pakistan has said there are no conditions attached to it that "impinge" on Pakistan's sovereignty. Senator John Kerry made the comment after a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The package, which Mr Kerry co-authored with Senator Richard Lugar, triples non-military aid to Pakistan to an annual outlay of $1.5bn for five years. The Kerry-Lugar bill set several conditions for the aid to Pakistan. Under the bill, the secretary of state will have to certify periodically that Pakistan is working to dismantle the illegal nuclear proliferation networks. The US also has to certify that Pakistan is no longer supporting militant groups. The aid money will be spent on various development projects. 'Correct interpretation': The Pakistani army has expressed "serious concerns" about the package and said it was uneasy about "clauses impacting on national security". But Mr Kerry told the Pakistani foreign minister - who is in Washington to highlight these concerns - that Pakistan had no reason to worry. "There is nothing in this bill that impinges on Pakistani sovereignty - period, end of issue. And we have no intention of doing so," he told reporters. "The bill doesn't have to be changed. If there is a misinterpretation, it simply has to be clarified," he said. The Kerry-Lugar bill, which has been cleared by the US Congress, does not "require anything of Pakistan that isn't already the stated policy of the government and opposition parties,"," he said. Mr Qureshi, who was in Washington only last week expressing his support for the bill, said: "It is my responsibility as a friend of this relationship - a person who wants to deepen and strengthen this relationship - that we address these concerns." "We are going to work on it collectively to give it the correct interpretation," he added. The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says this clearly suggests a disconnect between the army and the civilian leadership, which has hailed the Kerry-Lugar bill as a success of Pakistani government's engagement with the US. The aid money will not be directly handed over to Pakistan. It will be spent on different development projects through the US embassy in Islamabad. According to reports, a special unit is being established in the embassy, which will maintain accounts of the aid spent and strictly monitor it. Recently, the US said it had provided more than $3bn in aid to Pakistan since President Zardari came to power a year ago. The money was given in "combined security, economic and development assistance", US officials said. In May this year, the US announced it was sending $110m (£71m) in aid to Pakistan to help it cope with the refugee crisis caused by violence between troops and the Taliban in the north-west. REFERENCE: 'No change' to Pakistan aid bill Page last updated at 04:57 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 05:57 UK http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8306061.stm
Imran Khan In Capital Talk 1st October 2009 Part 2
Everybody is busy cooking facts; blatantly lying; spinning stories; whitewashing crucible proof; cowering behind shadowy phantoms of fear. The tattily-tangled TV channels are the worst. A bunch of armchair, soft-headed, out-of-the-loop anchors and commentators pronounce nightly judgments on Raymond Davis, allegedly an American hired-gun contracted by the CIA as their spymaster with an ambiguous diplomatic status. Watching these know-nothings is a waste of time. Whipping mass hysteria, these simple souls think they can crush America by wagging a finger and waving a fist at the world’s most powerful country. “We’ll eat grass, but not let America dictate to us” is the common refrain filling the frenzied, charged air. If truth be told, no one knows except two entities: our establishment (a handful few), and Hillary Clinton. The rest of us are gropers in the dark. The fog in our Foreign Office and the US State Department is so thick that neither has the foggiest idea on how to handle ‘Lahoregate’. At his maiden ‘coming out’ press conference in Islamabad recently, Shah Mehmud Qureshi looked more like a bull fighter than a dumped foreign minister. The matador de toros (killer of bulls) wanted to slay the bull (America) by declaring that Raymond Davis does not enjoy “blanket” diplomatic immunity. Like the matador whose bullfighting is not considered a sport but an artistic performance, the flinty-eyed Qureshi showed the red rag to the bull, carefully modulating his tone and tenor to make sure that his message did not escape any ears, particularly the PPP’s supreme headquarters. “He is propped by a very powerful presence that wants America on its bended knees,” think some who say Qureshi has turned into a steam engine railroading his way to Washington “via Pakistan’s epicentre of power.” His snub to Kerry who was here recently is like a declaration of war with America. Lest we forget, Zain H. Qureshi, who two years ago hit the headlines when his business card stated him as working for Senator John Kerry as a “Legislative Fellow” when his father was in talks with Washington on the famous Kerry Lugar Bill (KLB). I was in the US and called the senator’s office to confirm the news item appearing in the Pakistani press. The voice at the other end immediately said, “He does not work for us”. The woman appeared primed for such a question. After several aborted attempts, I finally found out from one of Kerry’s male staffers that Zain did indeed work for Kerry but had now left. Getting his son a job with Kerry when the KLB talks were at a critical stage was politically incorrect. Would one not call this a conflict of interest? Senator Kerry is a ‘Boston Brahmin’. He’s from New England aristocracy, like the Makhdooms of Multan, i.e. Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his tribe. Kerry’s claim to fame is blue-blooded ancestry, wealth, influence and the right to rule. Kerry said the following during his 2004 presidential campaign: “There’s a great passage in the Bible that says, ‘What does it mean, my brother, to say you have faith if there are no deeds? Faith without works is dead.’ And I think everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith. That’s why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith.” Why, then, didn’t Kerry practise what he preached. Would he have given Zain Qureshi the time of the day had the young man not been the son of Pakistan’s foreign minister? Is ‘Lahoregate’ the biggest scandal in US foreign relations since America’s spy plane U-2 was shot down over the Soviet Union territory in 1960? I well remember the scolding/veiled threat that Pakistan got from Premier Nikita Khrushchev for allowing the CIA plane to take off from its air force base near Peshawar. The affair gave President Ayub a bloody nose! “There are clear indications that there is much more to the Raymond Davis affair than the Pakistanis are letting on,” alleges a blogger. “This isn’t about murder and diplomatic immunity. Something is very wrong with this picture, and Islamabad is tightlipped because it now has evidence that Davis allegedly linked with terrorists and some of the terror activities that have been happening in Pakistan. They have already released the pictures of the equipment and the evidence that they have gathered. Of course they are still holding on to the juiciest details.” This is exactly the kind of background briefing that the Foreign Office gave well before Raymond Davis became a household name. The front-page Dawn story (Jan 16, 2011) reported the concerns Gen Kayani had conveyed to President Obama on America’s “violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, disrespect for Islam; much-touted American inner desire to de-fang and destabilise Pakistan.” The official who gave the briefing cautioned the US against “economically squeezing Pakistan, destabilising it and disturbing the societal balance.” His blunt message: “Do not try to turn Pakistan into a battlefield” while listing incidents in Karachi, the Data Darbar bombing, sectarian strife and bomb attacks as part of what could be described as an international conspiracy.” A thunderbolt sent direct to America from the GHQ and the Foreign Office should have had alarm bells ringing in the media circles. Not so. Not a whimper followed from wiseacres weighing in on US-Pakistan relations in the aftermath of Raymond Davis affair. Meanwhile ‘Raymon(d) Malik’ as Kerry called him when he arrived in Lahore and addressed a press conference, is busy as a bee collecting scraps of information that Nawaz Sharif and bro Shahbaz hold close to their chests. To add more confusion to the case, they have instructed their minions to issue press warnings like “Davis may be killed, even by the CIA”! John le Carre, Tom Clancy, Graham Greene and Ian Fleming, who have gripped us with their spy thrillers on international espionage, may have solved Davis mystery instead of our present bewildered media analysts. REFERENCE: No spin zone: Cooking facts Anjum Niaz | Opinion | February 27, 2011 http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/27/no-spin-zone-cooking-facts.html
Imran Khan In Capital Talk 1st October 2009 Part 3
ISLAMABAD, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi defended the controversial Kerry-Lugar bill in the parliament Friday claiming it would not harm the sovereignty and solidarity of Pakistan, according to local TV channel reports. He made the remarks while winding up a debate in the parliament on his return from Washington. The bill would not entail interference in internal affairs of the country, rather it is a manifestation of the fact that Washington desires to build long-term partnership with the people of Pakistan, Qureshi said. The minister said that he conveyed the concerns of the people of Pakistan and the two Houses of the Parliament to the U.S. leadership, which acted within 24 hours and attached two documents with it to ally "fears about it." "During my meeting with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton I categorically told her that we will never compromise on national interests and never allow micro-management of our country", he said. The minister quoted Senator Kerry and Lugar as writing in the attached documents that " we want to emphasize that the legislation does not seek to compromise on Pakistan's national security and impinge on national security or micro-manage any aspect of Pakistan 's military or civilian matters." U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday signed the Kerry-Lugar Bill into a law, which will offer Pakistan 7.5 billion U.S. dollars in aid over the next five years, a day after Congress attached an explanatory statement to address the Pakistan's concerns over parts of the legislation. According to the bill, Pakistan will also extend cooperation to U.S. in efforts to dismantle supplier networks relating to the acquisition of nuclear weapons-related materials, such as providing relevant information from or direct access to Pakistani nationals associated with such networks. Pakistani opposition parties, top army commanders and several partners in the ruling coalition have raised objections at the Kerry-Lugar Bill. REFERENCE: Pakistani FM defends U.S. aid bill in parliament 2009-10-16 19:32:54 http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/16/content_12247880.htm
Imran Khan In Capital Talk 1st October 2009 Part 4
143433 2/28/2008 11:09 08ISLAMABAD872 Embassy Islamabad CONFIDENTIAL 08ISLAMABAD691|08LAHORE698 “VZCZCXRO9625
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INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 8250
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 7390
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 2913
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 9124
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY” “C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 000872
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/04/2018
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PK, PREL
SUBJECT: POTENTIAL PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER SHAH MEHMOOD
REF: A. ISLAMABAD 691 B. LAHORE 698
Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, Reasons 1.4 (b), (d)
1. (C) Summary: This is one of several profiles on political leaders who will play a large role in Pakistan’s new government. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is in the process of coalition negotiations on forming a government but still faces a leadership struggle within its own ranks. With his separate power base in the party, Amin Faheem remains the front-runner for the job as Prime Minister, but PPP Co-Chair Asif Zardari sees Faheem as personally weak and politically positioned to rival Zardari. Shah Mehmood Qureshi is an experienced politician but remains controversial within the PPP in Punjab. Although polished and pro-western, Qureshi is a relative newcomer to the PPP, as he began his political career with Nawaz Sharif but fell out with him. PPP Co-Chair Asif Zardari, however, considers Qureshi a viable candidate for Prime Minister. End summary.
2. (C) Qureshi, the PPP’s Punjab President, is a smooth and sophisticated interlocutor, and he appears sincere in professing that his and PPP’s interests are congruent with those of the United States. He believes the PPP has more in common ideologically with Musharraf than with Nawaz. He is ambitious and has been self-promoting his candidacy for Prime Minister with foreign diplomats.
3. (C) Benazir Bhutto in early 2007 appointed Qureshi–a relatively junior member of the party’s leadership–president of the PPP in Punjab Province. Party insiders speculated that Qureshi’s appointment was intended to diminish the rising popularity and influence of Yousef Raza Gillani, the PPP Vice President and an alternate candidate for Prime Minister. Qureshi and Gillani are political and spiritual rivals from Multan; Qureshi’s elevation was a direct snub to Gillani and may have exacerbated splits within the provincial party. Qureshi was optimistic about his appointment as PPP Punjab President, and told post that he believed his appointment was well-received by local party leaders (REF B).
4. (C) However, some senior PPP Punjabi leaders, including Gillani, consider Qureshi an outsider and have refused to accept his leadership. Qureshi faced further isolation because he is unfamiliar with the PPP’s power structure in Punjab. As a hereditary spiritual leader, he demands separate seating arrangements at party functions, a trait that has antagonized grassroots supporters. Critics also accuse Qureshi of accepting money in exchange for granting party tickets for the February 18 parliamentary elections, although Qureshi supporters argue he is untainted by scandal or corruption.
5. (C) Zardari told NSA Tariq Aziz he was considering Qureshi as a candidate for Prime Minister. Aziz was unenthusiastic and told Zardari he thought Qureshi would not work well with other parties, was very ambitious, and might threaten Zardari’s authority. Qureshi views himself as capable and independent front-man who can advance the party’s objectives. “”If I am Prime Minister,”" Qureshi told us that “”I am not going to be Zardari’s ‘yes-man.’ I am loyal to the party and to Zardari, but I am my own man.”" Qureshi explained that if he was made Prime Minister he expected to be able to choose his own Ministers and would not passively accept directives from a behind-the-scenes Zardari.
Career and Personal History
6. (C) Qureshi originally joined Nawaz Sharif in 1985, and won seats in the Punjab Provincial Assembly in 1985, 1988, and 1990. He was Punjab’s Finance Minister (1990-1993) under Nawaz’s administration. Nawaz refused to give Qureshi a National Assembly ticket in 1993 because they differed over how to administer the province; Qureshi then left Nawaz to join the PPP. In exchange for switching sides, Qureshi won a National Assembly seat (1993) and became Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs. He lost his seat in 1997 after Nawaz swept the elections.
7. (C) Qureshi was District Nazim (mayor) of Multan
ISLAMABAD 00000872 002 OF 002
(2000-2002); party critics say he ran in the local (non-party) election without Benazir’s blessing but with Musharraf’s tacit support. Qureshi was a capable administrator and oversaw a number of development projects in the Multan district. He used his influence as a nazim to win reelection to the National Assembly on a PPP ticket (2002-2007). During this time he developed a reputation as a forceful orator and championed strengthening and reforming parliament. Qureshi’s critics, however, accuse him of failing to deliver substantial development to his Multan constituency. He retained his seat in the 2008 elections.
8. (C) Qureshi was born in Multan on June 22, 1956. He hails from a religious and politically active family and is the hereditary caretaker of two of the city’s main Sufi shrines, which provides him with substantial income. Qureshi also claims the Sufi spiritual titles of Makdhoom and Pir. His attempt to assert spiritual authority in Multan has been controversial within the city’s Sufi community, as many other Sufi leaders–including Gillani–reject his claims of spiritual authority. Their dispute probably is what led Qureshi initially to join Sharif’s party in 1985, as Gillani was already associated with the PPP. Qureshi is married with one son and two daughters. He holds a B.A. from University of the Punjab and a Masters degree from Cambridge University. Qureshi is fluent in Urdu, English, Punjabi, and Seraiki.
9. (C) Comment: We have multiple and repeated indications that Zardari does not want Faheem to be Prime Minister. Zardari considers Faheem to be weak and lazy, but the real problem we suspect is that Faheem has his own significant power base in Sindh and would not be willing to vacate the PM job if/when Zardari wants to take it over himself. Beyond Faheem, however, Zardari does not have many good choices within the party. Choosing a Punjabi like Qureshi or Gillani (see septel for his profile) could alienate the PPP’s Sindh base but could help the PPP expand its reach into the vote-rich Punjab heartland.
2008: Tariq Aziz advises Zardari against Shah Mehmood’s PM candidacyDAWN.COM (15 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/22/2008-tariq-aziz-advises-zardari-against-shah-mehmood%E2%80%99s-pm-candidacy.html
Thori Si siyasat Imran Khan on KL Bill Issue October 19 2009 Part 1
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has detached himself from the little known Balusa Group, a Track II initiative involving well known Pakistanis and Indians, funded by an American, Shirin Taherkheli. A spokesman at the Foreign Office when asked said that since Qureshi had taken charge as the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, he no longer remained connected to the Balusa Group. Another prominent Pakistani, Major General (retd) Mahmud Ali Durrani, who will take charge as the National Security Adviser, has also been part of Balusa, but it is not known whether he would still be part of this initiative after he took over as ambassador to the United States and now after his new charge in Islamabad. Some of the others are Syed Babar Ali, General Farrakh Khan, Shaharyar Khan and Toufiq Siddiqi. On the Indian side, some of the members are General Satish Nambiar, Kuldip Nayar, Raja Mohan, Bharat Bhushan and Salman Haidar. A former RAW official is also part of this group. Toufiq Siddiqi is an environmentalist and energy expert based in Hawaii and Shirin Tahirkheli, his sister, with support from the United Nations Development Programme and the Rockefeller Foundation, brought together a group of Indian and Pakistani generals, politicians, bureaucrats and others to discuss ways to bring "sense and direction" to the India-Pakistan relationship. This loose gathering that came to be known as the Balusa Group, is named after two adjacent villages in the Pakistani Punjab. In a July-August 2005 interview with the Nepalese magazine Himal, Durrani was asked how he got involved in lobbying for transnational natural gas pipelines in the Central and South Asian region. He replied, "Shirin Tahirkheli (now in-charge at the State Department for the UN reform effort) is really the 'mother hen' of all this. I was still in service when I told her of wanting to retire and devote my life to promoting India-Pakistan peace. Within two years, she and her brother Toufiq (Siddiqi) had organised a group of Pakistanis and Indians to discuss energy cooperation. I attended the first meeting with the backing of the Pakistan military. There was a feeling that we needed peace. There was even an ex-RAW chief in our group." However, DG Institute of Strategic Studies, Dr Shirin Mazari, is skeptical about the Balusa group and says, "The Americans have increased their intrusive activities on all fronts. We have had rising Predator and missile attacks from across the international Pakistan-Afghanistan border even as US-linked/supported personnel continue to occupy positions in the corridors of power. The Balusa Group members funded through an American, Shirin Taherkheli, are a key US investment in Pakistan's power echelons that continue to pay dividends for the US, and this is only one of the many influence-generating channels." Dr Ayesha Siddiqua, an independent strategic and political analyst, who seldom agrees with Mazari, recently noted that "The PPP selected Washington's dream team to run foreign relations and national security. One is not sure that appointing Durrani as the National Security Adviser will do the job. The appointment (of Durrani) is in consideration of the general's close ties with the US Pentagon. Not to mention the fact that Durrani owes his intellectual growth to Shirin Tahirkheli, a Bush administration adviser and former senior official of the UN National Security Council". REFERENCE: FM Qureshi quits American-funded Balusa Group MONDAY, 07 APRIL 2008 16:11 The News Sunday, April 06, 2008 By Mariana Baabar http://www.khilafah.com/index.php/multimedia/books/2428 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=105094&Cat=2&dt=4/6/2008
Thori Si siyasat Imran Khan on KL Bill Issue October 19 2009 Part 2
Since all the worthy columnists have exhausted the KLB, the new name for the Kerry-Lugar Bill, I have nothing remarkable to add to their sound and fury. Let's instead turn to a small housekeeping matter like: is Foreign Minister Qureshi's son working for Senator Kerry? Zain H Qureshi's (ZHQ) business card is circulating the cyberspace these days. It says that he is a legislative fellow in Kerry's Washington DC office. When I called up Kerry's office and asked for Qureshi, the voice at the other end immediately said, "He does not work for us". The woman appeared primed for such a question. She said she had received a similar query earlier that day. Incidentally the cell number on ZHQ's call card has been disconnected; while the mail box belonging to "Zain Qureshi" was "full!" So, I couldn't get to him. After a number of phone calls to Senator Kerry's office, I finally found out from one of Kerry's male staffers that ZHQ did indeed work for Kerry but had now left. Why has ZHQ gone into hiding? Did he do something wrong? Yes. And the Foreign Office finds itself between a rock and a hard place. How can it condone its boss's act of getting his son a job with Kerry when the KLB talks were at a critical stage? Even if fate smiles upon ZHQ because he's the favoured son of our foreign minister and the doors of the high and mighty in Washington open up for him, we have the right to know whenever the son's job compromises his dad's position. More importantly if it is in direct conflict with Pakistan's interests. Would you not call this a conflict of interest? Should the foreign minister resign? And if Zardari cannot afford to let him go, then the FM must seek a public apology. The Boston Brahmin, Senator Kerry is complicit in this act. Boston Brahmins are New England's aristocracy like the Makhdooms of Multan, i.e. Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his tribe. These guys claim to fame is blue-blooded ancestry, wealth, influence and the right to rule. He said the following during his 2004 presidential campaign: "There's a great passage in the Bible that says, 'What does it mean, my brother, to say you have faith if there are no deeds? Faith without works is dead.' And I think everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith . That's why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith." Senator Kerry must practice what he preaches. Would he have given ZHQ the time of the day had the young man not been the son of Pakistan's foreign minister? Why do the good folks fighting Pakistan's case in Washington DC become the usual suspects? In Musharraf's time it was Dr Nasim Ashraf. One wondered whether the Maryland-based millionaire doctor's heart bled for Pakistan or for Musharraf or for himself. Today, Ambassador Husain Haqqani is under fire from certain Pakistani quarters who accuse him of working for Washington and not Islamabad. Haqqani is hitting back via email messages to anyone wondering what's cooking in Washington. Yours truly is one of the unlucky recipients. Surely our ambassador must have known that his boss's son was working for Kerry. Good counselling from Haqqani to Qureshi would perhaps have saved the latter the embarrassment he is facing today? Another glaring example of how the Democrats are enticing the Pakistani leaders is the recent banner headline: "Zardari far ahead in popularity." According to Democracy International, an affiliate of the Democratic Party of America, Zardari is ahead of Nawaz Sharif in the popularity contest. To anyone with an iota of intelligence, the timing of this screamer is suspect. What has Zardari achieved in recent days for "51 per cent" of Pakistanis to suddenly fall in love with him? His jiyalas, one fears, would declare October 1, the day the survey was announced, as the President's Day – the day of the great revelation. Declaring it a public holiday perhaps? And when the polls go against the sitting president, these foreign busybodies are kicked out of Pakistan. Gen Musharraf asked IRI (the International Republican Institute), an affiliate of the Republican Party to wind up their office in Pakistan and leave when he got bad ratings from them. Not sure if indeed it was IRI that offended Musharraf, I called up their office in Washington. "What is your column about?" asked Lisa (I couldn't catch her last name) from the press section. I told her politely that it was not possible for me to provide her details of my column. "If you can't tell me what your column is about then I can't help you," she replied sternly. This is just a small example of how Masonic these polling outfits are. They think they have the writ to go around Pakistan poking their noses into our affairs, but when it comes to asking a simple question like if Musharraf asked them to wind up their office in 2008, they get so cagey. Sadly, the epicentre of our knowledge is the received wisdom from such dodgy polls conducted by Democracy International and the International Republican Institute (IRI). Hey, where's Gallup Pakistan? Have we become so incompetent or doped that we can't even conduct popularity polls in our own country and must therefore rely on America?
We are the opium-eaters. We swallow whatever comes from Washington. While the Democrats tell us that Pakistanis love Zardari because of KLB, the Republicans via their polling affiliate the IRI sing a different tune. Their August polls conclude that "Pakistanis continue to hold onto the opinion that conditions in the country are problematic and President Zardari is perceived as being responsible." If this does not sound confusing enough to an ordinary Pakistani trying to work out the popularity ratings of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, have another go. According to September 9 report in the Christian Science Monitor, "Zardari's popularity sags - will it undermine Pakistan's fight with Taliban?" Here's another twister from the Los Angeles Times. The headline reads: "Zardari at fault for low rating?" This gem was published on August 31. "Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is aware that his popularity has sunk to new lows at a time when his arch rival Nawaz Sharif -- who heads the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) -- is boasting high popularity, a media report said. He is widely viewed in Pakistani society not as a helmsman, but a bystander. It's an image that is largely of Zardari's own making, say analysts who contend that he has failed to forge any kind of connection with the Pakistani public.Last but not the least is the recent poll by the Pew Research Centre, a Washington-based institute, which says that "less than a third of Pakistanis have a favourable opinion of Mr Zardari. The president was widely reviled after being accused of demanding kickbacks while he served in Benazir Bhutto's Cabinet in the late 1980s and again starting in 1993." Give us a break! If by now we don't get it that the US is using these polls as a weapon for manipulation of third world dictators (Gen Musharraf) and corrupt rulers then Pakistan, I'm afraid to say, is going down the tube fast. Conflict of interest, eh? Here's yet one more example. Do you know how many Pakistani parliamentarians and cabinet ministers hold foreign nationalities, including our president? REFERENCE: The Boston Brahmin Anjum Niaz Wednesday, October 21, 2009 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=204217&Cat=9&dt=10/21/2009
Thori Si siyasat Imran Khan on KL Bill Issue October 19 2009 Part 3
The principal temple and the central fountain of Pakistani patriotism lies not on the mountains or along the shoreline of the Arabian Sea but in the imperishable land of the five rivers: Punjab the home of Pakistani patriotism and Punjab the unchallenged redoubt of that brilliant storyline, the ideology of Pakistan. Right from 1947 until the present time most of Pakistan’s tragedies have been enacted at the altar of this patriotism. As a young captain harnessed to the chariot of the 1971 war I remember the slogan pasted on the back of every car in Lahore: “Crush India”. As we went about crushing India we managed to lose half the country. It says something of our extraordinary talent for amnesia that we have managed to virtually erase that event from our collective memory. It is the same surge of emotion which leads the most vocal and indeed hoarse sections of Punjabi public opinion to anoint a misguided fanatic-turned-assassin into a public hero. There is no shortage of placards on Lahore’s roads extolling him and his glorious deed. And it is similar zeal which is in full cry as we go about raising thunderclouds of emotion in the Raymond Davis affair. Let me enter an immediate caveat so as not to be misunderstood. Davis should be dealt with according to the letter of the diplomatic law. If he is without immunity then that’s it and to this position we should stick, regardless of pressure or threats from the seat of the American empire. But why must we make a tamasha (spectacle) of everything? Why can’t we handle this affair without fuss and without the drumbeats of patriotism sounding from every rooftop? And why, as we go about fashioning a response, must we present a picture of national disarray? The presidency in a tizzy, wanting a way out of this crisis and not being able to find one; the prime minister, as always, not in charge and hoping for the whole thing to blow away; the Foreign Office on a different page from the presidency; the former foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, eager to turn this dilemma into the wages of heroism; and the guardians of national security not wholly able to avoid the suspicion that they are busy pulling the strings from behind. When the jihadi media goes into overdrive – some of the semi-literate babbling about national dignity and honour we are being treated to being quite an exercise in creative literature – and religious elements protest before the Press Club, Lahore, raising fists in the air and shouting full-throated slogans, it is possible to detect in these spirited forays the footprints of national security. Pakistan’s security establishment is a kingdom unto itself. In any given crisis or incident it is not always clear what it is trying to achieve. But since old habits die hard, the knights of this establishment always seem eager to make their presence felt. Almost as if to say, we are not to be ignored. Or ignore us at your peril. To repeat the earlier point, if Davis is without diplomatic immunity, as seems to be the case, his prosecution should go ahead, regardless of anything else. But we can proceed along this path without too much frothing at the mouth. National dignity is better served by speaking softly. And protestations about national honour would sound more convincing if we could somehow put our permanent begging bowl to one side, for some time if not permanently. Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s bravura press conference was bemusing: this is not the time to lower our heads but to raise them; I know that by speaking up harm can come to me but I will not bend when it comes to national honour; there is a lot more to tell and if the need arises I will do so. Oh really? Exaggerated as the comparison may seem, is he trying to sound like another Zulfikar Ali Bhutto? Silence would have suited Qureshi better but then silence is not a particularly Pakistani quality. True, after Qureshi’s disclosure to a section of the jihadi media that it was the considered advice of the Foreign Office that Davis did not enjoy the kind of blanket immunity the Americans were asking for, an entire pack of PPP ministers – with the Amazon freshly-inducted into the information ministry in the lead – had ripped into Qureshi for daring to speak out of turn. But there were few plaudits for this yelping performance. As former custodian of foreign policy Qureshi should have held himself to a higher standard of responsibility and avoided playing to the gallery, despite any hard feelings he may have had about not being allowed to retain the foreign ministry in the cabinet reshuffle. Robin Cook disagreed with Tony Blair on the Iraq war and delivered a masterly speech in the House of Commons, remarkable as much for its sharp logic as its understated tone. But I suppose this is a far-fetched analogy. That was the Iraq war and this is an American spook by the name of Davis. And that was Cook and this is...oh, well, let it be. We know the spine of our Foreign Office. On matters substantial it does nothing without looking over its shoulder in the direction of Aabpara where looms the architectural disaster which is our sanctum of national security. It beggars belief that the Foreign Office’s stand on this affair was not coordinated closely with the gatekeepers of Aabpara. Nothing wrong with that except that one hopes that this was only about this affair and not, through it, another attempt to undermine our already confused and fragile democratic order. Of course we should not succumb to American pressure. From day one the US embassy and consulate, not to mention the State Department, have behaved foolishly and arrogantly, piling up the pressure on Pakistan in a manner almost designed to foreclose the chance of any flexibility from the Pakistani side. Now even President Obama has spoken and Senator Kerry has visited Pakistan. It can’t get any higher than this. Which makes it all the more incumbent on Pakistan to do what is right but without giving way to emotional excess. We should have kept a closer eye on cowboys like Davis and restricted the numbers allowed into the country in the first place. We allowed Afghans a free run of Pakistan during the first Afghan ‘jihad’ and are still ruing the consequences. After 2001 we gave our American friends a too free run of the country. We tend to be immoderate both as regards as our enmities as our friendships. This said, our American alliance is in our interest. We are not in a position to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Whatever the legal or diplomatic merits of this case, some way out of this imbroglio will have to be sought. Therefore we must allow passions to cool. And it would serve our American interlocutors better if they were to curb some of their zeal for shotgun diplomacy. Superpower or no superpower this is no way to go about securing a spook’s release. Drone strikes in Fata have killed scores of civilians and we have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to them. In fact after Baitullah Mehsud’s death in a drone attack we stopped even the pretence of the ritual protest. But Davis’ gunplay took place not on a remote mountainside but in the heart of Lahore. Talk of the ugly American. He was violating the laws of geography. What the hell was he doing there? This is a question the Americans should ask of themselves. Anyway, this is a mess and also a lesson for us. When we enter into a pact with the devil – devil being a relative term...for the Americans, I am sure, we are the devil – instead of being distracted by immediate gains, we must consult the tomes of national dignity and honour beforehand instead of waiting for the dirt to hit the ceiling and then crying about lost virtue and innocence. REFERENCE: The wry taste of ultra-patriotism Ayaz Amir Friday, February 18, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=31573&Cat=9
Thori Si siyasat Imran Khan on KL Bill Issue October 19 2009 Part 4
Mr. Shafqat Mehmood then (The News) and Now PTI had written this on Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Is this another Tashkent moment in our history? Shah Mehmood Qureshi may think so. His virtuoso press performance Wednesday, replete with dramatic pauses and high flown rhetoric, was as good an attempt as any to carve out a leadership niche for himself. Will he succeed? For those younger readers who may not be fully aware of the significance of Tashkent, this was the moment that made Zulfikar Ali Bhutto a national leader. In the public eye he became a hero when he ostensibly – it is still not clear to what extent – differed with his president, Ayub Khan, on signing a peace deal with India after the 1965 war. This was seen by the people as a betrayal. Primed by a constant anti India rhetoric and convinced of Pakistan’s military superiority, they thought that Ayub had let them down. Ousted from the cabinet a la Shah Mehmood, Bhutto rode the tiger of anti India sentiment to popular leadership. There are some similarities between today and the Tashkent moment but also many differences. There is a huge anti American sentiment in the country as there was against India then. As a platform for leadership and popularity, this has great potential. It has been recognised by others. PML-N, Tehrik-e-Insaaf and Jamaat Islami are also trying to cash in on it. The difference is that Ayub was a hated dictator with very little support among the people. PPP with all its faults, including a leadership tainted by allegations of corruption, is still a popular political party. It has opposition, lots of it, but this space is taken by PML-N and much of the religious lobby. Where would Shah Mehmood fit in? I think he understands this and therefore has pledged his undying loyalty to the ideals of Shaheeds’ Zulfikar Ali and Benazir Bhutto. But this means making an attempt for national leadership on the PPP wicket. It would entail taking on its current leadership and if possible supplanting it through grass root support of the workers. There are enough disgruntled prominent party members like Safdar Abbasi – an old classmate of Shah Mehmood – Naheed Khan, Yousaf Talpur, Sherry Rehman and others who may rally to his cause. But, would this be enough to challenge Zardari and company? More importantly, would he be able to energise the party grass root to his cause? On the face of it, it seems quite impossible. The Pakistan People’s Party has become a strange concoction. While it has genuine popular support particularly among the poor and the so called liberal elements in the society, it is also a very feudal entity. There is a strong top down control and while the party members complain all the time, they follow the leadership in the end. For any party formed around charismatic leadership, the question of legitimacy in succession becomes very important. Once the devotees – I think it would be fair call the PPP grass root followers as such – accept a political succession it is difficult for anyone else to barge in. Benazir was accepted as a legitimate successor to ZAB and after that, even his son Murtaza could not challenge her leadership. This happened despite the fact that he was a male in a feudal environment and had the support of his mother Begum Nusrat Bhutto. The question then is, has Asif Ali Zardari been accepted by the ‘jiyalas’ as the legitimate successor of Benazir? There are no easy answers. Soon after assuming the mantle of leadership, Asif Zardari led his party to power and eventually became president. Besides winning accolades for this, it also meant that all opportunities of patronage came into his hands. The grass root followers are pretty savvy and know where their interests lie. They are unlikely to challenge his leadership while he is in power. Asif has also skilfully played the Bilawal card by making him the Chairman of the party, thus ensuring a Bhutto blood link with party leadership. In feudal cultures and religious orders, this has great significance. PPP is a bit of both. Zardari has carefully covered this end by pushing Benazir’s son into the top slot. In such an environment, is it possible for any other party member, however good and important, to challenge Zardari? Shah Mehmood has many qualities. In a party rife with allegations of corruption, he is clean as a whistle. A decent man, he is also highly educated and articulate. From all accounts, he has done a very good job as foreign minister. In an ideal world, he is eminently qualified to be a leader of his political party and the country. But, how will this happen? Can he challenge Zardari and oust him? Or, if that were not possible, claim ZAB’s and Benazir’s mantle by forming a dissident wing in the party that he would call the real PPP? This has been done before without much success. Even Murtaza Bhutto could not do it. How can Shah Mehmood hope to manage it? He has some other drawbacks that within the PPP’s peculiar culture become significant. His father, Makhdoom Sajjad Hussain Qureshi, was Punjab governor during the rule of one person that each PPP member fervently hates; Zia ul Haq. Shah Mehmood himself was initially in the PML-N, was its MPA and for a while member of Nawaz Sharif’s caretaker cabinet before the 1988 election. This background can potentially be exploited by his opponents in the party. If the PPP platform is difficult, can he float another party and forge ahead? It is difficult to say anything with certainty and I do wish him luck as I have great respect for him, but it seems a very difficult task. Parties take a long time to build and even then may not succeed. An excellent example is Imran Khan, a national hero, who has not been able to translate his cricketing and philanthropic popularity into political success – so far. An opening though could come Shah Mehmood’s way the manner in which the Raymond Davis affair plays itself out. If the government takes a strong stand and refuses to bow down before American pressure, there is little chance for anyone to make political capital out of it. It may have other consequences but politically, the PPP will not suffer. If though the Zardari led regime caves in, there would be a fall out. How serious is anybody’s guess. It could be a few days of riots and protests and fizzle out in the end or it could gain momentum particularly if the PML-N decides to take to the streets. This is a bit unlikely because Nawaz Sharif has so far studiously avoided upsetting the political order; for fear of a military take over. The most likely scenario is that PPP would convince the Americans to take it easy, with the assurance that eventually Davis would be released. Zardari would drag the matter long enough for the political sting to be taken out of it. If this happens, we will be back to business as usual and little chance of any new leadership emerging including that of Shah Mehmood Qureshi. REFERENCE: Qureshi’s bid for national leadership Shafqat Mahmood Friday, February 18, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=31577&Cat=9