'Brinkley, Miliband pressed Zardari to send ISI chief to India following 26/11': Cable

Islamabad, Dec 2 (ANI): Following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the then British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, and Ambassador Robert Brinkley pressed Pakistan to send ISI MG Ahmed Shuja Pasha to India, a US embassy cable posted by WikiLeaks has revealed.

During a conversation with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Miliband described Pasha as a welcome "new broom" and expressed the UK's support for ISI reform.

Zardari said that the "new ISI leaders were 'straightforward' and their roles were proscribed by the constitution, but it would take time for real conversions."

"Brinkley and Miliband pressed for Pasha to go to India. Zardari gave Brinkley a long answer about various levels of directors in ISI but finally confirmed that the Army had vetoed the decision to send Pasha," said the cable, whose subject was "Pakistan: Mumbai Situation Update".

The president told Miliband that it might be possible to send NSA Durrani, as he outranked Pasha, but it would not be possible "to send Pasha immediately as Zardari needed to work public opinion first."

Talking about the Mumbai terror seige, Zardari commented that he had "a gut reaction that the attacks were the beginning rather than the end and went on to talk about Muslim-Hindu differences and attempts to split India."

He also urged the UK to "push back on New Delhi and calm the situation," to which Miliband said that "they would do so, but India needs to see real action from Pakistan. India was asking for short-term actions, and this could buy some time for the GOP," it added.

According to the cable, which was classified as 'secret' by the then US envoy, Anne W. Patterson, Zardari said "he thought it was not possible that terrorists could have launched attack boats from Karachi and the operation could not have been implemented without insider help from Indians."(ANI)

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