The ruling Pakistan People’s Party feels that the disclosure of U.S. diplomatic cables have been beneficial to return of popular rule in the country as it has forced the military to clarify its position regarding democracy, a party leader has said.
“Our government feels strengthened now,” the PPP leader, who did not want to be identified, said.
One of the secret cables quoted former U.S. envoy Anne Patterson as saying that army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had conveyed to her that “regardless of how much he disliked (President Asif Ali) Zardari, he distrusted (PML-N chief) Nawaz (Sharif) even more”.
The cable also revealed that the army chief had considered the possibility of removing Mr Zardari last year.
After Gen Kayani’s feelings about President Zardari and Mr Sharif became public, the chief military spokesman clarified that the army chief held the country’s political leadership in esteem and would support democracy while remaining within the confines of the constitution.
The PPP leader was of the view that political leaders and government functionaries would be “very careful” in dealing with diplomats.
“Who knows whether the classified information we talk about will be in the newspapers three months later,” he said.
He observed that the release of the secret cables will have a far reaching impact and U.S. ambassadors worldwide will have to be “more smart” while discharging their duties.
Mr Sharif’s main opposition PML-N party appears to be happier than other political parties about the release of the secret cables, which revealed many “untold” stories and vindicated its stance on different issues.
The PML-N also does not believe in any conspiracy theory about the release of the cables.
“The U.S. is after the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, which shows that it has nothing to do with the leaks,” PML-N spokesman Pervaiz Rashid said.
Mr Rashid said the release of the cables was a “good omen” for Pakistani politics.
“It will help the leaders to stop playing a double-faced role with the people. Now they will think many times before speaking to an ambassador behind closed doors about matters which they cannot mention in public,” he said.
A top government official close to President Zardari said the release of the secret cables carried a
“lesson” for everyone.
“Not only will the politicians and the army personnel be careful, but the next six months or so will be very difficult for U.S. diplomats as they deal with the situation arising from the leaks,” the official said.
The leadership of major political parties will be on their guard while interacting with diplomats, especially those from the U.S. and not open up as they used to in the past, he said.