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Updated: December 1, 2010 20:19 IST

Zardari expected a coup or his assassination: WikiLeaks

PTI
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Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari. File Photo
AP Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari. File Photo

The Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had mulled toppling Asif Ali Zardari and the President had even made preparations for a possible coup or assassination, leaked U.S. diplomatic cables have said.

The latest tranche of WikiLeaks published in the media has revealed that Mr. Zardari had made extensive preparations in case of his own assassination.

Last year, Mr. Zardari told U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson, that if he was assassinated, “he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as president“.

The shadowy conspiracies and the tensions between the President Zardari and the powerful army has come out as Ge.Kayani is quoted as telling the U.S. Ambassador during a March 2009 meeting that he “might however reluctantly” pressure Mr. Zardari to resign.

Gen. Kayani was quoted as saying that he might support Asfandyar Wali Khan, leader of the Awami National Party as the new President—— and not Zardari’s arch foe Nawaz Sharif. The powerful Army Chief revealed that he had little time for the leader of the Opposition.

“Kayani made it clear regardless how much he dislikes Zardari, he distrusted Nawaz Sharif even more”, the U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson wrote.

The cables revealed that the U.S. Vice President told British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that Mr. Zardari had told him “Kayani will take me out“.

Guardian quoting the leaked documents said, Zardari is frank about the strength of the Taliban — “I’m sorry to say this but we are not winning” the war against extremists”, he told U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

“I am not Benazir, and I know it,” he told U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson after his wife’s death.

The Pakistan President reportedly feared a fresh army coup.

Keywords: US cablesWikiLeaks

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