Without some evidence to support a longer detention, LTC Imran said, Pakistani law would only permit Paracha's detention for three months.
8/30/2006 1:10:00 PM
VZCZCXYZ0003PP RUEHWEBDE RUEHIL #7261/01 2421310ZNY CCCCC ZZHP 301310Z AUG 06FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABADTO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9215INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 6062RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITYRHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITYRUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L ISLAMABAD 017261
KABUL - PLEASE PASS TO CFC-A
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/29/2016 TAGS: KAWC, PHUM, PINR, PK, PREL, PTER SUBJECT: GOP RESPONSE ON DETAINEE REPATRIATION AND READ-OUT OF GTMO VISIT
REF: A. STATE 109356
B. ISLAMABAD 14210 C. PORGES-SACK EMAIL - 28 AUG 2006
Classified By: CDA Peter W. Bodde, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C/NF) On August 25, PolCouns met LTC Imran Farooq, MoI/National Crisis Management Cell Operations, to solicit his assessment of his visit to the detention facilities at Guantanamo (GTMO). LTC Imran said that interviews with the Pakistani detainees went well. The Pakistani delegation left with the impression that most of the Pakistani detainees are individuals who were "in the wrong place at the wrong time," not extremists who pose a serious threat. LTC Imran said that the Pakistani delegation provided an out-brief to "the four intelligence agencies" at GTMO before departing.
2. (C/NF) Imran said that the delegation discussed repatriation of the detainees with these intelligence agencies and the force commander at GTMO; the delegation left with the impression that no major obstacles remain to the repatriation of six of the Pakistani detainees. This includes Saifullah Paracha, provided that the GOP makes arrangements to keep him in detention here in Pakistan. LTC Imran said that GTMO officials told the delegation that if the Government of Pakistan (GOP) submits a formal request for repatriation, it will be favorably received. Upon his return to Islamabad, LTC Imran prepared a report for the MFA in support of a formal request for repatriation. In addition to six of the GTMO detainees, Imran said that the GOP would be requesting the release of 20 Pakistani nationals currently in Bagram.
3. (C/NF) PolCouns advised LTC Imran that the Embassy had yet to receive a response from the GOP regarding the USG request for written assurances regarding access, etc. (Ref A, B), for detainees released to Pakistani custody; that it would be important for the US to receive this before any new request for expedited repatriation. (Note: Following this meeting with LTC Imran, Embassy received the requested written assurances from the MFA on August 29; see para. 7, below. Post will fax/email a copy of the MFA note to SCA. End note.)
4. (C/NF) Imran warned that for the GOP to keep Saifullah Paracha in custody, it would need information/evidence from the USG to justify his continued detention, noting that Paracha's family has a petition protesting his detention pending in the Pakistan Supreme Court. Without some evidence to support a longer detention, LTC Imran said, Pakistani law would only permit his detention for three months. (Note: Post will pursue the question of the GOP's ability to hold detainees in custody with the MFA and other interlocutors. End note.)
5. (C/NF) LTC Imran concluded by requesting that PolCouns poll USG colleagues in Washington for agencies' views on prompt repatriation of the Pakistani detainees. PolCouns agreed to solicit interagency position, but warned that it would be difficult to share these views frankly when the GOP continues to leak stories proclaiming the detainees imminent release to the local press. Stressing that the USG wants to work with the GOP to resolve the GTMO cases, PolCouns noted that this is a sensitive process that must take place quietly, not in the newspapers, so as not to create inflated expectations.
6. (C/NF) Comment: Post appreciates word that DOD is prepared to move forward crisply with the repatriation of certain Pakistani detainees (Ref C) and looks forward to working with OSD, S/WCI and SCA on facilitating this process. Post requests guidance from Department on next steps, including interagency coordination and coordination with the GOP of any press statements preceding or following the repatriation.
7. (C/NF) Text of diplomatic note received August 29, 2006 responding to Embassy's note verbale of July 24, 2006 (Ref A):
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States of America in Islamabad and has the honour to
acknowledge receipt of the Embassy's note dated July 24, 2006, which reads as follows:
(text of Embassy's July 24 note verbale)
The Ministry confirms that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shares the understanding reflected in the Embassy's note and hereby provides the assurances requested regarding access.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of the United States of America the assurances of its highest consideration.
August 24, 2006
(addressed to) Embassy of the United States of America, Islamabad.
(End text.) BODDE