The India Cables

Terror threats keep me awake, Manmohan Singh told U.S. official

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a visiting United States official in 2009 that he “did not sleep well at night” knowing there were threats of more terror attacks in India after the 2008 Mumbai carnage.

In a June 2009 meeting with Under Secretary Bill Burns, the Prime Minister reiterated his readiness to meet Pakistan “more than halfway.” But, he added, talking peace while Pakistani territory was being used to plan terror attacks against India, would “look ridiculous.”

Detailing the meeting, a cable dated June 11, 2009 ( >211549: secret ) from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said: “Singh asserted that India was willing to engage with Pakistan, but the Pakistan government had an obligation to stop the planning and launching of terror attacks from its territory.”

The meeting took place a few days after the U.S. had passed on “credible” reports to India that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was planning terror attacks in India to mark the release from house arrest in Pakistan of its leader Hafiz Saeed on June 2 (see ‘India Cables' series published by The Hindu: >209710: secret/noforn , dated June 2, 2009; > 210144: secret/noforn, dated June 4, 2009; and >210051: secret/noforn ).

Mr. Manmohan Singh told the U.S official that India saw the release of the LeT leader from detention in Pakistan as “a confusing signal.” There were some in Pakistan, he said, “who clearly regarded the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) as strategic assets.”

The Prime Minister observed that there was a “duality of thought processes” in Pakistan, particularly in its military.

He praised intelligence-sharing by the U.S. after the Mumbai attacks as a process that was benefiting India. But he noted that this information demonstrated that the threat of terror attacks after 26/11 Mumbai was far from over and ‘that he did not sleep well at night' knowing about these threats.

The Pakistan Cables are being shared by The Hindu with NDTV in India and Dawn in Pakistan.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 1:13:12 PM |

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