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Viewing cable 06ISLAMABAD22025, INTERIOR MINISTER SHERPAO ON HIGH PROFILE TERROR CASES, IPR AND MISSING AMCITREF:

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06ISLAMABAD22025 2006-11-16 12:12 2011-01-25 14:02 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Islamabad
VZCZCXRO0869
OO RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #2025/01 3201200
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 161200Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5074
INFO RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY 9688
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY 1436
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY 3863
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0875
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 1000
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 1753
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 6485
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 4652
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 9693
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1016
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY 2140
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 0964
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 3529
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 0604
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 8804
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1471
RHWSMRC/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
Cable dated:2006-11-16T12:00:00

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ISLAMABAD 022025SIPDISNOFORN SIPDISE.O. 12958: DECL: 11/14/2016

TAGS: CASC ECON KCRM PGOV PK PREL PTER

SUBJECT: INTERIOR MINISTER SHERPAO ON HIGH PROFILE TERROR CASES, IPR AND MISSING AMCITREF: 

A. ISLAMABAD 21222 B. PESHAWAR 653 C. ISLAMABAD 21882 D. ISLAMABAD 16421

Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: In a November 13 meeting, the Ambassador and Interior Minister Sherpao reviewed U.S.-Pakistani cooperation on the investigation into the 2006 Karachi Consulate bombing. Sherpao assured the Ambassador that the Government of Pakistan (GOP) is committed to defending the conviction of Omar Saeed Sheikh for the 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The Minister re-affirmed that government plans to charge the leader of a Punjab-based militant organization under the Security of Pakistan Act, but said that the arrest would be delayed until later in November. Sherpao was receptive to the Ambassador’s suggestion that his Ministry establish a dedicated intellectual property rights unit in the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA), but did not respond to the Ambassador’s query regarding the whereabouts of missing AMCIT Dr. Sardar Sarki. End summary.

FBI Cooperation 
---------------

2. (C) The Ambassador opened the conversation by previewing the November 17 visit of FBI Director Robert Mueller to Islamabad and reviewing the status of FBI cooperation with the GOP on several high-profile terrorism cases. Minister Sherpao indicated that arrangements would soon be made to allow Embassy LEGAT officers access to two suspects in the March 2006 Karachi Consulate bombing. Sherpao noted that the third suspect in the case -- Qari Zafar, believed to be the mastermind behind the attack -- has absconded to North Waziristan Agency. According to the Minister, police authorities came close to capturing Zafar during the recent Eid-al-Fitr holiday; investigators continue to follow his trail. The Ambassador was pleased to hear that investigators are pursuing Zafar vigorously, both to bring him to justice and for his potential value as a source of information regarding this sophisticated terror attack. Sherpao also volunteered that the Ministry should be able to arrange for LEGAT officers to have access to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) reports before Director Mueller’s arrival.

Omar Saeed Sheikh 
-----------------

3. (C) The Ambassador asked about the status of the case against Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was convicted in the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl in 2002. The Ambassador stressed that the U.S. shares the GOP’s determination that Sheikh not escape justice through some legal loophole and observed that there are two active indictments against Sheikh pending in U.S. courts, Sherpao assured the Ambassador that an interagency team comprising MOI, the Law Ministry and the National Police Bureau is following this case closely. XXXXXXXXXXXX. Authorities have been carefully monitoring Sheikh’s activities in prison, shifting him between high-security facilities in order to prevent him from enlisting assistance or support from fellow inmates or

ISLAMABAD 00022025 002 OF 003

prison employees. Sherpao acknowledged the Ambassador’s comments that the U.S. would be eager to discuss transferring Sheikh to face prosecution in American courts if it appeared that he might win his current appeal, but declined to respond directly to the offer, saying that he is confident that the Pakistani conviction would hold and that Sheikh would be executed as sentenced. (Note: According to Sherpao, the interagency team guiding the GOP’s prosecution of Sheikh has also been tasked with reviewing all high-profile terror cases, traveling to each province to review files and offer guidance to local prosecutors. Sherpao said that the Chief Justice of the Pakistan Supreme Court has convened provincial Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Inspectors General and Home Secretaries to coordinate enhanced training and support for judges presiding in terror-related cases. The outreach is intended to stiffen the judges’ resolve in the face of potential intimidation and to reduce procedural delays. End note.)

Hafiz Saeed 
----------- 

4. (C) The Ambassador also questioned Sherpao about the GOP case against Lashkar-e-Tayyba/Jammat ud-Dawa (LeT/JuD) leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. (Ref A) Sherpao repeated his earlier assurance that Saeed would be re-arrested, this time under the Security of Pakistan Act. Heightened domestic sensitivities following the October 31 Pak Mil air strike on a militant madrassa in Bajaur (Ref B) and the apparent retaliatory suicide attack on an Army training facility in Dirgai (Ref C) argued against proceeding against Saeed immediately, Sherpao said. He predicted that Saeed would be taken into custody again following the November 20 (?) visit of UK Prime Minister Blair to Pakistan. In the meantime, security agents are closely monitoring Saeed’s activities.

Intellectual Property Rights 
----------------------------

5. (C) The Ambassador commended the MOI for its cooperation with the Embassy in building local capacity to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), noting that the U.S. has developed an excellent relationship with FIA personnel enforcing IPR laws. The U.S. is willing to commit additional resources toward capacity building, but suggests that the FIA first establish a dedicated IPR unit so that newly-trained personnel are not transferred to non-IPR duties. The Minister called this a sensible suggestion and asked his staff to follow up with the Embassy.

Missing Amcit 
-------------

6. (C) The Ambassador raised ongoing U.S. concern for the welfare of AMCIT Dr. Sardar Sarki, who disappeared from his home in Karachi in February 2006. (Ref C) A credible report in a respected Pakistani news magazine supports the belief of Dr. Sarki’s family that he is in the custody of Pakistani security forces. The Embassy is not taking a position on possible GOP charges against Sarki, the Ambassador said, but we need to know where he is and to have consular access to him. Minister Sherpao listened to the Ambassador’s remarks without comment.
ISLAMABAD 00022025 003 OF 003
CROCKER