US embassy cable - 98ISLAMABAD3977

RELIGIOUS DELEGATION TO IRAN, SHIA POLITICAL LEADER IS SURE OF IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM

Identifier: 98ISLAMABAD3977
Wikileaks: View 98ISLAMABAD3977 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Islamabad
Created: 1998-05-29 04:06:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PTER PREL MNUC PK IR
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 290406Z MAY 98
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7021
INFO AMCONSUL KARACHI 
AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 
AMCONSUL LAHORE
C O N F I D E N T I A L ISLAMABAD 003977 
 
 
E.O.    12958: DECL: 05/26/08 
TAGS:   PTER, PREL, MNUC, PK, IR 
SUBJECT: RELIGIOUS DELEGATION TO IRAN, SHIA POLITICAL LEADER IS 
SURE OF IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM 
 
REF: ISLAMABAD 3198 (LAHORE 244) 
 
CLASSIFIED BY LAHORE PRINCIPAL OFFICER GEOFFREY R. PYATT. REASON: 
1.5(D) 
 
THIS IS LAHORE 320 
 
1. (C)  QAISER BOKHARI, THE LAHORE CHIEF OF THE SHIA TEHRIK-E- 
JAFARIA-E-PAKISTAN (TJP) TOLD POLOFF MAY 26 THAT HE WAS HEADING A 
RELIGIOUS DELEGATION TO IRAN ON MAY 27 FOR ONE WEEK.  THE TRIP OF 
THE MILLI YAKJETI COUNCIL (NATIONAL SOLIDARITY COUNCIL) COMES AT 
THE INVITATION OF THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT.  LIAQAT BALOCH, THE 
DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE JAMAAT-ISLAMI, PAKISTAN'S LARGEST ISLAMIST 
PARTY, WILL ATTEND.  MOHAMMAD KHAN LEGHARI, PUNJAB SECRETARY 
GENERAL OF THE BRELVI JAMIAT-E-ULEMA-E-PAKISTAN (NOORANI FACTION) 
(JUP) AND PIR EJAZ HASHMI, HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISOR TO THE PRIME 
MINISTER, ALSO OF THAT PARTY, WILL JOIN THE DELEGATION.  MUHAMMAD 
NAQSHBANDI AND MAULANA NAEEM ULLAH FAROOQI WILL RESPECTIVELY 
REPRESENT THE FAZL-UR-REHMAN AND SAMI FACTIONS OF THE DEOBANDI (AND 
TRADITIONALLY ANTI-SHIA) JAMIAT-E-ULEMA-E-ISLAM (JUI). AN UNNAMED 
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE WAHABBI-STYLE JAMAAT AHLE HADITH WILL ALSO 
ATTEND, BUT THE SIPAH-E-SAHABA-E-PAKISTAN, TO WHOM SHIISM IS 
ANATHEMA, ARE NOT GOING.  THE GROUP WILL MEET WITH IRANIAN 
RELIGIOUS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND WILL COMMEMORATE THE DEATH 
ANNIVERSARY OF THE AYATOLLAH KHOMENI ON JUNE 3.  THE TRIP SUGGESTS 
THAT THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT IS SEEKING TO PROMOTE SHIA-SUNNI 
HARMONY HERE, RATHER THAN DISCORD, AS THE GOVERNMENT HAS SUSPECTED 
PREVIOUSLY. 
 
2. (C)  BOKHARI DOWNPLAYED POLITICAL CONFLICT IN IRAN, 
CHARACTERIZING THE KHAMENI-KHATAMI SPLIT AS "MINOR."  HOWEVER, HE 
FRANKLY ADDRESSED THE ISSUE OF IRAN'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM.  HE 
BELIEVES THE PROGRAM IS PROCEEDING QUICKLY, THANKS TO FORMER SOVIET 
SCIENTISTS "PURCHASED" FROM RUSSIA, UKRAINE, AZERBAIJAN AND 
UZBEKISTAN.  WHILE HE SAID HE HAD NEVER MET SUCH SCIENTISTS, WHO 
ARE KEPT HIDDEN AWAY IN RESEARCH FACILITIES, HE SAID LEADING 
IRANIAN POLITICIANS HAD TOLD HIM THEY WERE PERFORMING WELL. 
 
3. (C)  FOUR TJP ACTIVISTS HAD BEEN KILLED (TWO IN MUZZAFFARGARH 
DISTRICT AND TWO IN MULTAN) SINCE OUR LAST MEETING WITH BOKHARI ON 
APRIL 21. HOWEVER, BOKHARI BELIEVES THAT ONLY ABOUT 20 DANGEROUS 
SUNNI LASHKAR-E-JHANGVI TERRORISTS REMAIN AT LARGE.  BASED ON HIS 
CONVERSATIONS WITH LEADING LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES, HE IS 
OPTIMISTIC THAT THE KILLERS CAN SOON BE CAPTURED OR GUNNED DOWN. 
BOKHARI DID NOT REPEAT ASSERTIONS (REFTEL) THAT THE USG SUPPORTED 
OR SUPPORTS THE LASHKAR-E-JHANGVI. 
 
SIMONS 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04