US embassy cable - 98ISLAMABAD4003

PAKISTAN: PM'S MAY 28 LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT

Identifier: 98ISLAMABAD4003
Wikileaks: View 98ISLAMABAD4003 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Islamabad
Created: 1998-05-29 14:10:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PARM MNUC PK
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 291410Z MAY 98
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7050
NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 
AMCONSUL KARACHI 
AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//POLAD//
AMCONSUL LAHORE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 004003 
 
 
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - TEXT 
 
CINCPAC/CENTCOM ALSO FOR POLAD 
 
E.O. 12958:  DECL:  05/29/08 
TAGS: PREL, PARM, MNUC, PK 
SUBJECT:  PAKISTAN:  PM'S MAY 28 LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT 
 
CLASSIFIED BY ACTING POLCOUNS DAN MOZENA.  REASON:  1.5 (B,D). 
 
1. (C) THIS MESSAGE CONVEYS FOR THE RECORD THE TEXT OF PRIME 
MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF'S MAY 28 LETTER TO PRESIDENT CLINTON.  THE 
LETTER HAD EARLIER BEEN FAXED TO SA/PAB; THE ORIGINAL IS BEING SENT 
BY POUCH. 
 
2. (C) BEGIN TEXT: 
 
28TH MAY 1998 
HIS EXCELLENCY 
MR. WILLIAM J. CLINTON 
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 
 
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT, 
 
I WISH TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THE PERILOUS 
SITUATION RESULTING FROM INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS.  OUR TELEPHONIC 
CONVERSATIONS IN THE PAST FORTNIGHT CONVINCED ME OF YOUR SINCERITY 
AND YOUR GENUINE CONCERN FOR PAKISTAN'S SECURITY AND THE STABILITY 
OF THE REGION. 
 
THE OVERT NUCLEAR WEAPONIZATION OF INDIA HAS CREATED A STRATEGIC 
IMBALANCE, EMBOLDENING INDIAN LEADERSHIP TO HOLD OUT THREATS OF 
NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL AGAINST PAKISTAN AND AGGRESSION ACROSS THE LINE 
OF CONTROL IN KASHMIR. 
 
AS ADVISED BY YOU AND OUR OTHER FRIENDS, WE PONDERED HARD AND 
DELIBERATED CAREFULLY ON OUR DIRE SECURITY PREDICAMENT.  DETERMINED 
TO ACT WITH UTMOST RESPONSIBILITY, DESPITE GRAVE PROVOCATIONS, WE 
ALSO CLOSELY EVALUATED THE INTERNATIONAL REACTION, WHICH 
REGRETTABLY DID NOT FACTOR THE THREAT TO OUR SECURITY AND TO 
REGIONAL PEACE AND STABILITY. 
 
WHILE I WAS DEEPLY APPRECIATIVE OF YOUR PERSONAL UNDERSTANDING OF 
OUR SECURITY CONCERNS, THE OVERALL INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO 
INDIA'S CROSSING OF THE NUCLEAR THRESHOLD WAS REGRETTABLY 
DEFERENTIAL, BORDERING ON ACQUIESCENCE.  WE SAW A FAMILIAR PATTERN, 
WHEREBY INDIA'S INCREMENTAL STEPS ON THE NUCLEAR AND BALLISTIC 
LADDER HAD ONLY GENERATED PRESSURES AND EVEN PUNITIVE ACTIONS 
AGAINST PAKISTAN. 
 
FOR MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS, PAKISTAN ADVOCATED, IN ALL EARNEST, THE 
GOAL OF NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION.  OUR IMPECCABLE RECORD OF 
RESTRAINT AND RESPONSIBILITY NEVER EARNED US ANY APPROBATION. 
SELECTIVE SANCTIONS ONLY SERVED TO DEGRADE OUR CONVENTIONAL 
CAPABILITIES AND PRODUCED A TOTALLY UNTENABLE SECURITY EQUATION 
BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA. 
 
THE EVIDENT SELECTIVITY IN THE PURSUIT OF THE GLOBAL NON- 
PROLIFERATION GOALS, WITHOUT ANY REGARD TO THE UNDERLYING SECURITY 
PROBLEMS THAT IMPEL PROLIFERATION, HAD INCENSED OUR PEOPLE. 
 
AT THIS CRITICAL JUNCTURE, AT WHICH OUR VERY LIFE AND EXISTENCE ARE 
AT STAKE, THE PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN WERE UNANIMOUS IN DEMANDING THAT 
WE SEEK TO RECTIFY THE STRATEGIC IMBALANCE RESULTING FROM NUCLEAR 
WEAPONIZATION BY INDIA. 
 
HAVING EXHAUSTED ALL OPTIONS AND LEFT WITH NO CHOICE, WE HAVE IN 
OUR SUPREME NATIONAL INTEREST DECIDED TO EXERCISE THE NUCLEAR 
OPTION.  THIS DECISION, WHICH I HAVE TAKEN WITH A HEAVY HEART, WAS 
NECESSITATED BY THE IMPERATIVES OF SELF-DEFENCE AND TO DETER 
AGGRESSION AGAINST THE SOVEREIGNTY, INDEPENDENCE AND TERRITORIAL 
INTEGRITY OF OUR COUNTRY. 
 
WE ARE MINDFUL OF THE NEED FOR URGENT STEPS TO BRING ABOUT NUCLEAR 
STABILIZATION BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA.  I HAVE, THEREFORE, 
OFFERED TO DISCUSS WITH INDIA, ALL ASPECTS OF THE SECURITY 
SITUATION PREVAILING IN THE REGION AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR 
BILATERAL DIALOGUE. 
 
WE TRUST THAT THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER MAJOR POWERS WILL 
ENCOURAGE AND FACILITATE NOT ONLY THE RESUMPTION OF THE PAKISTAN- 
INDIA TALKS BUT EARLY CONCLUSION OF MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE RESTRAINTS, 
ACCOMPANIED BY CONFIDENCE ENHANCING MEASURES. 
 
WE WOULD ALSO URGE YOU TO FULLY ENDORSE AND SUPPORT OUR PROPOSAL 
FOR A NON-AGGRESSION PACT BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA, ON THE BASIS 
OF AN EXPEDITIOUS SETTLEMENT OF THE JAMMU AND KASHMIR DISPUTE. 
 
I AM ALSO REQUESTING THE LEADERS OF THE OTHER G-8 COUNTRIES TO 
SERIOUSLY CONSIDER COLLECTIVELY INITIATING EFFORTS TO ENGAGE WITH 
PAKISTAN AND INDIA TO URGENTLY ADDRESS STABILIZATION MEASURES SO AS 
TO PREVENT THE POSSIBILITY OF A NUCLEAR ARMS RACE AND TO REDUCE THE 
DANGERS OF A NUCLEAR CONFLICT IN SOUTH ASIA. 

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