In a February 16, 2010 meeting with US Senator John Kerry, President Asif Ali Zardari tried to justify continued suspicion of India, “citing recent ‘confirmation’ that there was Indian involvement in the Mumbai attacks”, a WikiLeaks cable revealed.
In a cable filed by former US ambassador Anne Patterson, although Zardari acknowledged that India-Pakistan dialogue could move forward with US support, he expressed concern regarding India’s increased military spending. Patterson wrote:
He claimed India had increased its military spending 30 percent this year and described this as a direct threat to Pakistan. When Kerry pointed out the Chinese threat to India, Zardari responded that Indian tanks cannot operate in the Chinese border region and could only be intended for an attack on Pakistan. India has 4,700 tanks, he explained, while Pakistan has only 2,600. “Capability creates a fear,” he added.
Kerry said that cooperation on counter terrorism with the Indians could lead to Indian compromises on key Pakistani issues such as Kashmir and water use in subsequent meetings. Kerry encouraged the GOP to come up with specific offers to which the GOI could respond.
Kerry said Zardari should put his concerns on the negotiating table as there was a real opportunity for productive conversation between India and Pakistan now: “”You could arrive at a surprising consensus of mutual understanding.”
Zardari conceded that Singh deserved respect, but said he was not confident about the rest of the Indian government.
The full text of the cables can be read on Dawn.com, The Hinduand NDTV. WikiLeaks has previously released cables to other media organisations including Guardian and the New York Times.