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Jaitapur will go to the French, Kakodkar disclosed

The latest batch of US cables revealed by WikiLeaks shows Indian officers volunteering sensitive information to their US counterparts

  11th Sep 2011

Anil Kakodkar

Cable sent from Mumbai consulate on 9 March 2007

DAE (Department of Atomic Energy) Secretary Anil Kakodkar made a strong positive impression on members of USIBC's (US-India Business Council) nuclear trade delegation during their March 8 meeting in Mumbai. In a briefing following the meeting, most delegation members told us that Kakodkar made compelling arguments to include reprocessing rights in the 123 Agreement. USIBC's Ted Jones told us that his association sought to avoid a situation where India agreed to omit reprocessing from the 123 Agreement but subsequently gave all its business to French and Russian firms that agreed to permit reprocessing. Jones hinted that GE could use its political clout in Congress to stall any 123 Agreement that would lead to such a scenario. Kakodkar told GE and Westinghouse that "there was room for everybody" to get one of India's planned nuclear parks, but acknowledged, for the first time, that the Jaitapur site in southern Maharashtra would go to the French.

India's plans to bundle foreign reactors in "nuclear parks" came up in the discussion with Kakodkar and in separate meetings that GE and Westinghouse had with Kakodkar and the NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd). Kakodkar told both GE and Westinghouse separately that the DAE's growth plans were so significant "that there was place for everybody." When asked, neither company said they were sure whether this meant that both GE and Westinghouse would get their own park. Kakodkar spoke of four parks in his discussions with the companies. Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu would go to the Russians, as had been announced during President Putin's recent visit to India. Manmohan Bhagat, a consultant for Westinghouse, said Kakodkar confirmed that the Jaitapur site in southern Maharashtra would go to the French company Areva. We were unable to get separate confirmation that this was in fact the case. (Comment: Until now, the NPCIL insisted that no decision had been made on Jaitapur, although the French had done previous work for NPCIL at the site. End comment.) If this were true, Bhagat said, Westinghouse would focus its efforts on obtaining the park planned for the Bhavnagar region of Gujarat on a site on the Orissa coastline. NPCIL Chairman S.K. Jain said the U.S. companies could help his company get expedited regulatory approval for new sites if they could offer preliminary work like that which the French had performed in Jaitapur.

‘Geelani is an associate of Salahuddin’

‘Pakistani officials still meet with Geelani out of courtesy, but press reports say that Pakistan has sidelined him in recent years because of his extremist position.’

Cable sent from embassy in New Delhi on 16 March 2007

Hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani applied March 16 for a visa to travel to the United States for medical treatment for cancer in his one remaining kidney. Geelani has longstanding ties to terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen through his political activity with Indian Kashmir’s Jamaat Islami party, and may have been responsible indirectly for the assassinations of moderate Kashmiris. We need Washington guidance as to whether or not to issue him a visa. We also need a PD strategy that rebuts Geelani’s own press attacks on us. While there may be some blowback here among Kashmiri hardliners if we reject the visa, Geelani’s views and message are incompatible with the values of the American people, law, and government. The optimal outcome may be for the Department to facilitate Geelani’s care elsewhere, perhaps Singapore.  

Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani is a rigidly uncompromising Kashmiri separatist who has taken pride in being an outspoken advocate for violence and terrorism for many years. Rejecting even President Musharraf’s proposals, he has vowed to go to his grave without compromising on his insistence on Kashmir’s independence or accession to Pakistan. In doing so, he has undermined the Indo-Pak peace process and the moderate Mirwaiz Hurriyat. He is also a sharply polarizing figure in the Kashmir Valley. Geelani’s doctors say he has approximately one year to live due to kidney cancer. If he receives a visa for medical treatment in the U.S., we understand he is likely to engage in political activity in Washington if he gets a visa. He may use that opportunity to denounce Indo-Pak peace efforts.

Our Senior POL FSN tells us that, in the South Asian cultural context, all of a dying man’s evil deeds should be forgotten so he can receive the care he is asking for. That the RSS and BJP did not attack the PM for giving Geelani a passport is a reflection of that cultural attitude. It is possible that some here will accuse the U.S. of standing in the way of his medical care, ignoring the fact that Geelani seeks to visit a community hospital in Barberton, Ohio and that medical care is available closer by in India itself, Singapore, Dubai, or Europe. Denying his visa, they say, will give him yet another platform to denounce the United States as he dies as a “martyr” for the Kashmir cause. They also ask why we have granted Yasin Malik, who is known to have killed several people during his “freedom fighter” days, a passport for less urgent medical treatment, when Geelani has never killed anyone with his own hands. (Answer: Because Yasin Malik has become a proponent of peace. Geelani has not and likely never will.) Ironically, Yasin Malik alone among the separatists contacted Senior Pol FSN to advocate for Geelani to get a medical visa, arguing that the Muslim community in the Kashmir Valley will respond positively to this kind of gesture.

An ardent extremist with ties to terrorism: The counter-argument is far more compelling. Pre-eminent terrorist expert Dr. Ajai Sahni gave us a long dossier of accusations against Geelani, including financing Hizbul Mujahideen and other terrorist groups through hawala channels, money laundering, openly advocating violence, and ordering the assassination of several political opponents (emailed to SCA and SCT). Although we have no evidence of his having ever been convicted in India of any crime, Geelani has been jailed multiple times in India for financing terrorism and inciting violence, including from 1965 to 1966, 1990 to 1992, and in 2002 until he was released on humanitarian grounds to receive medical treatment in Mumbai during his first bout with cancer. Geelani is known to be a close associate of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin, and press reports say that he is the more conservative of the two, pressuring Salahuddin not to declare a cease-fire or open talks with India even though the Indians have been courting the Hizbul leader for some time.

Blood on his hands: More disturbingly, Geelani has a brutal reputation among Kashmiri separatists. Both Sajjad and Bilal Lone have openly accused Geelani of ordering the assassination of their father, Abdul Ghani Lone in 2002, after Lone traveled to Pakistan to renounce violence and signaled his interest in running for office in Indian Kashmiri elections. Mirwaiz Omar Farooq also blames Geelani for ordering the death of his father, Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq in 1990. Geelani also denounced Mirwaiz Omar Farooq’s recent trip to Pakistan, holding a strike in protest of his trip, and sending ominous signals that Mirwaiz’s life could also be in jeopardy in the coming months.

No apostle of peace: Geelani has been an outspoken opponent of compromising with India to attain a peace agreement with Pakistan. In all of his recent speeches, Geelani has repeatedly denounced President Musharraf’s statements outlining a resolution with India. Pakistani officials still meet with Geelani in New Delhi out of courtesy, but press reports say that Pakistan has sidelined him in recent years because of his extremist position. Geelani has long advocated violent tactics to achieve his goals in Kashmir, including telling the Pakistani press in 2003 that the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist groups are “our friends” who “have never acted in a manner that is against humanity or morality.”
Although he likely has a wealth of information about terrorists in the Kashmir Valley and Pakistan, Geelani is probably of little intelligence value for the United States, since he is flush with financial assistance from his supporters and uninterested in compromising to resolve the conflict. Those close to Geelani say that he is unlikely to change his political positions, regardless of any outside influence because he has vowed to die a “martyr” for the Kashmir cause.

‘LTTE may have funded setting up of Vaiko party’


Chennai consulate,  15 May 2006

Despite the fact that Tamil Nadu is home to the largest population of Tamils in the world, there is virtually no support in the state for the LTTE. There is no financial support coming from the state, no significant supplies flowing from Tamil Nadu to the LTTE, and almost no public sentiment in support of the LTTE in Tamil Nadu.

All the sources say that Tamils in Tamil Nadu and the relative few Tamils who live elsewhere in India, are not a source of financial support for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This was not always the case, however. Prior to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by an LTTE terrorist in 1991, there was significant support for the LTTE cause in the state that likely included financial support.

But support for the LTTE cause vanished almost  overnight after Rajiv Gandhi’s death. It may be, however, that some financial support flows the other way, that is, from the LTTE to certain political leaders in Tamil Nadu, notably Vaiko, founder and General Secretary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK). Some people, including Tamil refugee NGO leader Chandrahasan, believe that the LTTE provided initial financial support for Vaiko in establishing his MDMK party after he split from the DMK party in 1993.

Vaiko has been an outspoken supporter of the LTTE but any financial link remains unproven.

‘Young Stalin was allegedly involved in multiple sex scandals’

M.K. Stalin

Chennai consulate, 9 July 2009

Stalin had something of a thuggish reputation in the 1970s, including alleged involvement in multiple sex scandals. (Many in Chennai still tell stories, perhaps apocryphal, of pretty girls being plucked off the streets and handed over to Stalin for his amusement.) He matured and shed this image in the late 1980s, however, evolving into a genuinely popular politician, winning election to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly four times (1989, 1996, 2001 and 2006), and serving as Mayor of Chennai from 1996 to 2002. He was also the state’s Minister for Local Administration and Rural Development from 2006 until becoming Deputy Chief Minister in 2009.

Stalin’s health condition is unclear: he is rumored to be suffering from an undisclosed ailment (allegedly intestinal cancer). He visited London in June 2008, reportedly for a medical examination.

'Work with US for UNSC seat'

India and the UN: ‘Would India, as a permanent member, work counter to US interests?’

Cable sent from US embassy in New Delhi on 4 January 2008

As we look to engage with India on greater cooperation within the United Nations, concurrent with a possible completion of the civil-nuclear deal in sight and inter-governmental negotiations on United Nations Security Council expansion, the time may be near when the USG (US Government) must consider whether to formally support New Delhi's bid for a permanent UNSC seat.

The question remains: would India, as a permanent member, work counter to U.S. interests?

Put the onus on India: When the time comes, the decision whether to support India for a permanent UNSC seat will be among the largest issues facing our bilateral relationship, with long-term ramifications. Post does believe that it would be in the U.S. interest to, at a time of our choosing, begin a trial period of sorts. Predicated on the idea that the political decision is made to consider India's candidacy, the onus should be put on India — and not the other way around — that if it wants our support, it will have to demonstrate that it is to likely to be able to work effectively with the U.S., and not remain obstreperous. We could offer a roadmap for how India can gain our trust, essentially by demonstrating its ability to work with us in three areas where a perm member should have the capability to exert influence: 1) on UN reform; 2) on issues within its region; and 3) on issues of global significance. We should offer India every opportunity to succeed in demonstrating to us that it can become a result-oriented permanent member. By telling India that we are considering its candidacy and basing it on its ability to demonstrate the qualifications it claims, if it were to fail it should be clear to the Indians that the responsibility for their failure rests with them.

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