Wikileaks’ On Travel And Wheels

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Newest cables released by Wikileaks have spurred chaos in the foreign offices of the world, many have termed it as a disaster for foreign relations of the world with Italian foreign minister claiming that this would be the 9/11 of foreign relations because we know what Berlusconi did last summer but there are few Cables from wikileaks relating to our small world of motoring. Here they are my fellow PakWheelers;

Cable on Kazakhstan’s Political Elites:

It appears that we’re not the only developing country with the richest in control, the cable tells the hobbies of Kazakhstan’s political elites. Read;

Kazakhstan’s political elites appear to enjoy typical hobbies — such as travel, horseback riding, and skiing. Not surprisingly, however, they are able to indulge in their hobbies on a grand scale, whether flying Elton John to Kazakhstan for a concert or trading domestic property for a palace in the United Arab Emirates. This cable recounts several instances in which Embassy officers have learned of, or witnessed, the recreational habits of Kazakhstan’s leaders.

Turkish PM passed out in his armored Mercedes:

Last Ramadan, Turkisn PM passed out in his armored-car which somewhat embarrassed Mercedes, because the enthusiastic body guard of the PM broke the window of the armored Benz within six minutes with a sledge hammer which he found in the near by construction site.

Last Ramadan, when Erdogan got locked inside his armored car after collapsing from low blood sugar, his bodyguard Halit grabbed a sledgehammer from a nearby construction site and smashed the windshiel to break Erdogan out (Mercedes was apparently upset that it only took him six minutes). Despite the fiasco, made much of in the press, Halit kept his job; the PM viewed his action as one of true devotion and love for the Prime Minister.

Qadhafi afraid to fly over waters:

Apart from the leaks which tells that Muammar Al-Gaddafi keeps a voluptuous blonde nurse of Ukranian origin and that he also uses Botox, apparently the latest cables also tell that he is afraid of flying over waters and it is also said that he cannot fly for more then eight hours.

(S/NF) Qadhafi’s dislike of long flights and apparent fear of flying over water also caused logistical headaches for his staff. When discussing flight clearances with Emboffs,XXXXXXX explained that the Libyan delegation would arrive from Portugal, as Qadhafi “cannot fly more than eight hours” and would need to overnight in Europe prior to continuing his journey to New York. XXXXXXXX also revealed in the same conversation that Qadhafi does not like to fly over water. Presumably for similar reasons, Qadhafi’s staff also requested a stop in Newfoundland to break his travel from Venezuela to Libya on September 29.
[Note: The Government of Canada recently confirmed that the Libyan delegation canceled plans to stop in Newfoundland. End Note.]

Rolls-Royce that carries loads of Ak-47s:

Here’s the story of Gadzhi Makhachev son’s, a major player in politics and head of the state-run oil company in Russia’s Dagestan region. Gadzhi’s son Dalgat married Aida in a high-profile arrangement that made a revelation about a Rolls-Royce having lack of leg room due to carrying AK-47s on its floors.

Gadzhi has cashed in the social capital he made from nationalism, translating it into financial and political capital — as head of Dagestan’s state oil company and as the single-mandate representative for Makhachkala in Russia’s State Duma. His dealings in the oil business — including close cooperation with U.S. firms — have left him well off enough to afford luxurious houses in Makhachkala, Kaspiysk, Moscow, Paris and San Diego; and a large collection of luxury automobiles, including the Rolls Royce Silver Phantom in which Dalgat fetched Aida from her parents’ reception. (Gadzhi gave us a lift in the Rolls once in Moscow, but the legroom was somewhat constricted by the presence of a Kalashnikov carbine at our feet Gadzhi has survived numerous assassination attempts, as have most of the still-living leaders of Dagestan. In Dagestan he always travels in an armored BMW with one, sometimes two follow cars full of uniformed armed guards.)

Abu Dhabi also wants armed drones:

It seems that Pakistan is not the only one looking to get few armed drones from the US, apparently Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed(MBZ) is also interested in having few of them at his weekly VIP Majlis.

Ambassador asked about MbZ’s visit the week before to Lahore to meet with Pakistani President Musharraf.  MbZ chuckled and asked why the USG “always” convinced the Pakistanis to delay news of the capture of senior Al Qaeda operatives such as Abu Faraj al Libbi.  MbZ went on to congratulate Washington for its decision to allow U.S. firms to bid for contracts to provide F-16s and other defense technology to Pakistan.  It was important to support Musharraf as he battled the terrorists, he emphasized.  While the Indians had and would continue to balk at the decision, the region needed Musharraf to stay strong.  There was no alternative leader in sight, MbZ opined.  Besides, he continued, the F-16 decision would not tip the military balance between India and Pakistan.  Even if it had, India’s strength as a stable democracy would ensure that it would not ever be in as “risky” a situation as its neighbor.  MbZ then slapped his knee and said “you,ll never guess what Musharraf asked me…he asked me whether the UAE had received approval for the Predator!” (Note:  the USG’s inability to meet the UAE’s request for an armed Predator remains a sore point for MbZ, although he has not directly raised the issue with us for some time.)

Rickshaw Reconnaissance:

Well I am afraid I couldn’t get hold of the actual cable as we say it, but there has been a lot of media reports that assures us how much paranoid US embassy is in Lahore. It believes that the rickshaw driver infront of the consulate might be on surveillance. Well we obviously can’t laugh it out as you just don’t have any idea about our intelligence agencies gimmicks, who knows what’s he on about but, why a rickshaw driver when better results can be earned through the very Pakistani policemen guarding the consulate.

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