Last update: April 30, 2023, 11:59 PM HST
US intelligence documents have been leaked on the Discord messaging platform revealing conversations between Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his Deputy Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on foreign policy issues, according to a media report on Sunday.
In an internal memo titled ‘Pakistan’s Hard Choices’, parts of which were published by the Washington Post on Sunday, Khar warns that Pakistan should avoid appearing to ‘appease’ the West, the newspaper reported. The Express Tribune.
She warns that the country can no longer attempt to maintain common ground between China’s regional neighbor and the United States.
In the memo, Khar asserts that preserving Pakistan’s partnership with the United States would end up sacrificing all the benefits of its “true strategic partnership” with China.
The undated document does not specify how the United States obtained access to Khar’s memo, a report by The Washington Post revealed.
The leak of US intelligence documents, largely posted on social media websites, was considered the most serious security breach as more than 700,000 diplomatic documents, videos and cables appeared on the WikiLeaks website in 2010.
The episode embarrassed the United States by exposing its spying on allies including Pakistan and Ukraine’s alleged military vulnerabilities.
The leaked documents provide a rare insight into private calculations made by influential regional powers such as India, Brazil, Pakistan and Egypt.
The documents also offer new insights into the obstacles the Biden administration faces in garnering global support for its efforts.
Another leaked document relating to Pakistan dated February 17 describes Prime Minister Sharif’s deliberations with an unnamed subordinate over an upcoming UN vote on the conflict in Ukraine.
The document says an aide told Sharif that backing the measure would signal a shift in Pakistan’s position, undermining its ability to negotiate trade and energy deals with Russia.
Pakistan was among 32 countries that abstained in the United Nations General Assembly vote on February 23.
The Post report further said Pakistani officials as well as those from other countries named in the leaked documents declined to comment.
The story emerges at a time when Washington has already confirmed that it has no objections to Pakistan’s decision to import oil from Moscow.
“Each country will make its own sovereign decisions regarding its energy supply,” US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said during a weekly briefing.
Matias Spektor, a researcher at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said developing countries were recalibrating their positions as America faced powerful new competition from China and Russia, according to the Express Tribune.
“There’s no telling who’s going to be in pole position 10 years from now, so they need to diversify their risk and hedge their bets,” Spektor told the Post.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)