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Pakistan General Calls Leaked Diplomatic Cables ‘Disinformation’

Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s chief of general staff, Lieutenant General Waheed Arshad, said confidential diplomatic cables released on the website WikiLeaks contained “nonsense” and their credibility should be questioned.

Pakistan’s military chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, told the U.S. ambassador to the country in March 2009 that he would be prepared to force out President Asif Ali Zardari to safeguard political stability, the U.K.’s Guardian reported Dec. 1, citing a cable provided to the newspaper by WikiLeaks.

“This is all nonsense,” Arshad said today in an interview at the annual Manama Dialogue, a security conference in Bahrain. “I think the credibility is quite questionable, frankly. It is disinformation.”

WikiLeaks.org receives documents that governments and businesses seek to keep secret and publishes them. On Nov. 28, the non-profit group began releasing more than 250,000 U.S. State Department documents that officials wanted to keep confidential.

The first round of WikiLeaks, published in July, prompted Pakistan to summon the U.K.’s top envoy to the nation after Prime Minister David Cameron accused elements of the South Asian country of exporting terrorism. The British leader’s comments followed the release by WikiLeaks of military documents suggesting Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, secretly aided the Taliban and other militant groups that NATO forces are trying to defeat in neighboring Afghanistan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vivian Salama in Manama through the Abu Dhabi bureau at vsalama@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net.

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