Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani: A memo apparently
by Haqqani seeking U.S. help to protect Pakistan's
from the Pakistan military has set off a firestorm.
The Daily Jang, Pakistan
Behind Pakistan's 'Memogate'?
memo sought Washington's direct intervention in conveying a strong, urgent and
direct message to Generals Kayani and Pasha to end brinkmanship aimed at
bringing down the civilian government. In return, the memo promises a 'green
light' to U.S. military forces for conducting all necessary operations to
capture or kill al-Qaeda leaders on Pakistani soil."
A Pakistani soldier stands near a nuclear-capable missile in Karachi: Has Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. committed 'treason' by seeking American help in backing Pakistan's civilian leadership against the Pakistan Army?
ISLAMABAD: Rather than settling
the issue, the suspension of Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani has
added fuel to the memo controversy. Now the entire nation is anxious to know
the facts, i.e.: what the unceremoniously-removed ambassador did, and whether
President Asif Ali Zardari had any role in the scandal.
An independent inquiry completely
free of the influence of today's rulers is now a necessity if we are to establish
whether "Memogate" was part of Washingtonís conspiracy to target
Pakistanís nuclear program, Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI] and
the Pakistan Army.
In order to get to the truth,
the probe must begin with Haqqani. He must therefore remain in Pakistan until
such time as the inquiry is completed and he is exonerated or proven guilty. It
remains to be seen if the government intends to name him the prime suspect. According
to the prime minister office, the Zardari Administration has sought Haqqani's
resignation. Whether the government places him on the Exit Control List or takes
him into custody depends on the seriousness of the accusations against him. Will
the security services use their influence and skill to get the truth out of
As Pakistanís U.S. ambassador,
Haqqani was looked on with suspicion from day one. The controversial elements
of the Kerry-Lugar
Act which allegedly contained input from Haqqani and the controversial
issuance of thousands of visas to Americans by Pakistanís Embassy - including to
U.S. spies - ratcheted up apprehensions against Haqqani at home.
But the latest memo has proven
the most devastating. Here in Pakistan it raises fundamental questions about whether
Memogate is connected to Washington or was primarily the work of Haqqani and other
players in Pakistan.
Over three years ago, a small
number of senior security officials met with leaders of the Pakistan Muslim
League [PML] in an effort to
have them convey to PML chief Nawaz Sharif that the
U.S., through senior members of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, wanted to make
important appointments to top echelons of the Pakistan Army, ISI and even the
Command Authority. And the reason?: To target the ISI, Pakistanís nuclear
program and the military.
But Nawaz Sharif didn't take
the message seriously. Later developments confirmed what Pakistan's security services
had feared. Before leaving for his first official visit to the United States, Prime
Minister Yusuf Raza
Gilani upset the entire country by putting the ISI under the control of the
Interior Ministry. But within hours he had to undo the change.
Later, the Kerry-Lugar Bill, enacted
by the U.S. Congress, contained some highly objectionable provisions that not
only hit Pakistanís nuclear program but the Pakistan Army and the country's
security services. The government wasn't much bothered about such provisions until
a press release after a corps. commander's meeting issued by Inter
Services Public Relations conveying the militaryís rejection of parts of
the Kerry-Lugar Bill. Haqqani was alleged to have a role in the preparation of
And now the memo, whose complete
text has been published, again attacks the Pakistan Army, the countryís nuclear
program and its security institutions.
The memo sought Washington's
direct intervention in conveying a strong, urgent and direct message to Generals
Kayani and Pasha to end brinkmanship
aimed at bringing down the civilian government. In return, the memo promises a
"green light" to U.S. military forces for conducting all necessary operations
to capture or kill al-Qaeda leaders on Pakistani soil. It also conveys that a
new national security team to the satisfaction of Washington would be put in
This "team" would have
developed an acceptable framework for controlling Pakistan's nuclear program. The
memo also pledges to eliminate ISI Section S, which is charged with maintaining
relations with the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, etc.
Furthermore, under the new
national security teamís guidance, it also commits to fully cooperating with
the Indian government in bringing to account all of the perpetrators of Pakistani
origin of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, whether they are outside or inside government,
including Pakistan's intelligence services.
This is all very serious. Only
an independent inquiry will expose the real conspiracy behind this.
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