Haqqani: 'Offering to resign is a way to silence those targeting democracy'

Published: November 17, 2011

Envoy says he is being blackmailed. PHOTO: PID/ FILE

WASHINGTON: Hours after he offered to resign from his post as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani says the point of his offer to resign was to silence those who want to target democracy via the memo.

(Read: Dissecting a ‘leak’)

In a statement issued from the US capital, Ambassador Haqqani said that he did not care about his job, but held Pakistan and democracy dear. He added that the final decision was going to be made by President Zardari, and that he would be travelling to Pakistan as serving ambassador.

Memo-gate, as it is being dubbed here, saw a new twist when hours after Ambassador Haqqani’s offer to resign, The Cable, a blog at Foreign Policy, published a statement from former Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s spokesperson who confirmed that Admiral Mullen did receive a memo, but didn’t believe it was credible.

Ambassador Haqqani, who has served as Pakistan’s representative to the US since 2008, denied that he had neither drafted nor delivered any memo. “The person who started this debate must have a big ego, my ego is not more important than the country or the democratic process,” he added. Referring to Mansoor Ijaz indirectly, the Ambassador said, “There are many businessmen in this world who claim to have a role in a country’s affairs, but they are not given importance. In Pakistan however, one man’s claims create a crisis.” He added that if his name had been linked openly to the memo, he would have replied by now.

On Wednesday, the Ambassador sent a letter to the President. Sources said that the letter states that Haqqani was ready to face any inquiry against him, and that he was being targeted for vilification by innuendo.

Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistan-American businessman, had claimed in an article published in the Financial Times that he had, on President Zardari’s instructions and with the help of a top diplomat, drafted and delivered a memo to Admiral Mullen calling for his help in supporting President Zardari in case of a military coup.

Later speaking on Geo television, Haqqani said he had cancelled some scheduled meetings and that he had already booked a seat to Pakistan, aiming to be back in the country before the end of the week.

Haqqani added that he had good relations with Admiral Mike Mullen, professionally and personally, however, he did not believe that the Admiral, even in his old post as the Chief of Joint Staff, have the power to bring about any change in the Pakistani top brass. That power, the envoy said, remained with President Zardari.

The Ambassador said that he was being made a scapegoat for doing his job, of maintaining good relations with the United States of America. He added that Ijaz was blackmailing the ambassador by threatening to publish BlackBerry messenger conversations over a secret mission he had been tasked with.

When questioned about allegations levelled by Imran Khan that Haqqani had been subverting the army through his actions, the ambassador adopted a questioning tone towards Ijaz saying “ask Mansoor Ijaz why he wrote the article? And why he was now making the claims in public?”

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Sirat-ul-mustaqeem
    Nov 17, 2011 - 8:56PM

    Mr. Haqqani you should be tried for high treason against the security forces of Pakistan and along with you Mr. Zardari should also be included in the trial. So that no one in the future has this courage to do such an act.

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  • Not me
    Nov 17, 2011 - 8:57PM

    Let there be full investigation and let those found responsible be tried under the law of the land.This is very very serious stuff. Reminds one of Mir Qasim……………….

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  • AnisAqeel
    Nov 17, 2011 - 9:02PM

    Where are champions of democracy? Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, Qureshi and all the voices in favor of democracy must come out to voice against breaches and treasonous. Opposition must raise voices in favor of democracy, as you may be the next victim.Recommend

  • Adnan Khan
    Nov 17, 2011 - 9:07PM

    Haqqani is right when he says he’s just a messenger, doing the bidding of his boss. As Gen. Hamid Gul pointed out tonight on Islamabad Tonight with Nadeem Malik, Haqqani had no personal motive to instigate this all by himself, nor could he deliver on promises made in the said memo. Only Zardari.
    .
    And if the memo turns out to be indeed a fact (which Mullen has now confirmed and ISI claims to have the transcripts of calls made between Haqqani and Ijaz, on Blackberry) then Zardari can and should be tried on Article 6, charge of high treason. So says Hamid Gul.
    .
    Colluding with foreign powers, against his country’s interests. This goes beyond corruption.
    .

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  • Not me
    Nov 17, 2011 - 9:56PM

    This reminds of a story of 15 year old kid who shot both his parents and before the judge sentencing him he pleaded mercy as he was now an orphan.

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  • ashok sai
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:05PM

    For the past few years he had done the balancing act between US-Pak relations exceptionally well, pity he ran into the hands of the deep state.

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  • Noor Nabi
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:22PM

    Notwithstanding the many follies and foibles of the Zardari presidency it all boils down to one simple thing i.e., the supremacy of the civilians in controlling the military. If the ultimate goal is to have true democracy then what is wrong with this idea. Hussain Haqqani’s own views on this subject are all too clear in a book authored by him before he was appointed ambassador.

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  • bagnash
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:15PM

    Hussain haqqani will now join PTI.

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  • Anonymous
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:16PM

    This demon crazy is so lethal for a midleclas peoples like me that it has consumed the society with corruption contagion.I donot see any hope for my kids in this country which is being run by mafia. Corruption is killing us like Cancer and the peoples like Kazmi,zardari, Giliani, Altaf,Nawaz are so corrupt that i feel sick even to hear their names and yet people think they are angels.Recommend

  • Zaid Hassan
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:40PM

    Another shahid afridi in the making…..retire when things dont go your way….what a child !!

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:46PM

    Haqqani’s resignation has nothing to do to save democracy in Pakistan.

    The US SEAL’s operation of May 02, 2011 was unexpected and the situation thereafter became uncertain for few months.

    The possibility that Haqqani may have made such a request to Mike Mullen cannot be ruled out because of the undue pressure from Islamabad after May 02, 2011.

    Nonetheless, Haqqani should clarify his position on the matter of secret memo allegedly written by him to American businessman Mansoor Ijaz to handover the same to Mike Mullen, then Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, after the US operation of May 02, 2011 in Pakistan, in which OBL was killed.

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  • Sao Lao
    Nov 18, 2011 - 1:21AM

    This is the one and only HAQQANI we need to take out

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  • Max
    Nov 18, 2011 - 1:44AM

    Democracy is dependent on one person and that also with lot of words but no credibility. Interesting and very interesting indeed!

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  • You Said It
    Nov 18, 2011 - 1:49AM

    This is amazing. So the perception in Pakistan is that a piece of paper supposedly written by a diplomat saying what the Pakistani constitution says, can deal such a crippling blow to the vaunted, hallowed, all-powerful, defender-of-the-faith Pakistan Army. After all the conspiracy theories and talk of standing up to India, Israel and the US, all it takes to undo the ghairat of the nation is the pen of a diplomat.

    Hussain Haqqani has done incredible work as ambassador on behalf of Pakistan. He has done right to resign. If Pakistan does not want his services, that is Pakistan’s loss. His replacement will be hard-pressed to have a fraction of the influence that Haqqani has in Washington’s policy circles.

    The pro-establishment hyenas have made a strategic mistake by undermining the ambassador. If he stays in DC, he will be in two minds about the establishment line. If he goes, he will continue to have great influence on the US view of Pakistan from his chair at Boston University and he’s going to remember how he was treated.

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  • American Desi
    Nov 18, 2011 - 1:51AM

    Ambassador Haqqani is the best mouth Pakistan has! At least he is coherent unlike the Pakistani establishment. He can spin the dismal condition in Pakistan to the advantage of Pakistan in the Western world. It’s the Army top shots who should be tried for treason, for hawking the country to the highest bidder, whether it is US, Saudi, or the Caliphate ideologues.

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  • DAMDAM
    Nov 18, 2011 - 2:20AM

    What wrong has this man done? He has defended Pakistan abroad and how exactly is he responsible for the fact that worlds most wanted terrorist was hiding in Pakistan? What surprises me is the fact that he is accused of treason. Treason for what? Treason for actually suggesting that a military take over might be a realistic possibility. It’s not like we have had them before, had we?

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  • Zamalek Khan
    Nov 18, 2011 - 2:23AM

    @Sirat-ul-mustaqeem:
    Under the 1973 constitution the people who should have been tried for high treason are Zia-ul-Haq and Pervaiz Musharraf. They shamelessly abrogated the constitutions and ruled for more than a decade each. The consequences of military rule – a fraud perpetuated with the aiding and abetting of the mullahs – are there for all to see; Pakistan is on the verge of an irreversible collapse. While Mr. Haqqani should provide answers to a number of unanswered questions it is silly to say that he should be tried for high treason.

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  • Khadim Husain
    Nov 18, 2011 - 3:07AM

    It is time to send Haqqani back home. Nobody trusts him, he was part of NRO deal and when NRO beneficiaries are trying to eliminate each other, so like COD, now NRO is also going to be over.

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  • ksri
    Nov 18, 2011 - 3:24AM

    @Adnan Khan:
    I am really surprised to see Hamid Gul talking about constitution. When did the spy man develop sudden love for Constitution? For PakMil it is just a piece of paper.

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  • SYED
    Nov 18, 2011 - 3:28AM

    By the way does the sentence in the begining of para 5 of this story “denied that he had NEITHER drafted nor delivered any memo” make any sense?The writing and reporting of this story is shoddy.
    Apart from that,how did Zardari imagine that Mullen would save him from a coup ? What would be the modus operandi ? Would Mullen ask Kiyani to step aside ? And would Kiyani oblige (sic) ? Thewhole affair shows how immature and shallow the Pakistani civilian leadership really is.

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  • Sajida
    Nov 18, 2011 - 5:11AM

    Why go after the message? It is the message writer who at fault.
    Mr. Haqqani should know a whistleblower doesn’t target democracy.

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  • Mirza
    Nov 18, 2011 - 9:42AM

    OBL was found in a military base, as a result the civilians should be tried for treason! No wonder Pakistan is making tremendous progress in all areas.

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  • Champak Raam
    Nov 18, 2011 - 10:48AM

    The traitor should be dealt accordingly. We don’t need blacksheeps like Haqqani in our society. Send to Gitmo Jail!Recommend

  • Ghaznavi
    Nov 18, 2011 - 11:03AM

    @ Mirza
    “OBL was found in a military base”

    Your lies will never end, you Indians distort facts and spread white lies – but it just shows your shallow IQ. You need to your head checked; its amazingly empty… Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Nov 18, 2011 - 11:27AM

    Haqqai, no more tall claims. Walk your talk. Your disgraced character has already shown enough of you. Simply resign.

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  • shahzad
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:45PM

    well i feel the time has come for US to intervene again and what I see is totally different. To me Mr Hussain Haqani will be the new Prime Minister of Pakistan .

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  • Osama Shah
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:52PM

    If we are living in democracy right now….. then i m ready to sacrifice 100 democracies !!!
    ARMY should take over….. We have better & sweeter memories of Marshal Law in our country than this bloody democracy !!!Recommend

  • Nov 18, 2011 - 12:56PM

    Memo has been received to electronic media. Treason case. State was being pushed to civil war. He should be called back to pakistan for trial.

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  • Taimoor Ali
    Nov 18, 2011 - 8:14PM

    Departure of Hussain Haqqani will be a big big blow for Pakistan, we will have lost our most effective lobbyist for the country, one who kept US aid flowing and negotiated a satisfactory resolution to the Raymond Davis Saga and Osama Bin Laden episode. I wonder just for a piece of paper that is claimed by Mansoor Ijaz, having no credibility at all. It will not only fatal for democracy but what is even worse is that it will overshadow the stellar work he did in Washington. Hussain Haqqani is considered most credible man in Washington and even USA confesses his commendable job for Pakistan. I am really disappointed that Hussain Haqqani was labeled as loyalist to USA. An ambassador’s job is to maintain cordial ties between countries and this is what Hussain Haqqani did so far? Where is disloyalty in entire episode? He amicably did his job during his tenure so far. We should give due credit to Hussain Haqqani for resolving several contentious issues between Pakistan and USA. One can not imagine the mess after OBL episode and it was Hussain Haqqani who played leading role in settling the dust. I believe that there can be no surrogate to Hussain Haqqani, no one can handle issues in a manner Hussain Haqqani did.

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  • ksri
    Nov 18, 2011 - 11:58PM

    @Ghaznavi:
    Wow. Cool down. OBL was found “few meters” away from the military base enjoying the hospitality of PakMil. Is that accurate enough? If you have been sleeping over the last 6 months and woke up just now to read the news, I understand that it will be shocking to you.

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  • Pundit
    Nov 19, 2011 - 7:24AM

    @Ghaznavi: Amazingly empty heads are relative:)

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