Memogate report

Published: June 13, 2012

Haqqani had filed application in Supreme Court to have his statement recorded abroad via video link. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The judicial commission set up to investigate the so-called ‘memogate’ scandal has tried to put two and two together and has come up with a number that is most definitely not four. Its final report declares that there is incontrovertible proof that former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani was the originator and composer of the memo that was sent to the Americans by businessman Mansoor Ijaz. For all we know, that proof may well be present, although the commission is yet to share it and those who attended hearings of the commission had come away with a distinctly different impression of the proceedings. Certainly, Haqqani played a murky role in the composition of the memo that is yet to be fully explained but to declare him responsible requires a stretch of the imagination that certainly doesn’t rise to the level of being found guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Some would also say that the commission’s commentary on Haqqani’s loyalties was unnecessary. It declared that the former ambassador was always trying to keep the Americans happy. Maybe the commission should keep in mind that staying on the good side of the US is an integral part of an ambassador’s job description. Haqqani has often suffered through the accusation of being an American at heart but it is a battle he has won, first through his job as ambassador and then by proving that he did not hold US citizenship.

The commission, in declaring that Haqqani worked against the interests of Pakistan by writing the memo, may want to take a closer look at its contents. It is difficult to raise objections against his desire to have the military brought under the control of civilians, as our Constitution demands. Asking the Americans to bring this change about is questionable, but the sentiment cannot be deemed entirely objectionable. Yet, it is in the nature of those opposed to civilian rule to change the subject from their misdeeds. In this case, the distraction was memogate and the scapegoat was Husain Haqqani.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Mir Agha
    Jun 14, 2012 - 12:13AM

    Rationalize away as much as you want, in a country that aspires to be democratic and progressive, what Haqqani did is condemnable to the highest degree. His history is as relevant to the established truth that he is a leftist megalomaniac. His associations abroad lead to the only possible conclusion.

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  • Kataria
    Jun 14, 2012 - 12:18AM

    Having the delusions to start a new government institution appointed by the US is treason. Don’t distract from this factoid contained in the memo. His actions have hurt those who would like to see a transparent and democratic government. Now one has to chose between the khakis who put Pakistan first and the suit-wallas who put foreigners first. Anyone would take the first, everytime.

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  • Truth
    Jun 14, 2012 - 1:18AM

    It is very clear that the judicial commission came out in a hurry with this half-baked report because of the ongoing disclosure of shenanigans of Arsalan and possibly even the CJ. It is clear that CJ rules the judiciary like a despot, however he is in a pinch because of his son having been caught with pants down and CJ having not doe anything about it until it the proverbial stuff was about to hit the fan. He clearly ordered the judicial commission to resurrect some of the issues against the elected government in order to deflect attention and possibly retaliate against the attack on his family. The irony is that the attack on his family may have been engineered by the deep state and not by the fumbling incompetent civilian govt. and by attacking the govt. CJ is actually helping out the deep state. Perhaps he thinks that that the deep state may be somewhat placated by this report and may let him off the hook.

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  • Attorney Kamal
    Jun 14, 2012 - 7:24AM

    I suuport your balanced editorial on Memogate. I’ve closely followed the proceedings of the Memo Commission and I can say with certainty as a lawyer that there was absolutely no evidence presented by Ijaz Manzur that proved that the Memo was written by Mr. Haqqani. Yes Manzur presented records of time and date of his calls but not the contents of his alleged conversation with the former Pak Ambassador on this subject. No evidence of Haqqani’s handwriting was also not presented. In other words there was no written or verbal evidence or any records of Mr Haqqani writing or dictating regarding the Memo. So all Mr Ijaz’s allegations was based on his own words, or heresay , which is not evidence by any stretch of imagination in the eyes of law. Therefore Memo Commission’s conclusion that Mr Haqqani wrote the Memo was pure conjecture and speculation. This case is a joke according to law. It should never have been brought up and should have been summarily dismissed.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 14, 2012 - 8:22AM

    From the beginning the PCO SC and commission was obviously hostile to HH and made MI their star witness and prosecutor at the same time. Compared to this the PCO SC is so friendly to Arsalan who has admitted making money and there are hundreds of millions transferred. The SC is behaving against Riaz the same way as against HH. They are so transparent and bold that they do not need to show any fairness and balance. Recommend

  • Imran Con
    Jun 14, 2012 - 8:52AM

    @Mir Agha:
    His associations abroad are irrelevant. His job revolved around creating those associations. The only conclusion it leads to is that he did his job right.

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  • Hamid Ahmed
    Jun 14, 2012 - 9:01AM

    Please try to remember what happened to the reference which Musharraf filed against CJP in SJC, I don’t have any hope of anything coming from this SC under current CJP which is transparent and just, he is too manipulative. What I hope is that a new chapter is being written in history of Pakistan and sacrifices given by the victims of current CJP will not be lost, I am very sure of this.

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  • Liberal
    Jun 14, 2012 - 9:50AM

    Wrong decision by commission with rightist mentiality at the centre of all proceedings.

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  • Noor
    Jun 14, 2012 - 3:50PM

    By the way, what does the constitution say about the punishment for treason?

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  • Chopper
    Jun 14, 2012 - 5:46PM

    ET trying to defend Haqqani….I’m disgusted.

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  • Cautious
    Jun 14, 2012 - 7:32PM

    The wording of the findings makes it pretty clear that this was a witch hunt from the beginning – very unprofessional.

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  • sohaib
    Jun 14, 2012 - 8:24PM

    Sentiment not entirely objectionable? What are talking about? On whose are you? US or Pakistan? If the sentiment is not objectionable it must not be shared with a foreign government under any circumstance. The weakness is within us and and its remdy also lies with us. Sharing with foreign govt. means using that weakness to gain personal objectives. And that is still not objectionable to you? What a shame? Reading ET editorials is a bigger shame. Dont know the where your wisdom comes from.

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  • Amjad
    Jun 14, 2012 - 9:28PM

    Hussain Haqqani is very right in this regard. History of court reveals that they have played such tactics time and again. Icing the cake, the comments of Memo Commission were also wondering, who gave commission authority to pass such harsh and non-sense remarks. I don’t know, where is our national dignity, where is the justice? When people like Mansoor Ijaz are presented as national savior, they are promoted as loyal to Pakistan, where does the dignity lie? Why we forget, that Mansoor Ijaz is the same person who hate mongered against important institution of the same country. Memo Commission headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, was not impartial and transparent. Even during the proceeding of the case, one could get what would be the decision. The concessions and favors given to Ijaz had already disclosed the aims of Commission.

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  • Sameer
    Jun 14, 2012 - 9:30PM

    This is really sad. The establishment has tried to divert attention away from the judiciary by giving this stupid verdict against Haqqani. The fact of the matter is that Hussain Haqqani did not need to write a memo – he already had good contacts with the top level Pentagon and US State department officials. While the courts of Pakistan instead of delivering justice to the people, they have turned into a circus. They are holding lame kachehries, sham investigations, indulging in petty issues, political Bickering, settling personal vendettas. The courts are now a laughing stock. Every decision is biased and aims at political vendetta. I am sure Hussain Haqqani would be able to get justice but not until these judges are sitting in the court rooms.

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  • Sumaira
    Jun 14, 2012 - 9:31PM

    Judges tried to play a trump card by diverting the attention of people from Arslan Iftikhar case but people are not nincompoop. Majority of Pakistanis know the reality of memo and dubious character of Mansoor Ijaz. Apart from character of Mansoor Ijaz Pakistani nation knows well the anti-Pakistan activities of Mansoor Ijaz. However Courts had a blind trust in Mansoor Ijaz because he was on the same page as Judiciary that is to fix the Hussain Haqqani. If the court were fair and the judges were not acting as prosecutors against Hussain Haqqani, they should have treated him at par with Mansoor Ijaz and record his video statement. It seems that commission members were running amoke to punish Hussain Haqqani. Mansoor Ijaz provided not solid evidence except verbal statement. In which law book it is written that cases can be preceded on the basis of just verbal statements.

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  • Jun 17, 2012 - 7:54PM

    hussain haqani remained pak ambassdors for years – how far he deserve this kind of treatment………one is apt to know.

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