Haqqani offers to resign; Mullen confirms existence of secret memo

Published: November 17, 2011
Pakistan's ambassador to US resigns after reports that Zardari asked Washington to help stave off an army takeover. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Pakistan's ambassador to US resigns after reports that Zardari asked Washington to help stave off an army takeover. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington has offered to resign after reports that his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari, asked Washington for help to stave off a military takeover.

A Pakistani businessman alleged in a column in the Financial Times last month that a senior Pakistani diplomat asked for assistance in getting a message from Zardari to Admiral Mike Mullen, at the time chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The author, Mansoor Ijaz, alleged that Zardari feared a military takeover following the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May and brought unprecedented public scrutiny on Pakistani leaders.

Events in the months following the bin Laden raid have underscored the sharp tensions between Pakistan’s weak civilian government, headed by Zardari, and its military leadership, headed by General Ashfaq Kayani.

“I serve at the pleasure of the president of Pakistan and the prime minster of Pakistan. And I have communicated my willingness to resign or participate in any inquiry that brings to an end the vilification against the democratic government of Pakistan currently being undertaken by some elements in the country,” said Husain Haqqani, a former journalist who has been Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington since 2008.

There has been speculation in the Pakistani media that Haqqani had been involved in the conception or communicating of the memo.

Officials in the Pakistani government were not immediately available to say whether Haqqani’s offer had been accepted.

“I have not been named so far as having done anything wrong by anyone except through innuendo. No memo of the kind being discussed in the media was drafted or delivered by me,” Haqqani said.

“I should like to add that since I was appointed ambassador in 2008, some people have consistently vilified me as having been involved in undermining the Pakistani armed forces. Which I have never done.”

Asked about the memo referred to in the Financial Times column, Captain John Kirby, who was Mullen’s spokesman until the admiral stepped down earlier this year, said Mullen initially had no recollection of such a memo but was later able to track it down.

“Neither the contents of the memo nor the proof of its existence altered or affected in any way the manner in which Adm. Mullen conducted himself in his relationship with Gen. Kayani and the Pakistani government,” Kirby said. “He did not find it at all credible and took no note of it.”

He gave no further details.


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Reader Comments (55)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:15AM

    Hussain Haqqani is not a competent Ambassador who could not stop the drone attacks while representing Pakistan in United States of America. He was suppose to call back long time ago.

    Then he is now become a part of controversy.

    It was Hussain Haqqani who showed the path to Raymond Davis after his arrest from Lahore how he can legally come out from the problem.

    After his successful attempt of Raymond Davis, now he is playing in the hands of US Administration. Is this the role of an Ambassador?


  • Khalid Javed
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:24AM

    These morally bankrupt politicians and their planted stooges can stoop low to any extent. They have devastated all the institutions so dear & important for the state. They have desecrated jucial system, they have done all mean tricks to tarnish Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. They have gone to the extent of asking for help from their masters at the time when they apprehended that their government is on the verge of being toppled. Time to get rid of these soul-sellers!!!!!!!!!


  • Billoo Bhaya
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:27AM

    Admiral Mullen had a convenient loss of memory regarding this important memo. Funny how memory plays tricks with the High and Mighty officialdom of practically every country, especially the West.


  • MAD
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:30AM

    Oh boy this should be quite interesting.


  • Anon
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:34AM

    I hope his resignation is accepted. No sympathies here.


  • Zavia
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:48AM

    Resignation must not be the end of it. Its pretty embracing situation for the nation. The culprits must bring to the court.


  • Shafaq
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:52AM

    Good to know. He must GO now.


  • Hammad
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:53AM

    He is a big traitor and should be tried in Pakistan courts.


  • Azam Khan
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:07AM

    Good riddance; however Haqqani could not have done this on his own without approval from Mr Zardari


  • CK
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:11AM

    Now PTI will win for sure!


  • KR
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:14AM

    Apparently Mr. Hussain Haqqani was unable to secure more aid not even 10% more for our fearless leaders and that’s why he is out. I wonder who are we going to blame this mess now !!!!!!!!


  • Ispahani
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:20AM

    You are the weakest link . . . goodbye!


  • ashok sai
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:46AM

    If his resignation accepted, it will be sad demises of democracy in Pakistan.


  • ashok sai
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:49AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    Who awarded airbases to the US ?

    Everyone knows that the army which is calling the shots in Pakistan, then why accuse this powerless ambassador.


  • Noor
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:52AM

    He is more of a US ambassador, than Pakistani, as he only supported their cause throughout his job tenure.


  • Pakistani
    Nov 17, 2011 - 12:18PM

    You said it yourself that you worked for the pleasure of the President and the PM.Had you worked for us you would have not done such a thing like contemplating against your own country, people and army.Haqqani Sb you were always loyal to the government and never to the state of pakistan. It’s time you take a break and write Mullah & Military Part 2.


  • RizwanTKhan
    Nov 17, 2011 - 12:21PM

    Husain Haqqani should be tried for treason. Recommend

  • Rehman Azhar
    Nov 17, 2011 - 12:32PM

    It will be interesting to see how army will react to this


  • Jameel
    Nov 17, 2011 - 12:56PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    Hussain Haqqani is not a competent
    Ambassador who could not stop the
    drone attacks

    What is Hussain Haqani? The Army chief?


  • yaqub
    Nov 17, 2011 - 1:12PM

    This malicious campaign to tarnish image of armed forces of Pakistan and its intelligence agencies seemingly is the brain child of incumbent Ambassador. I don’t understand why and how we find such patriots, with friends like these we need not have any enemies. Objectively seeing this whole story you can easily join the dots and make out that what appeared in Financial times followed by a documentary by BBC were synchronized in order to portray our sacred institutions as rogue.


  • Nov 17, 2011 - 1:25PM

    Vienna,November 17,2011
    Daring boys accept Ambassador Husain Haqqani´s challenge
    to prove you are boys.I have told you yesterday, I know the
    reality from inside out.Hostile embrace is to continue so long
    credibility is established after bridging the gap in trust deficit.
    Pakistan is caught and held at cross roads when Raymond
    Davies is full free agent.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna


  • Pinky
    Nov 17, 2011 - 1:29PM

    dear innocent people, why are you hoping for acceptance of his resignation, when he has NOT resigned..he only made an offer to resign (whatever that means)


  • Anserali Khan
    Nov 17, 2011 - 1:50PM

    The question is not of resignation alone: Pakistan Ambassador instigated a foreign country against Pakistan army and security agency of Pakistan.

    And Foreign Office: what about your previsions denial?

    And what about earlier denial published in Foregn Policy “The blog titled “The Cable” said Mullen, now retired, denied this week having ever dealt with Ijaz. He gave the comments to The Cable through his spokesman at the time, Capt. John Kirby“on 9/10 November 2011??

    Law of the land should be invoked for High Treason


  • Ahmad
    Nov 17, 2011 - 1:52PM

    Its interesting to see people calling for Haqqani’s head. Will these same people call for the COAS’s head over the Abbotabad raid, where Kayani was either helpless to stop the raid and should be fired for incompetence or was colluding with the americans, in which case he should be tried for treason? Even if it is proved that Haqqani did indeed send that memo, legally speaking he did nothing wrong. Thats a fact. Get over it.


  • Fg khi
    Nov 17, 2011 - 2:09PM

    Ohh boy very interesting game this is “Politics”

    I think that needs to be thoroughly investigated and who ever is involved have to go out.

    This is serious business common…. we are playing around with our country name.

    There needs to be a thorough investigations and if found guilty………..



  • Sirat-ul-mustaqeem
    Nov 17, 2011 - 2:50PM

    I agreed with most of the comments above and would like to ask where are all those liberals and seculars now who follow hussain haqqani on twitter. You can be secular or a liberal, no one cares but when you support a traitor like this then we have to re-think about this liberalism being promoted inside Pakistan.


  • Not me
    Nov 17, 2011 - 3:17PM

    Please have a complete inquiry done under a judge of Supreme Court.Let the facts and truth come out.This is a very very serious matter and those responsible should be given maximum punishment under law of the country.

    This is shameful.

    @Anserali. I agree with your views.


  • Ishrat Salim
    Nov 17, 2011 - 3:35PM

    Mr Haqqani very convenienly forgets that he was one of the author of KL bill…?? which had put our Military funding conditional….& when exposed….those conditions were revised…..let him go…we hv better & high calibre people than him….he is a planted person by America….& a American poodle.Recommend

  • land of pure
    Nov 17, 2011 - 3:48PM

    “This malicious campaign to tarnish image of armed forces of Pakistan and its intelligence agencies”

    you are talking as if they have some kind of credibility,they never really had an credibility to speek of. if at all ,this event enforces many views on how Pakistani fragile/brittle democracy works,Pakistani people never really deserved a democracy.in the Land of pure suicide-pact continues….


  • Lahori
    Nov 17, 2011 - 3:58PM

    HH do not come to pakistan.you have already lost you job and now you may be put in a kholi.


  • Harris Ali
    Nov 17, 2011 - 3:58PM

    Well no one can stop drone attacks, be it him or Imran Khan.


  • Hairaan
    Nov 17, 2011 - 4:01PM

    Is he Pakistan’s ambassador in US or US representative in Pakistan? I believe he has got dual nationality.


  • Ali
    Nov 17, 2011 - 4:20PM

    Our Army has all the time in this world to get involved in all sorts of affairs.The civilian government is just a show piece.Its a pity that none of the army chief has ever been held accountable whether it was East Pakistan,Afghanistan policy,Kargil issue,Osama & Taliban ,or the taking over of the governments. Alas ,the Poor Nation


  • Pundit
    Nov 17, 2011 - 5:11PM

    With Ambassadors like Haqqani who needs enemies?


  • Cautious
    Nov 17, 2011 - 7:57PM

    The military was caught hiding OBL which embarrassed them and the nation — you civilian govt thinks that the red faced military are going to pull a coup (for reasons that are not well explained) and asks the American’s for assistance with promises of major changes in policy — that about sum it up? Reads like a bad novel.


  • j. von hettlingen
    Nov 17, 2011 - 8:02PM

    I had watched interviews with Husain Haqqani a few times. He appeared to be very self-assertive and was quick to defend his country against any allegation. On this note he made quite a good impression.


  • AnisAqeel
    Nov 17, 2011 - 8:25PM

    As I read these posts I pray to Allah to give wisdom to my beloved Pakistan and its inhabitants who can’t understand such a simple case behind the walls.
    Haqqani did not do anything wrong, it was his duty to do what he was asked to do and he performed.
    Please see behind the walls what’s going on! Haqqani is not going to stop drone attacks, it’s the military that must be having a secret agreement with USA to enforce these attacks, or they are incompetent to do so!
    Haqqani is neither a traitor nor has committed a treason, that has been done by our ‘might’ several times and there is strong chance that this act of treason will be revisited and that fear caused this secret memo to be delivered to General Mullen as democracy is very much in danger and once again constitution will be breached and treason may occur and our so called independent judiciary and top political leaders will endorse it.
    Any sane person with little thinking may know that who sheltered Osama and why Zardari became fearful of a coup de’tat, the main cause of this memo?
    Haqqani did not cause the release of Raymond Davis; he must be a facilitator on behalf of foreign policy makers, and guess who sets the foreign policy?
    We may be losing democracy and this is time for Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif and other champions of democracy to shout out and raise voices to save democracy.


  • SaudiRules
    Nov 17, 2011 - 8:31PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    10 hours ago
    Hussain Haqqani is not a competent Ambassador who could not stop the drone attacks while representing Pakistan in United States of America. He was suppose to call back long time ago.

    It is not the ambassadors job to stop the drone attack on pakistan. It is the duty of the self-proclaimed “defender” of the nation, Khakis. Why dont the khakis shoot a low flying, slow moving drone from the pakistani sky?
    What is next? Why did not Hussain Haqqani stopped the raid on abbotabad to get OBL? LOL!Recommend

  • Romm
    Nov 17, 2011 - 8:32PM

    General Durrani and Haqqani both shud be tried in CJ’s court.


  • Imran Ahmed
    Nov 17, 2011 - 8:56PM

    Hussain Haqqani and his wife Farahnaz Ispahani both are not competent i am request to the government and establishment please accept Mr. hussain haqqani resignation and dismissed her wife Mrs. Farahnaz Ispahani to her present job.


  • Maria
    Nov 17, 2011 - 9:12PM

    It is more than obvious that the author of Financial times story has a dubious and murky character with very negligible credibility and that may have been the reason for Admiral Mullen to pay no heed to the memo sent by Mr Mansoor Ijaz. Notwithstanding however, it is not understood that why Ambassador of pakistan maintained relations with such an un-credible person. The Ambassador admitted his relations with the individual in a talk show today.


  • Saleem Hayyat
    Nov 17, 2011 - 9:43PM

    Ambassador Hussain Haqqani is a real asset of Pakistan. He is a think tank, that worked hard to portray brighter and modern image of Pakistan despite issue of terrorism and Pakistan’s alleged ostensible support to Pakistan. It is a deep conspiracy to isolate Pakistan. Hussain Haqqani is only hurdle in the way of Jews and Indian lobby. Every one among us knows that Pakistan has clear cut hobnobbing with some of the Taliban elements, we have several terrorist networks, breeding inside our society and we are feeding them yet world did not pint finger at Pakistan, US did not dare, even ponder to smash Pakistan either with attack or imposed economic sanctions against Pakistan, why? No one dare to think? It was just because of Hussain Haqqani, his successfully lobbying and perfect diplomacy that saved Pakistan’s national interests.


  • rehmat
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:04PM

    @Ishrat Salim:
    “Mr Haqqani very convenienly forgets that he was one of the author of KL bill…?? which had put our Military funding conditional….& when exposed….those conditions were revised”

    Sorry. Not one word of the KL coditionality was revised. Hillary very openly said that if Pakista did not want the aid, they would simply not pass the bill and make it a law. Every one went silent at that time


  • MN
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:28PM

    So our US ambassador Us has sold us out again. What’s the big deal. Has anyone read the memo. I am literally cringing reading it. See for yourself. Just when i thought that Zardari Govt could sink no lower, they have surprised us again.


  • MN
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:32PM

    @land of pure:

    We don’t need such democracy which sold us out. You can have it. Pakistanis have reservations against their armed forces but that doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to hatch a conspiracy against them.

    @Ashok Sai

    It is for us Pakistanis to decide. Thank you for your concern. In any respectable country it is pure treason.


  • MN
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:34PM

    You need to read the memo Mr. Check it in my previous post. Our US ambassador to US has shown his true colours.


  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:45PM

    Haqqani cannot be trusted. He wrote against Pakistan Army in his book & allegedly has also been feeding American Administration with insidious information about Pakistan.This is the time he should be taken to task .NO CLEMENCY.


  • ashok sai
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:49PM


    Thanks for the link on memo. My respect with Mr.Haqqani increased nine folds after reading the memo. But I do know that Pakistan is not the place for sane people or thoughts.


  • Nov 18, 2011 - 12:50PM

    Vienna,November 18,2011

    Harm-me-h silent, Army (pronunciation) is I think the Pakistani
    middle class “ideology” as I read the comments from them.
    But for the good of all Pakistanis, a khedda operation is on
    to make it “harm me not” for good.It is time for all women
    with their children to hold head high proudly as Pakistanis
    with great future.The past of Pakistan was harmed.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva BalakrishnaRecommend

  • Dr.A.K. Tewari
    Nov 18, 2011 - 7:15PM

    It is now difficult to defferentiate between true and false conspiracies . ………. Is’nt correct ?


  • Safi ud Din Khan
    Nov 18, 2011 - 11:01PM

    How could these people sell pakistani army , our ISI and our nuclear assets just for money and power . they should all get tried for treason


  • AnisAqeel
    Nov 19, 2011 - 5:01AM

    @Safi ud Din Khan:
    “How could these people sell pakistani army , our ISI and our nuclear assets just for money and power . they should all get tried for treason”
    Absolutely right, lets start from General Musharraf and his hosts of top brass. Didn’t they do treason! And dig the graves of Zia and Yahya too may be some of their accomplices are still alive and they can also be tried. Only problem with us is that we are greatest in imagination and we don’t practice what we say, just opposite what The Quran says.


  • Iron hand
    Nov 19, 2011 - 8:11AM

    That “memo” is such an obvious fake! Like a Pakistani diplomat would ever put things in those terms? Sheesh!


  • Arshad Ali
    Nov 19, 2011 - 4:13PM

    Mr. Haqqani is indeed an incompetent ambassador and must be recalled from Washington. It seems that he does work for US’ interests and nominally representing Pakistan there. He wrote a controversial book about Pak Army and pinpointed the hideouts of alleged Afghan militants in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas.
    And even it’s said that he’s ambassador to US since 2008 and living there already before he became an ambassador. How such an ambassador will represent his country abroad? Today the US officials quote Haqqani regarding Taliban and ISI’s activities when we negate any statement or disagree with them over the issues of the aforesaid elements. Haqqani has provided everything to them about Taliban and ISI and it’s the irony now that they quote him and we’re ridiculed everywhere due to an incompetent ambassador. He’s proved instrumental in ridiculing our secret agencies and it’s time to bring him to court to face the allegations.


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