It’s bad enough that his involvement in the Mansur Ijaz saga will likely lose Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, his job; what is even worse is that it will overshadow the stellar work he did in Washington. Admiral Mike Mullen, the recently-retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed that he had received a memo written by Ijaz, supposedly at the behest of Haqqani, asking the US to reign in the ISI. Haqqani has tendered his resignation and, although it is yet to be accepted, his role in this affair may well signal the end of his tenure.
Haqqani has been something of a political chameleon throughout his career, starting as a student activist of the Islami Jamiat Taleba, shifting to the PML-N before finally settling on the PPP. But the one constant in his life has been a principled opposition to military dominance over civilian affairs. It is in keeping with this ideology and character, then, that Haqqani would seek to curb the military’s power. But it is how he chose to go about it that is so galling. In doing so, he has provided ammunition to those of his critics who claim that his true loyalties lie with the US, not Pakistan. As such, his actions may end up having an effect opposite to what he had intended. This controversy will also strengthen the military’s hand in castigating the civilian government as sell-outs to the Americans.
Given that the Presidency issued a lengthy statement denouncing Ijaz as a fantasist, Haqqani will likely be the scapegoat and President Zardari will deny all knowledge of his actions. Such an interpretation of events stretches the bounds of credibility but may unfortunately be necessary to keep the military satiated. Amid the torrent of criticism that is sure to come Haqqani’s way in the coming days, though, there are some things that need to be remembered. The military needs to be operating under the authority of the elected government, even if asking the US to arrange that for us is foolish in the extreme. And if Haqqani does leave his post, 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. All the right-wingers who feel jubilation at his demise should keep this in mind amidst their celebrations.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2011.
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All, make a note, Haqqani is the future PM of Pakistan who would at some point team up with Imran and Musharraf.
A weak country like Pakistan cannot survive without the benefaction of US, China or no China. Pakistan has taken to many favors from other countriues that it can't just wish off those. It must deliver in a fair manner in teh sense the world understands it to mean not what Pakistani ISI and military strategists think it to mean.
I don't think Mr. Hussain Haqqani is guilty of any wrong doing. It is a propaganda by the mushroom rightists in our media and people who watch politics from very close range are also aware why undemocratic forces want his removal as Ambassador to USA.. Almost all leading channels and print section is being used as if paid to create hype. Interestingly people only know about Haqqani Network in Wariristan. People are only interested in their day to day affairs.
The ISI is a joke. It can't protect Pakistani. It can't protect average Pakistani citizens from terrorist attacks. It can't even stand up to the pen of a diplomat. Send the babies at ISI to pre-school so they can start "growing up" since they haven't reached that stage of development yet.
Our Haqqani in Washington needs to be tried for treson! Lets not make that too complicated, shall we... .
Haqqani is now a doomed man.First his denial of authorship of this Memo is wrong because only a Pakisatani would spell dreadful 'Osama' as Usama or UBL,Second he is living in fool's paradise if he thinks that Americans are or were ever concerned about civilians.They are deal-makers and it is much easier to deal with a man in uniform than with a multitude of chaotic civilians stealing from each other while simultaneously pulling each others' legs.
Prediction: Haqqani's goose is now well cooked.He should stay in US for a while unless he wants a Macbeth like tragic end under Article 6 of our Constitution..
Pakistani leader keep on playing petty politics and wasting time. Focus on economy so that people can have Roti Kapda or Makan or Railway for transportation. All they are doing is trying to save there own jobs. Zardari is trying to make a name for him self by claiming he is the one who controlled the Kahkhis. He needs help to make this possible.
The bitter truth is that Kakhi leaders work at the pleasure of the President of Pakistan.
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.
The memo by "our" man in Washington is right here ladies and gentlemen:
If the Army had four chances and did not overthrow the elected civilian government, it is because right after the American raid to eliminate the the greatest terrorist, the Army was on the backfoot and any such action would have turned Pakistan from a semi pariah state to a completley pariah state.
The man from Lyari is Zardari's man in DC, representing and promoting Washingon's interests to Pakistan. All said and done, his departure will be an important milestone in Pakistani history.
"negotiated a satisfactory resolution to the Raymond Davis saga." Yes it was a SATISFACTORY resolution of the issue for the Americans. However, it was a SHAMEFUL day in the History for Pakistanis. Someone very rightly said about Haqqani (Hussain Haqqani - not Jalaluddin Haqqani) that "Mr. Haqqani doesn't sound like Pakistan's Ambassador to USA. He sounds to be US Ambassador to Pakistan." So if he does go, its the US State Deptt that should be worried about the "demise" of their "Ambassador"..... :)
And if Haqqani does leave his post, 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.
YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING MAN :S
BAD HEADING...Others man with our name
@You Said It: the issue is not whether the Army can withstand the piece of paper penned by a diplomat: it can obviously do so, considering that the US has not been able to "rein in" the Army or ISI, hence the outburst in September. The issue is the promises that have been made: (i) National Security Team which will be pro-American, and will have Washinton's blessings (will this be the Pakistani NST or the US NST???) (ii) A "green signal" to operate on Pakistani soil. If these promises dont make your and all HH sympathiser's blood run cold, I am amazed at ur priorities.
I see a lot of twitteratis hold a good sympathy for HH. Tribune too. If being active on twitter makes one a credible politician, Zardari needs to join it ASAP.
Makes no difference if HH's resignation is accepted. Any new ambassador could keep the influx of the $'s going as long as Washington is fighting the war on terror.
I agree that HH has always been against the army dominance in politics and that is right as well. But when you are an ambassador of a state you work for the state and not scheme or malign your own army.If the army had plans to throw the government it had 4 good opportunities (long march/nro/kerry lugar/raymond davis) they did not do it then so now whats the heck ?....its looks so mean that our own ambassador asking a foreign country to save it's government form its own army.....really nauseating.
Nobody is indispensable. Seems the editorial writer has not read the full memo and the transcript of the exchange of messages between Mansoor Ijaz and HH. Besides were the suggestions in the memo about giving US a green signal for mly op inside Pakistan etc. compatible with his "principled opposition to mly dominance over civilian affairs?" Principeled, my foot!
Hopefully, good riddance.
I don't know what else he could've done to protect his country from rogie agencies?! At least he tried. It's high time pakistani people establish authority over the armed forces and their agencies who had been disgracing the country on a regular basis. May be they are confused which Haqqani they should deal with!
Wow. What a controversy!
Am I to support Haqqani for his stand against military's interference in civilian matters. Or to condemn him for sharing the memo that shows his mistrust of the military, of his own country, to such an extent that he asked US military's help to contain them. Nice!
I think the most worrisome aspect of this scandal is that an elected leader of a country had to resort to US to have some control over these agencies. In a democratic world, these agencies have to be answerable to the elected leaders and institutions. I feel this aspect has been ignored by most of the Pakistani press. Why is that?
The Davis affair was a slap in Pakistans face ...lets not call it a successfully resolved affair.
Couldn't disagree more. This editorial is doing what everyone else in the Pakistani media is doing -- which is to throw Hussain Haqqani to the pro-establishment hyenas.
What does it matter whether Haqqani wrote such a memo or not. If the vaunted, all-powerful, national-gem of the Pakistani military can't withstand a piece of paper written by a diplomat, then the army is just like the wizard behind the curtain. Let alone standing up to India and the US, it can't seem to stand up to a diplomat's pen.
Someone needs to stand up to this propaganda and tell the pro-establishment hyenas to go jump in a well. Wish the Tribute editors had taken the righteous stand.
Even the most brilliant of people sometime make the most childish of errors!!
Hussain Haqqani should be replaced by Hussain Haroon and vice versa.
@Lobster That's very unfair statement on your part. If a person lives in US, it doesn't mean his interests are with US and not the country of his citizenship/birth. The problem with most hyper-nationalists is that they have a very narrow and false idea about overseas people and their perceptions (because for the most part they haven't stepped out of Pakistan ever in life). Any Pakistani who is living in US in years after 9/11 would tell you how much they want Pakistan to get on the right track and make every effort in their capacity to do that. US is not a country with a culture, it's a melting pot of different cultures and everybody retain his/her identity and roots. So if you ever come to US and even live here for few decades, people would still ask you two questions: Where are you from?(which state/city) and "Where are you ORIGINALLY from?". That's why Pakistanis living in America are called Pakistani Americans, not just Americans. And each of us love Pakistan, probably more than some Pakistanis who have a same point of view as yourself.
Anybody who resigns as ambassador in US, has moral courage. hat off to him. I suggest Sherry rehman as the next ambassador for uncle sam.
There are many scandals now attached to his personality. Its better to have a non controversial figure at this post whose loyalties are with Pakistan. What's the point of making a person ambassador who already lives in US, all his interests are in US, how can he save the interests of Pakistanis?
A good Editorial.