WASHINGTON: The memo that some factions of the media and Pakistani American Mansoor Ijaz claim was sent from President Zardari to Adm Mike Mullen contains a request to convey a “strong, urgent and direct message to Gen Kayani” that communicates Washington’s demand for him and ISI chief General Shuja Pasha to “end their brinkmanship aimed at bringing down the civilian apparatus”.
The memo, which was allegedly conveyed to Mullen by Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani a week after the Osama bin Laden raid in May, was reportedly sent by President Zardari who at the time feared a military takeover in Pakistan.
The memo allegedly refers to “a dangerous devolution of the ground situation in Islamabad where no control appears to be in place”. It adds that if the military does take over, Pakistan may “become a sanctuary for Osama bin Laden’s legacy and potentially the platform for far more rapid spread of al Qaeda’s brand of fanaticism and terror”.
It also stated that an opportunity exists for “civilians to gain the upper hand over the army and intelligence directorates due to their complicity in the Osama bin Laden matter”.
It further added that in the event of Washinton’s message to Kayani, the new national security team is prepared to do the following:
- An independent inquiry into the Bin Laden raid will be ordered
- The inquiry will be independent and accountable
- The new team will implement the policy of either handing over those left in al Qaeda leadership or other affiliated groups on Pakistan soil. The team also gives the US miltary “green light” to conduct necessary operations to capture or kill them on Pakistani soil.
- The new national security team is prepared, with full backing of the Pakistani government, to develop an acceptable framework of discipline for the nuclear program.
- The new team will eliminate Section S of the ISI allegedly charged with maintaining relations to the Taliban and Haqqani network
- Government of Pakistan will cooperate with new national security team and India government to bring perpetrators of Pakistani origin to account for Mumbai attacks 2008, whether outside or inside the government, including its intelligence agencies.
The memorandum has been leaked by Pakistani American Mansoor Ijaz who told the Financial Times on Thursday that he had been asked to deliver the message by Husain Haqqani.
“Husain Haqqani, whom I have known for over 10 years, was indeed the senior Pakistani diplomat who asked me to assist him in privately delivering his message to Admiral Mike Mullen,” Mr Ijaz said. He also detailed phone and email contact between himself and Mr Haqqani in May as they finalised the draft of the memorandum and awaited “the boss’s approval”. “The boss was an obvious reference to President Zardari,”Ijaz said.
Haqqani said on Thursday that the claims made by Ijaz are baseless, and has offered to resign over the scandal.
Hours after Ambassador Haqqani offered to resign, the website of a prestigious US-based publication, which had printed a denial on the matter by Mullen a few days ago, dropped a bombshell by claiming that the former chairman US joint chiefs of staff had confirmed receiving the alleged memo.
The full text of the memo can be viewed here.