Flying home: I had no involvement in the memo, maintains Haqqani

Published: November 18, 2011
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WASHINGTON DC: Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani reiterated that he never drafted or had any one draft a memo, nor did he deliver such a memo to Admiral Mike Mullen, adding that he was due to board a direct flight to Pakistan later on Friday evening. The ambassador was speaking on Express News via telephone from Washington.

“I do not have my itinerary in front of me, but I am scheduled to board a flight later tonight, I may adjust my flight due to reasons, but I will be returning to Pakistan,” Haqqani said.

The Ambassador, though did not deny that there was a memo delivered to Admiral Mullen. “I read the memo for the first time today, and I was not involved in this.” Adding, “Ijaz is a very rich, influential man, he has drafted the memo and managed to deliver it to Admiral Mullen.”

(Read: Haqqani offers to resign; Mullen confirms existence of secret memo)

Of the phone conversation printed in a Pakistani newspaper, Haqqani said that the Pakistani press did not work on a principle of verifying facts and that no one knew that the conversations printed were between him and Ijaz or included conversations with other people but only attributed to Haqqani. The only verifiable element in the conversation was the date on which the ambassador was in London. “Yes I was in London on an official visit, however anyone could have given that information out” he maintained.

Haqqani repeated that he had stood for Pakistan and the army in the most difficult of times especially during the Kerry-Lugar bill and the Osama bin Laden raid “In the Abbottabad incident I defended the Pakistan army in front of the whole world,” adding that never had any agency in Pakistan raised questions about his character. “Pakistan intelligence agencies have never complained to me about my character.”

He added that he was a writer and a patriot. In the event that the President says that the country and democracy did no longer require Haqqani’s services, the envoy would return to Karachi and write for a living.

He also clarified his employment status saying that he had not tendered a resignation, only offered to resign as a proposed solution. Haqqani categorically denied that he had not written a letter to the President, nor had Zardari, with whom Haqqani continues to maintain a close relationship, spoken to him regarding this incident.

(Read: Tribune Take: Husain Haqqani down, but not out)

He added that he had a frank relationship with the army chief Gen Ashfaque Parvaiz Kayani, and the Chief of Armed Staff had not contacted the ambassador over the memo after the issue first surfaced in a Octorber op-ed.

In his defence, the ambassador said that there was a concerted campaign against him by people who did not like Haqqani in the post of the ambassador and were continuously working to undermine him. “There are people who want to keep themselves as the proponents of the national security of Pakistan,” adding that he had been given different labels in the past “the same people who are calling me a traitor today, earlier used to call me a stooge of the military.”

While maintaining that he would be in Pakistan before the week ended, Haqqani said that his flight was set, however he had had a health complication with high blood pressure.

Haqqani also eluded to possible threat against his life citing the incitement by media as was in the murder of Salmaan Taseer. “If the situation is made so as during Musharraf’s time, when I was forced to leave the country and come and work in America.”

Ambassador Haqqani leaving for Pakistan tonight

It was an event that was supposed to celebrate new writers in Pakistan, but all eyes remained focused on the staircase, keeping a watch for whether Ambassador Haqqani would show up.

He did, 45 minutes after and was greeted by the Pakistan Embassy’s Press Minister applauding while a writer was in the midst of her recital.

Speaking to reporters after the event (and after he told the press corps to respect his privacy after they followed him to the door, cameras and mics in tow), he said that he had seen Mansoor Ijaz’s new statement and once again issued a denial, saying he had no involvement in the matter. Ambassador Haqqani said that it was amusing that of all things, an American citizen who lives in Europe would be asked to send a message to Admiral Mullen. Referring to memo-gate, he refuted it as a conspiracy. He said that he had and will continue to have close ties with the President, and that the President would make the final decision on his offer to resign.

Ambassador Haqqani also reiterated that he had not drafted nor delivered a memo. He said that in Pakistan he was accused of having close ties with the US leadership, and if he did, why would he feel the need to use Mansoor Ijaz to send a message. He said that many in Pakistan were opposed to his appointment as ambassador.

Sources added that Ambassador Haqqani was scheduled to leave for Pakistan tonight (DC time). A souce told the The Express Tribune that Haqqani also had an appointment in DC with a doctor for high blood pressure and chest pains that he had been having since last night.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • Sirat-ul-mustaqeem
    Nov 18, 2011 - 10:30PM

    Yes sir we are waiting for you, we will make sure you get a warm welcome with handcuffs.

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  • Aamir
    Nov 18, 2011 - 10:43PM

    he should be taken to a task for defaming Pak army and our beloved motherland.Recommend

  • Not me
    Nov 18, 2011 - 10:49PM

    He will not come to Pakistan. He will find another excuse.
    If he comes back he should be asked to stay back and face a full inquiry and face lawRecommend

  • Nov 18, 2011 - 10:49PM

    Haqqani is one of my favorite politicians, he’s wise and has a clean past.

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  • menteliscio
    Nov 18, 2011 - 11:40PM

    bring your stuff along with you!

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  • Realist. (ORIGINAL)
    Nov 18, 2011 - 11:49PM

    I hope hes not forced to resign!
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  • Babloo
    Nov 18, 2011 - 11:59PM

    Army/ISI , the protectors and promoters of democracy in Pakistan, may arrest Haqanni and break the ‘Haqanni network’ as soon as he lands in Islamabad.

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  • Traitor
    Nov 19, 2011 - 12:04AM

    @Tanzeel: How are you sure he has a clean past? Wow, simply wow, may be you do not know what he did when he was in Srilanka. And that was an even more horrifying act than what he has done now. I think you just do not know any thing about this person. Please open your eyes and take an other look at this person.

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  • THE
    Nov 19, 2011 - 12:08AM

    Our Haqqani in Washington needs to be tried for treson!

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  • Mirza
    Nov 19, 2011 - 12:27AM

    One can only hope that the generals be tried for high treason when they were found in bed with OBL. HH tried his best to spin their support to terrorists for several years. Now is the time to tell the truth and go down fighting. The out of control forces must be brought under the lawful control of civilian govt. That is the first thing if we ever want to be successful against the terrorists. Zia created them and his followers are still in bed with these terrorists.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Nov 19, 2011 - 12:29AM

    Mr. Hussain Haqqani was a bone of contention for those who roast the goose in our media and not strangely, they belong to rightist lobby. This is totally a case of fabrication Surely thorough investigation must be conducted to unveil the curtain. He should not be made scape goat to please some.

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  • Majid
    Nov 19, 2011 - 12:35AM

    He will not come. Anyone bet with me?

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  • Chengez K
    Nov 19, 2011 - 1:02AM

    This CIA asset would not come back any time soon!!!

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  • Traitor
    Nov 19, 2011 - 1:20AM

    @Mirza: Although i consider your comment to be too naive, but still i will try to tell you something. Finding OBL in Pakistan does not prove any treason. No one tried to sell this country. But here you have a clear example of a try to sell this nation’s most prestigious and only working institution which has unprecedented number of sacrifices for this country and is still sacrificing more and more. But yes you will never understand….

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  • Zubaiha Akbar
    Nov 19, 2011 - 1:27AM

    The new moral standard is that if you lie and are involved in the web of corruption as @Sirat-ul-mustaqeem & @Aamir seem to indicate it is acceptable to find someone guilty before all the facts are presented?

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  • Brian
    Nov 19, 2011 - 1:32AM

    Sounds like “Memogate” confirms what most Americans already suspected: Pakistan is a state sponser of terrorism & knew where OBL was all along. Perhaps its citizens are oblivious to the fact that the peaceful Obama will be gone in 1 year, likely replaced by a radical right-wing hawk who will be looking for a new target to keep the US military-industrial complex rolling along. Good thing you guys have lots of caves to hide in, eh?

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  • ali
    Nov 19, 2011 - 1:46AM

    Ya he wont..all lies…SC plz invoke article 6..we have let too many people slip away.

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  • Jamshed
    Nov 19, 2011 - 2:18AM

    Why is appearing on Fox News all of the sudden a black mark on Mansoor Ijaz? Everybody’s favorite liberal Tarek Fateh does it all the time spewing anti-Muslim garbage and yet he’s used as an intellectual authority by the leftists.

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  • BigDude
    Nov 19, 2011 - 2:29AM

    He will not come to Pakistan. Not until Kayani and Pasha are in their respective seats. Period.

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  • THE
    Nov 19, 2011 - 2:35AM

    @Traitor: Don’t worry too much about MQM trolls like Tanzeel, they know everything cuz they get a special briefing from London everyday.

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  • rkfrom USA
    Nov 19, 2011 - 2:45AM

    @Aamir:
    hahaha pak army is not defamed??? what about the osama raid?…get a real education…they teach you crap in madrassa….

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  • grain2315
    Nov 19, 2011 - 2:54AM

    If the issue of the memo is correct than that in itself says why Pakistan should distance itself from america and specifically the US military for all the failings of the Indian system has this ever occurred in India??? perhaps in the time of the Raj BUT IN THIS DAY AND AGE, When Pakistan is a nuclear power and should have the confidence to stand up to any outside influence.. Pakistan does not have the will power or the right people at its helm. Get rid of Zardari Now….. get the mulahs in we want revolution…..need the PAKISTAN SPRING….

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  • Mohammad Ahmed Khan
    Nov 19, 2011 - 5:45AM

    apart from all this wrong doing, it again shed light on the fact that who is the real power player – its army or poor politicians. Very sad. I wonder ever we would be able to come out from army influence like Turkey, ever?

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  • SYED
    Nov 19, 2011 - 6:58AM

    May I point out to the correspondent who has written this story that she has a tendency to use double negatives ( para 7, 3rd line: Denied that he had NOT ), whereas only one negative ( denied) would have sufficed. Yesterday I also pointed out the same error. Please, for God’s sake improve your writing skills. This is an embarrassment for the paper.
    Regards,
    Syed

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  • SYED
    Nov 19, 2011 - 7:16AM

    When you read the memo it is obvious that somebody other than Ambassador Haqqani has written it. The memo has many grammatical errors, has strange sentence constructs and is non sequitur at many places. Ambassador Haqqani could have done better penmanship ,if he was the author of this strange memo. Besides being a good speaker and writer, he is a research guide for doctoral students. Anybody who authored this memo should be fired,if not for the conspiracy against the military,at least for bad writing.

    Third Citizen: Your name sir, truly
    Cinna: I am Cinna
    First citizen: Tear him, Tear him to pieces, he is a conspirator
    Cinna: I am Cinna the poet.,I am Cinna the poet
    Fourth citizen: Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses
    ( Shakespeare in Julius Ceaser)

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  • No Nonsense
    Nov 19, 2011 - 7:55AM

    One Haqqani is as good as another Haqqani. They are chips off the same block; one anti- the other pro-America. That is your Haqqani network.

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  • Usman
    Nov 19, 2011 - 10:05AM

    Mr. Haqqani has committed an act of high treason and should be tried in a military tribunal.

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  • Shahid Kureshi
    Nov 19, 2011 - 10:05AM

    Haqqani Sahib, your immediate reaction of offering resignation is the giveaway. A clean man does not do that. I seriously doubt if you will return to face an inquiry.Recommend

  • Mohammad Naeem
    Nov 19, 2011 - 11:19AM

    Welcome back to kill this whole storm of rumours. Hope this will expose the conspiracy to some extent and educate the masses
    @treason comments
    what caused you come to this extreme conclusion of high treason. It is still not proved that HH was involved in this memogate! Recommend

  • Sattar
    Nov 19, 2011 - 11:25AM

    get ready for yur back door banging…I am sure a few good horsemen will be riding yur back for sometime…

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  • zalim singh
    Nov 19, 2011 - 12:10PM

    a nice cell is waiting for u

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  • Salim Ashraf
    Nov 19, 2011 - 12:21PM

    Haqqani is nothing but a sacrificial goat. Would resign from him will satisfy the players??

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  • Nadeem
    Nov 19, 2011 - 12:30PM

    @Babloo: LOL!! Yes, talk of killing two birds with one stone.

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  • pervaiz memon
    Nov 19, 2011 - 12:42PM

    high treason , defaming Pak army , CIA asset , raw agent and seller of atomic asset these charges are not new .It is almost conciseness that mr. Bhutto was biggest nationalist after M.A. Jinnha but same charges were label for him and even jailer who was army man put off his lower after his death to check whether he was Hindu or Muslim .
    same charges label against Benazir Bhutto , charges against her that she will sell our nuclear asset and kasmir and fact is that she was die on street for Pakistan.

    Mr. nawaz was charge that he sell Kasmir to India .

    I am not advocate of mr haqqani but i know one thing that he can not able to sell pakistan .no civilian leader is even seen our our nuclear site how can they sell it . We all know army is institute and if some one is try remove their top brass they will react we have example of Mr.nawaz how can a weak zardari will able to do it.This is not a sign and even not a letter . mr. Mansoor compile this memo to keep haqqani view in mind and forward it . I guess mansoor have past sms record and phone record and try to black mail him on his past views .

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Nov 19, 2011 - 1:41PM

    “Have no involvement in the memo”…..what a mockery……

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  • Saif Ullah Ali
    Nov 19, 2011 - 6:01PM

    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?Hussain 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? 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.. Mullen has confirmed the memo. He had never denied it – simply said that he has no recollection and in light of all this hullabaloo he managed to trace it. But it gives rise to several questions? What is the prove that memo was sent by Hussain Haqqani? Why this memorandum was sent to Mullen? Who Mullen was? Another serious question that does this memorandum carry signatures or stamp of Hussain Haqqani or Pakistan Embassy? Was there any shortage of diplomatic staff that a minter like Mansorr Ijaz was hired for this purpose? Everything about this memorandum is fake and fabricated; it is a conspiracy to malign Hussain Haqqani and democratic Govt of Pakistan. Recommend

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