Ambassador Husain Haqqani arrives home in memo row

Published: November 20, 2011
Haqqani has offered to resign over the row, but has denied any involvement with the document. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Haqqani has offered to resign over the row, but has denied any involvement with the document. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington returned to Islamabad Sunday to explain himself over claims that he wrote a letter seeking US help against the country’s powerful military.

Hussain Haqqani, a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, has played a key role in helping Pakistan’s civilian government navigate turbulent relations with Washington that nosedived over the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Local media reports implicated Haqqani in a memo allegedly sent from Zardari to Admiral Mike Mullen, then America’s top military officer, seeking to curtail Pakistan’s military shortly after it was humiliated by the bin Laden killing.

Zardari reportedly feared that the military might seize power in a bid to limit the hugely damaging fallout in Pakistan after Navy SEALs killed bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2.

The alleged memo, released last month by American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, said that a “new national security team” in Pakistan — with US support — could end ties between Pakistani intelligence and militants.

A senior government official told AFP that Haqqani “arrived early Sunday and is due to attend several meetings including a meeting with the President to explain the situation”.

Haqqani has offered to resign over the row, but has denied any involvement with the document.

Pakistan’s opposition leader Nawaz Sharif on Saturday demanded an independent commission to investigate the issue.


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Reader Comments (37)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Nov 20, 2011 - 12:48PM

    Welcome back home.

    I hope that you will be able to remove the clout.

    Don’t care whether you remain as an Ambassador or not. What is more important that conscious should remain clear.


  • Mirza
    Nov 20, 2011 - 12:49PM

    When the discovery of OBL in a military base was not a threat to any general how can a piece of paper be a threat to them? Is Pakistan army and the country so weak despite most public resources? HH has proved his opponents wrong by showing that he is an educated brave man and not a general like Mush to run away.


  • waqas
    Nov 20, 2011 - 1:40PM

    wat evr it may be we all want to know the reality vch should be brought n frnt of nation


  • aamir aziz
    Nov 20, 2011 - 2:07PM

    this memo case must be taken to supreme court and Haqqani must be punished if he is involved


  • Bhatti
    Nov 20, 2011 - 2:40PM

    And the bashing starts..


  • MA
    Nov 20, 2011 - 2:46PM

    Even if the letter WAS written by Haqqani, UNDER instructions from Zardari, the military leadership wouldn’t dare any adventures, the public would crucify them!


  • hedgefunder
    Nov 20, 2011 - 2:56PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    At least the man has honour, to offer his resignation, which is lot more can be said of any politician in Pakistan !!!
    The fact of the matter is that Its in the interest of Pakistan to keep him in Washington, as he does have network and contacts, which are important for Pakistan’s stability and survival, any changes here will make the task far more difficult for Pakistan, as they really are not flavour of the year with lawmakers in Washington since the Abbottabad affair !!!Recommend

  • Khalid Javed
    Nov 20, 2011 - 4:23PM

    Haqqani categorically denies his involvement. It seems he is another Rehman Malik without any Dr. Mirza staring him in the face!!!!


  • zalim singh
    Nov 20, 2011 - 4:25PM

    this guy did not do anything wrong


  • Shayan
    Nov 20, 2011 - 4:25PM

    Who cares about Haqqani. He was doing the job the President of Pakistan had ordered him to do.


  • Ahmad
    Nov 20, 2011 - 4:53PM

    He can deny this many times

    but Masoor Ijaz has already provided the Blackberry conversion to Pakistan government


    Nov 20, 2011 - 5:01PM

    While there is NO doubt that this gov is corrupt why HH has been made a “bakra” by PPP against GHQ to undermine civilian supremacy?

    Yes HH should be questioned and matters be cleared but we never saw GHQ showing same “activeness” in investigating its own scandals and faults. Recommend

  • Ammar
    Nov 20, 2011 - 5:35PM

    His offer to resign indicates a guilty conscience..


  • Adeel759
    Nov 20, 2011 - 6:15PM

    Well, America has been urging PakMil to go after Haqqanis, finally they went after one. But the wrong one.Recommend

  • Not me
    Nov 20, 2011 - 6:19PM

    Give him a Polygram test (lie detection test).

    Refer the matter to Supreme Court and try all responsible for treason


  • Rational Mind
    Nov 20, 2011 - 6:27PM

    He is a traitor and should be dealt with accordingly


  • Khalid Javed
    Nov 20, 2011 - 6:33PM

    1:.Even after reading the contents of the memo written, it is nothing but naivety to presume that the contacts & network which he enjoys in US can lead to stability & survival of Pakistan. The guy’s role in OBL saga was also quite dubious.
    2: His staying in US is in US’ interests and not that of Pakistan.
    3.He should be charged with treason alongwith his accomplices. .


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Nov 20, 2011 - 6:35PM

    Slap on face of those who said that he would not return.


  • agthagola
    Nov 20, 2011 - 7:02PM

    I have been listening to Haqqanis explanations and with my experience dealing with liars, I can say one thing. HH is lying. Habitual liars can lie with flat face. This issue need to be investigated and the culprits need to be punished since people keep getting away with these things in PK.

    BTW Haqqani has been saying that Manssor Ejaz is anti-Pakistan, Anti Army and Anti ISI. That appear to be true but then question arises why Haqqani was texting and emailing and calling this antipakistan man on daily basis?

    I beleive Haqqani need to save his neck and tell the truth. I think he is trying to be more loyal to Zardari. Haqqani need to rememeber what happend to “Libi the Scooter” who lied for Chenney.

    Haqqani is a corroupt man as many other elite from PK are but he can speak the truth and can do at least one favor to Pakistan before he will be out of Media sight in future.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Nov 20, 2011 - 8:10PM

    I don’t understand. Even if all this is true, doesn’t the president have the authority to dismiss the CoAS?


  • Raj - USA
    Nov 20, 2011 - 8:25PM

    @aamir aziz:
    What would you say, if it is proved that contents of the memo are correct and that the Army was sheltering OBL. Should they be punished also? What is important. Is it the truth in the memo or is it that the memo was written?


  • Me2
    Nov 20, 2011 - 8:39PM

    This will last only until the media gets the next big story. People have a short memory. Now I know this won’t get published!


  • Adeel759
    Nov 20, 2011 - 8:54PM

    I dontt know whats the problem, even if its true all he is asking Americans is to make sure there is no coup and establish the civilian supremacy. That’s what all of us pro democratic forces want.


  • Chanakya
    Nov 20, 2011 - 9:09PM

    Me 2,

    Well said. I totally agree with you. Remind thes paper journalists and tv anchors to jog their memories and remember atleast one per year the big scoops from 2008 onwards.Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Nov 20, 2011 - 9:16PM

    Red Warrant of Musharaf will be swaped with Haqqani’s neck and top four, two from each side will get one more year’s extention.


  • Raj - USA
    Nov 20, 2011 - 9:42PM

    A lot is being talked about “Traitor”. Who is a Traitor? Obviously, a Traitor is the opposite of Patriot. Now, who is a Patriot? Is he the one who protects the territorial boundaries of a country or is he the one who protects the well being of the people of the country and bring pace and prosperity to the citizens of the country.? All armies claim or believe in protecting the territorial boundaries of the country. But some end up as rogue armies and hated by its own people and identified as terrorists, such as, in Egypt, Libya, etc. because they were protecting only the territory. We also have the example of North and South Korea. One is prosperous and the other is just the opposite.

  • hedgefunder
    Nov 20, 2011 - 9:49PM

    The answer to your question is plain simple NO!!!
    This is Pakistan we are talking about, not any Democratic Nation ! In normal democracy the elected legistative has right to demand answers and authority to fire COAS, but in Pakistan, it is the COAS that pulls all the strings on the elected body which simply are puppets.
    Sadly this is Democracy Pakistan Style !!


  • Dr.Tanwir Ahmad
    Nov 20, 2011 - 10:09PM

    THE WAY THE ESTABLISHMENT and its proponents are behaving proves the fears expressed in the memos are very real.


    Nov 20, 2011 - 10:27PM

    This is the appropriate time for the civilian govt and the opposition to take the bull by its horns and lay a strong foundation so that no toppling takes place in future.


  • Mohammad Ahmed Khan
    Nov 20, 2011 - 10:36PM

    HH should not slam down just based on the wish of army as they are after him since the day first.


  • ksri
    Nov 20, 2011 - 11:42PM

    Sure, COAS can be fired. You know what happened when a COAS was fired last time.


  • hedgefunder
    Nov 21, 2011 - 12:04AM

    How can we forget!!! Get ready for the 2011 version of the same game again !!


  • Mirza
    Nov 21, 2011 - 12:29AM

    @Usman: What makes you think that the readers of ET can only read Urdu and not English?


  • Myra
    Nov 21, 2011 - 2:07AM

    Congrats ET u have the highest number of army and ISI haters as ur bloggers :)… I never came across such ferocity against any army or or intelligence agency in any other international news paper.. But at ET army bashing is a must…. Be it ur bloggers or certain writers… Regards..


  • Boohiss
    Nov 21, 2011 - 3:38AM

    Shame Shame . . . .Too much greed has led these humans to Treason and selling off their country and oppressing their people in the name of democracy. . . . another sad day in the oppressed history of Pakistan under the fasade and deception of democracy. No one should wonder why Pakistani citizens are just content and feel safe under military rule . . . .One has to understand, that, it is because they have been stung many many times by the corrupt civillian government calling itself the high and mighty democracy in a country where voter turn out is very weak and small due to security issues. So, it is not the rule by the people, of the people or for the people, or not even democracy in the true sense.
    The corrupt leaders advocating the sale of the country’s sovereignty should be labelled as traitors for their treasonous acts!


  • ksri
    Nov 21, 2011 - 9:44AM

    No one will criticize the military if it uses all its resources on protecting the country against foreign/domestic enemies. But the moment it steps into running the country/companies then naturally its policies will be under the scanner and it cannot escape criticism.


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