Haqqani changed BlackBerry handsets thrice to cover tracks: Mansoor Ijaz

Published: December 3, 2011
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A written statement issued by Ijaz quoted him as saying that the apex court’s decision demonstrated that democracy was indeed alive and well in Pakistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

A written statement issued by Ijaz quoted him as saying that the apex court’s decision demonstrated that democracy was indeed alive and well in Pakistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Writing for the popular American magazine, Newsweek (over his much preferred Fincancial Times) Mansoor Ijaz has claimed that Husain Haqqani had changed his BlackBerry handset and pin code three times since May to cover up his  involvement in the Memogate scandal.

Ijaz claimed that ever since he published his first article, an Op-ed in the Financial Times on October 10, Haqqani had messaged and called Ijaz to ask whether the Pakistani-American businessman knew any other diplomat in Islamabad – referring to the suggestion made by Ijaz in the article with regards to the identity of the memo’s originator, the root source of which being President Asif Ali Zardari.

The interlocutor added that this message was from the third phone that Haqqani had contacted him following delivery of the memo. Ijaz said that this may have been an attempt by Haqqani to “scrub” his blackberry records clean. Ijaz further alleged that Haqqani may have sought help from his friends in the US intelligence community for this.

“Maybe he hoped that changing PINs would erase his damning conversations from my handset,” Ijaz wrote, “Unfortunately for him, they remain preserved—now in a bank vault—in exactly their original form on my original device as he and I exchanged them.”

Ijaz believed that Haqqani not only had the conversations conducted with Ijaz to hide, but from other contacts as well.

He claims that he has long acted as a back channel conduit for Pakistan in the past, mostly with India regarding the Kashmir issue and nuclear proliferation. “Haqqani approached me on May 9”, Ijaz writes in the article, adding “The message’s content and structure were entirely conceived by him and dictated to me in broad form during our initial 16-minute telephone call, with further refinements during the day by telephone, text, and BlackBerry.”

Mansoor Ijaz claims to be the one who transferred a memo from Haqqani meant for Admiral Mike Mullen. The message asked US to pressure Pakistani armed forces against a coup, along with promising to place a new ‘compliant’ national security team, allow boots on the ground and better system to secure nuclear weapons.

Husain Haqqani has denied that he ever drafted or instructed any one to draft a memo on his behalf. Haqqani, though, has since resigned from his post as Pakistani ambassador to the US and a commission has been formed by the Supreme Court to investigate the matter.

Did Haqqani and Zardari plan the memo in anticipation of a history changing event?

In perhaps the most damning claim that Ijaz makes, he suggests that Zardari and Haqqani not only knew of the Osama Bin Laden raid in advance, but had given CIA the green light for it. Haqqani even orchestrated a trip to London to synchronise with the raid to have the element of plausible deniability.

“Zardari and Haqqani both knew the US was going to launch a stealth mission to eliminate bin Laden that would violate Pakistan’s sovereignty,” Ijaz presumes, “They may have even given advance consent after CIA operations on the ground in Pakistan pinpointed the Saudi fugitive’s location.”

The reason that Zardari and Haqqani may have hatched the plan, including the memo, Ijaz ‘analyses’, may have been a way wherein Zardari would have been able to get mass public support behind him to remove the powerful generals in Kayani and Pasha, subvert the army to civilian rule. Meanwhile, the Americans would have gotten bin Laden, the most coveted prize in a long fruitless war.

“They planned to use the Pakistani public’s hue and cry to force the resignations of Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and intelligence chief Gen. Shuja Pasha,” Ijaz argues.

Haqqani denies Ijaz’s latest allegations

In a letter written by Husain Haqqani to Tina Brown, the editor of The Daily Beast website and Newseek magazine, the former ambassador rebutted allegations made in Ijaz’s analysis appearing on Saturday, that he did not discuss any “hare brained scheme against the Pakistani military”.

Haqqani wrote “In the strongest terms possible, I categorically reject as reckless, baseless and false the allegations levied against me by Mr Mansoor Ijaz about prior knowledge of US plans for a raid in Abbottabad in violation of Pakistani sovereignty to eliminate Osama bin Laden as well as his earlier charges about my role in a memo he wrote and sent to the US Chairman Joint Chiefs.”

Pakistan’s former ambassador to US continued, explaining his presence in London on May 1, “I was in Washington DC until the evening of May 1 ET when I boarded a flight for London on way to Dubai and Islamabad.” Haqqani added that upon hearing of the raid, he returned to Washington from Heathrow the following after noon without entering UK.

Haqqani further explained his repeat visit to London as “My visit to London on May 9-10 to meet with senior British officials was to discuss reconciliation in Afghanistan and discuss Pakistan-UK and US-Pakistan relations in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid.”

Haqqani, who is now facing an inquiry set up by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, threatened that unless Newsweek retracted Ijaz’s article, he would initiate legal action against the magazine.

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Reader Comments (54)

  • Shahid Malik
    Dec 3, 2011 - 11:07PM

    There is no doubt, Mansoor Ijaz is an enemy of Pakistan. It is unfortunate that we are attaching so much importance to what he says. It is an American trap. Because Pakistan is toughening its stand against America, America is going to use him more and more in the coming days. We must be very careful.
    Unfortunately there are certain elements in our country who are treating this matter as a golden opportunity to be exploited. Such elements include politicians, media and last, but not least, judiciary.
    The speed and the manner in which Nawaz Sharif’s petition has been taken up is ample proof of judiciary’s mindset. The Supreme Court does not even need to issue Notices to Respondents and the Petitioners can get instant reliefs much beyond what they asked for.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Dec 3, 2011 - 11:12PM

    Mansoor Ijaz:

    The entire world know your real face what have you been doing to malign Ambassador Hussain Haqqani, President Zardari, Pakistan Army and ISI.

    You will be testified in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and you will speak the truth as whose hidden hands were behind you in concocting the Memo gate story.
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  • Bilal
    Dec 3, 2011 - 11:25PM

    Haqqani can say the same, that Mansoor Ijaz changed the data of black berry to prove Haqqani guilty.
    Not only data in phone but keeping Mansoor Ijaz contacts in mind, its easy to have fake data transfer done at the service provider end to prove Haqqani wrong.

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  • sadia
    Dec 3, 2011 - 11:31PM

    Must say Mr. Ijaz’s claims make a lot of sense.
    More so than haqqani’s.

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  • Moulvi Nawaz Shareef
    Dec 3, 2011 - 11:36PM

    Blockquote

    Blockquote> Haqqani, who is now facing an inquiry set up by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, threatened that unless Newsweek retracted Ijaz’s article, he would initiate legal action against the magazine.Blockquote

    Blockquote
    Like he initiated the legal action against FT!!! Recommend

  • Karl Marx
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:18AM

    This is definitely a massive plot. Mansoor Ijaz was a regular commentator on FOX and takes special pleasure in bad mouthing Pakistan and specially its armed forces. It behoves me that he was so forthcoming in helping Haqqani and now is going out of the way to tell everyone what he did. Why would you on one hand try to help and then on the other stab the person in the back. When Mansoor Ijaz was asked about this he gave some mundane reason that he was angry because of the way the Pakistani media “mistreated” Adm. Mullen. So why not take on the Pakistani media rather than coming after the very person he just helped.

    We will not be fooled Mansoor Ijaz!!!! It is a shame that PML-N, the Judiciary and the establishment have fallen for the trap.

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  • Salman
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:29AM

    Hussain Haqqani has caught off guard and that arrogant person got exposed badly.

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  • Sabrina Khan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:35AM

    though I know that Mansoor Ijaz is a notorious character, but looking at his claims, the evidence he presents, the dateline of events in May, the overall situation in Pakistan and the relations between Hussain Haqqani and Zardari it is not very difficult to see that Mansoor Ejaz’s claims look much more credible than those of Hussain Haqqani. In simple words, Mansoor sounds truthful and Haqqani a liar..

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  • Mir
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:45AM

    Memogate is deepening the trust deficit between Army and Government and Judiciary is playing a role of catalyst.

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  • majidkhanr
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:51AM

    hmmmmm
    cool, really cool.
    I would say, mansoor ijaz wrote this article and he knew, news week and him could be sued on this article,and zardari and co did not sue him on the article written in financial times, because he said he has irrefutable proof, so in my own opinion he didn’t write it unless he had proof of, what is saying. most probably he is right. especially when you see the timing of abottabad operation and zardaris article in Washington post. these political leader ship of Pakistan wants to completely sell it.

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 12:54AM

    just to let commenting people know that Blackberry BBM / PIN messages can’t be altered in anyway. The only way to intercept / read such secret conversation via 3rd party is through a very high level (Govt. Level) request to RIM (Research In Motion, Canada) the manufacturer of Blackberry Devices. That’s why Blackberry is considered as the most secure device for Business & Govt. Agencies.

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  • Ashah
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:08AM

    Why do people forget general Pasha of ISI was in washington DC just a cpl of days before the raid in Abbottabad. ? also why was the top general Pasha doing in London talking to mansoor Ejaz unless he was briefing him on what mansoor Ejaz needs to do next.
    This whole mess is their own creation just to get rid of the PPP government but than comes what if the present lot is as bad as the next lot that ISI is preparing in form of Imran Khan best let elections take place and let the people flush out all this garbage and it is about time the army generals should also be held accountable for their deeds and actions.

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  • Imran Malik
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:33AM

    Facts are stubborn things. What so ever be our inclinations or passion of our drives, it can’t change the state of the facts. They government has reacted on this commission by court, it seems that there must be something wrong. We all should wait to get inside out. By that time lets put both on zero point and I believe the reactions will surely define the guilty one.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:40AM

    Who makes more sense depends upon whose side you are on. Sometimes I support Mian Sahib, but regarding this matter, he is wrong. The basic question Mian Sahib should ask is, when ISI is under Prime Minister, why did General Pasha reported this matter to General Kayyani instead of Prime Minister? Isn’t it against the law? He wants answer to this question, sensing dangers in asking this question, Mr. Khosa has already refused to investigate. This matter still has some entertainment value, otherwise its dead.

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  • Syed Kashmiri
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:16AM

    Cicumstential evidence suggests that the memo originated from Zardari and dictated by Haqqani to ijaz.Aside from that I have a question. Is there any other way short of a coup to impeach and remove the Pakistani President and his government? Let us say that Zardari is found complicit in this sordid affair. can he be jailed ? What are the mechanics of an impeachment in pakistan. Anybody ?

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  • Jadugar
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:23AM

    The More I hear about this guy the more I distrust him, To me it sounds like he was the main tool in setting up a trap for Hussain Haqqani, HH served his nation what has MI done for Pakistan Like I said earlier he wants to set up foot prints in Pakistan Politics, just be careful not to sink in it while trying.

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  • Adnan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:28AM

    @Shahid Malik:
    This man is indeed an enemy of Pakistan and probably a CIA agent. What is disappointing is how Haqqani got involved with him in the first place- did he not know what sort of man he was?

    The question that needs to be asked is ‘why is he doing this’? Why these great ‘revelations’ at this time? And why is he so keen to discredit Haqqani, Zardari and others? There is obviously a larger conspiracy at work here and a master plan- probably to sow discord between the civilian adminsitration and the army and, in doing so, destabilise Pakistan. All said and done, Haqqani was regarded as an effective ambassador so by engineering his removal, Ijaz has managed to also weaken the advocacy of Pakistan’s case in the US.

    And what do we get in Haqqani’s place? Sherry Rehman, a light-weight with no political or diplomatic skills to speak of! Another member of the Birkin handbag brigade the leading light of which is that other great luminary Hina Rabbani Khar!

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  • Umair Ali Rashid
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:33AM

    An insignificant issue brought forward by a man with dubious credentials. I really don’t see the point of all this. What does Mr. Ijaz has to gain from all this? In any event, he will be tried for conspiracy to commit treason. Why is the media giving this issue so much importance when the original recipients of the document simply disregarded it as a prank? Does this mean that any average joe from the street can write up a document on word, deliver it to the US Department of Defence and topple an elected Government of a Sovereign nation? This is simply ridiculous!

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  • Javed
    Dec 4, 2011 - 2:42AM

    @Karl Marx:
    “We will not be fooled Mansoor Ijaz!!!! It is a shame that PML-N, the Judiciary and the establishment have fallen for the trap.”

    They have not fallen for the trap. This has been a God sent opportunity for them to derail the Govt.

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  • Anjum
    Dec 4, 2011 - 5:09AM

    Mr. Ijaz, never heard of this guy, have to provide credible evidence instead all this acquisations. And then in a forreign magazine? It surely looks like an engineered job …

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  • Khadim Husain
    Dec 4, 2011 - 5:44AM

    Haqqani is not trust worthy guy, he is involved in certain matters that are not part of his job but relate to NRO. Now when Mansoor Ijaz has chalked out their secret agenda’s, so, he is blamed for every matter. If he was so bad then why Govt. of Pakistan was utilising his back channel services. Not only Haqqani but many others have same views about Pakistan army and snivellers Haqqani is talking about graves in army grave yard.
    Mansoor Ijaz and Haqqani have same mentality that is reflecting in memo, god knows how many such ventures had previously carried out by both.Recommend

  • Danish Kamal
    Dec 4, 2011 - 5:46AM

    The frequency of THREE’s matched on this issue and this is the sole importance of the issue:

    GHQ
    Supreme Court
    PML-N
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  • Imran
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:08AM

    Who were the partners in crime from his main constituency in the dying days of Musharraf. The people whom he entrusted the most, and whom he elevated to the top. The same people were helping him with dirty dealings then, and the same people are planting Mansoor Ijaz now.

    Message for the future civilians: Never give extension to any one! The longer they stay, the more corrupt they get. Better get fresh blood every 3 years!

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 6:25AM

    Only in Pakistan a spy is called diplomat.
    Only in Pakistan a spy is called aid worker.
    And now CIA agent is called Pakistani-American businessman.

    It will be good to have basic courses in nomenclature unless they are trying to spin words and manufacture consent.

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  • Imran
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:41AM

    And the flip flop continues!

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  • Sajjad Ashraf
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:42AM

    I ask just one question:

    Why did Haqqani have to come back to London on May 9? His answer – to discuss Pakistan-US relations is not plausible when Pakistan has one its overseas missions in London.

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  • F Khan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 8:16AM

    I am not able to understand that how can this one man na puri pakistani hukumat, media,judiciary,awam ko tikni ka naach nacha hua ha.

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  • narayana murthy
    Dec 4, 2011 - 8:40AM

    Since Blackberry is banned in Pakistan, can that be admitted as evidence in a court?

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  • Attif
    Dec 4, 2011 - 9:01AM

    PPP vs AL-Qiada,looks to be real game this time, no more a retoric in western media against fundamentalist to win USA favors.

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  • sadia
    Dec 4, 2011 - 9:12AM

    if we read the article on dailybeast (where it was published) it makes a lot of sense.

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  • Syed
    Dec 4, 2011 - 9:35AM

    @Bilal: Just to so that you understand, the conversation between BBM is encrypted let alone you talk about manipulation of data from one device to another. Not sure which world you are living in. If it was that easy, INDIA or UAE would not have asked the makers of BlackBerry (Research In Motion) to provide them with the monitoriing facility for BBM.
    Also, are you implying that US carrrier have teamed up with Pakistani Military and faking the conversation through hacking into encrypted messages? Your logic is quite Amazing!

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  • Muhammad Ishaq
    Dec 4, 2011 - 9:46AM

    Mansoor Ejaz is making lies. But on who’s behest? GHQ or USA?

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 9:56AM

    The Present Government must resign due to the following serious issues:
    1-Corruption in all departments.
    2-High Inflamation.
    3-Bad Law and Order situation in the Country.
    4-Memo Gate Issue.
    5-Abbottabad Incident.
    6-Mehran Base Incident.
    7-Mehmoud Agency Incident which killed 24 Pak Army Personel.

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  • FAZ
    Dec 4, 2011 - 9:58AM

    CIA has a lot of plans prepared against Pakistan in case we “deviate” from the “path”. If you look closely our politicians desire to rule for infinite period is the main cause of every notorious plot CIA plans against us!
    Its like we provide the breeding ground for every such thing. Read the memo and it seems clearly that Mr. Zardari wanted to save his own * rather than the country’s image and intersets!

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  • Mirza
    Dec 4, 2011 - 10:04AM

    The PPP and HH opponents are asking them to sue the FT and Newsweek, great idea! Why would ISI and Pakistan govt not sue Mansoor Ijaz when he was demanding to ban the ISI as terrorist organization? He must be right because not only the ISI remained quiet (not denied) but Gen Pasha dashed to London to meet the shady man who is a foreigner and has nothing to do with Pakistan except hate. How can he be a star of the army/ISI/PML-N and Sharif? One of the crimes of HH that MI said that he wanted “subvert the army to civilian rule.” What a great idea to bring the paid govt servants in control of Pakistani people and not remain out of control. The real problem of Pakistan is that country is serving the army not the other way around like most countries who’s armies actually win wars.

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 10:37AM

    Mansoor Ijaz appears to be friends with lot of people, certainly with ISI and Pakistan military. Haqqani was surely friends with Zardari, Indian and US diplomats and they liked him very much. He may have been arrogant but he knew his way. I am not sure about Mansoor but I can say that there appears to be an iota of truth in what he says. If it is proven that Zardari knew about Osama raid beforehand, all hell will break. But I am not convinced that MI and Gen. Kiyani did not know about the attacks and Zardari and Haqqani knew about them. It looks and sounds ridiculous to me, especially because Pakistan Army completely cordoned Osama’s home before the strike. So, Pakistan Army personal would not have cordoned the area without the explicit permission of General Kiyani or some 3-star General at a place which is just a stone’s throw away from premier Army training and education site.

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 10:47AM

    Haqqani going to England on the precise time of OBL raid reminds of a “familiar scene of Indo-Pak movies”, in which the “DON” always proves his innocence in the court by saying, “Look I was with this and that friends on the day this CRIME happened – hundreds or thousands of Kilometers away… and here are my WITNESSES“…. Period

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Dec 4, 2011 - 11:04AM

    It is a top class sting operation. Nothing less nothing more. Just as FBI first identifies potential Al Qaeda sympathetic (Not active participants in terror activities) among muslim immigrants, presents actionable plots and as soon as they concur in principle, nab them on
    terrorism charges and claim exposure of a terrorist plot.

    Coming back to Zardari and Haqqani, even a child knows their views on Army / ISI based on formers attempt to put ISI under Rehman Malik and laters public views and articles and granting hundreds of speedy visas to dubious CIA chracters. Whosoever originated or suggested the MEMO did not require much of a convincing for both Zardari and Haqqani to fall for it hook, line and sinker. Case closed.

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  • Shafiq Nasery
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:01PM

    So why is everyone here declining that Pakistani top officials and diplomats knew about the May incidents? why to be in denial when your sure about the policies of your country. accept the facts that Pakistan is a puppet who’s strings are getting lose.

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  • saleem
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:34PM

    Every one is trying to defend Haqqani and Govt on the argument that Ejaz is not credible. The issue is not who Ejaz is and what is his credibility. The issue is what he says and writes is true or false. The comminication detail given by Ejaz is verdfyable and cannot be altered. So it is necessary to have probe. The record can be checked. Ppl are maligning SC just because they have initiated probe. If Haqqani and Govt is innocent,the probe commision will absolve them from charges. It is beyong any logic as to plead that there should be no probe and the probe ordered is malafide. If Haqqani thinks Ejaz is lying he should sue him.

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 12:37PM

    the man speaks with a logic

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 12:40PM

    http://707monty.blogspot.com/2011/12/israel-will-not-attack-at-iran-until.html
    Israel will not attack at Iran until Pakistan’s Nuclear facilities are destroyed by the United states

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  • Dec 4, 2011 - 12:51PM

    http://707monty.blogspot.com/2011/12/israel-will-not-attack-at-iran-until.html
    Israel will not attack at Iran until Pakistan’s Nuclear facilities are destroyed by the USA….

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  • drsafi
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:59PM

    Thats sounds loud! if nothing was black around then why mr Haqani resigned?

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  • saleem
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:42PM

    Mr. Shahid Malik;
    We do not need any other enemy in the presence of present govt of looters and plunderer. We are self sufficient in our enemies avaiable on soil of Pakistan.

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  • Parvez
    Dec 4, 2011 - 1:45PM

    Astonishing that upto now no one has written a blog on the similarities between Mansoor Ijaz and Veena Malik.

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  • Donia
    Dec 4, 2011 - 3:37PM

    @Shahid Malik:
    This is the mind set of Pakistani People denial. The same thing happen when three players of Pakistan Team was involved redhanded in spot fixing which was later proved in the court. Same things are happening now in the case of Mr Haqani.You people forgot about his involvement in leaking information to US officials while he was ambassder in sri Lanka. Be mature before criticing your own institutions.

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Dec 4, 2011 - 6:51PM

    What is Black Berry? He tried to change the map of Pakistan together with his mentor.They must be punished.

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  • Dec 5, 2011 - 1:54AM

    Hussain Haqani’s interaction with Mansoor Ijaz, appear to be factual and based on a workable arrangement which faltered and the latter, having been taken for a ride by the over-clever HH-AZ duo, is on the vengeance drive. No friend of any and money being his god, it was too much for him to bear. Watch out for an under the carpet deal and MI quietly relapsing into disinterest!!

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  • Dec 5, 2011 - 2:12AM

    MI, HH and our venerable Ali Baba and his band of thieves, are indefensible. The matter of Memogate, however, is truly mundane. Mansoor Ijaz must be paid the wages of his labor and Ali Baba’s had it put off at his own peril.

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  • Soho
    Dec 5, 2011 - 8:10AM

    Anyone who questions or challenges Pakistan’s malfeasance officials are enemy of Pakistan? In fact it is the duty of every citizen to hold these officials accountable for their deeds. And they are doing Pakistan a favor!
    Can’t you guys get it? Almost third generation that has let us n Pakistan down. can you imagine if more guys like mansoor were in Pakistan, we would be a much more transparent and hence, progressive nation!
    So, think before you criticize people who in turn are questioning our corrupt politicians and establishment officials.
    And don’t tell me all our army personal are pious n holy!!!

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  • A. Khan
    Dec 5, 2011 - 8:52PM

    @Dr Muhammad Sarfraz Abbasi:

    Your point no. 2. Being I presume a medical doctor, you have mistaken Inflamation for Inflation.

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  • samm
    Dec 10, 2011 - 6:36PM

    dds

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  • Changaiz
    Dec 15, 2011 - 6:45AM

    Whats ironic about the whole situation is that there are ppl defendin Haqani because even if Haqani was not the author of the memo why was he involved with a man like Mansoor Ijaz so please at least stop defending him as we all agree Mansoor Ijaz is no friend of Pakistan but that makes it even worse for Haqani to get into a situation like this. Regarding that this is a conspiracy please why would US want Zardari gone or even Haqani
    please tell me WHY WHY would they want that as the duo is getting everything done for themRecommend

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