Gateway through Memogate: Gilani, Kayani forge ‘joint strategy’

Published: December 18, 2011
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Gilani says that conspiracies hatched against the democratic government were aimed at avoiding Senate elections. PHOTO: PPI/FILE

Gilani says that conspiracies hatched against the democratic government were aimed at avoiding Senate elections. PHOTO: PPI/FILE

ISLAMABAD: For very different reasons, the unlikely duo of Nawaz Sharif and General James Jones might have saved Pakistan from a civil-military stand-off.

It seems two factors played a decisive role in defusing a possible confrontation between the government and army, senior government officials told The Express Tribune. The new details have emerged following Friday’s three-hour meeting between Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

The first factor was a fear that conflict over the Memogate scandal would only have benefited the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. The second was the affidavit filed by former US national security adviser James Jones, who has questioned the credibility of the memo.

telephone conversation between President Asif Zardari and General Kayani added further proof that tensions were reduced, officials added.

It is believed that the civilian and military leaderships felt that more harm than good would be done to both sides as the Supreme Court probed Memogate, leaving Nawaz Sharif with the most to gain.

Sources also indicated that Gilani and Kayani discussed in detail plans to evolve a joint strategy before the nine-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, which is set to resume the Memogate case on Monday (today).

A source close to the president claimed that General Jones’ statement was also a defining moment. Indeed, the joint strategy source said, it was the affidavit which prompted Kayani to meet the PM and speak at such length. Jones’ submission before the court had weakened the army’s stance and reinforced the government’s uncompromising position on the memo controversy, the source insisted. “The storm in the teacup has subsided,” he added.

When approached, however, the army was tight-lipped over the meeting. Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Athar Abbas refused to comment.

Separately, PM Gilani on Sunday ruled out a military intervention over the memo controversy. “There is no room for martial law in Pakistan,” Gilani told reporters in Lahore, two days after he met the army chief. Gilani described the memo as a “non-issue” which was being blown up unnecessarily.

The PM added that all rumours about a threat to the democratic process must come to a rest after his “positive” meeting with General Kayani.

(Read: Dial M for Memo)

Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Saleem
    Dec 18, 2011 - 7:36PM

    If all those Blackberry message were true then that tantamount to treason. How can treason be non-issue?

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  • Imran
    Dec 18, 2011 - 9:58PM

    Its no treason. Every govt has a right to make deals with foreign governments. And choosing or changing security team is something every country’s prime minister n president can do. Ours have to beg USA to help them in changing security team. The promises like ending cooperation with taliban n catching the mumbai attackers n those who harbour OBL are very good things too.Recommend

  • Usman
    Dec 19, 2011 - 1:44AM

    Mr. PM, you and PPP were caught red handed making deals with a foreign govt against Pakistans security interests. No amount of favourable English print media coverage can change that. Treason cannot be a non issue

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  • Dec 19, 2011 - 1:46AM

    will he? or will he not? be forced to resign…that is the question everyone is asking in Pakistan.
    Judging by the early rallies of Imran khan and the others like the Muslim Leagues it is possible that the Army Generals are up to something.
    We should know before Xmas what the trend is going to be.
    Naek is an ideal stop gap President until another Election is announced.
    I would say that Pakistan is now going to move on to a new direction where Army would again become intolerant of the puppet politicians and may start closing down the free media channels considering the fact that the Juditiary has lost its face and the trust of People is at all time low..well until Justice Chaudhry acts wisely and quickly for the new awakning that odinary citizens want to emulate the Arab Spring.
    Regards and God Bless
    Viren Naik

    Recommend

  • Saleem
    Dec 19, 2011 - 1:54AM

    Today you are asking the US to save the government from army. Tomorrow you will ask the US to save the government from Judiciary. And then it will ask to save it from People of Pakistan. If this is government is chosen by the people of Pakistan, and not installed by any foreign power, then why would it go and ask a foreign government to help it against one of its institution?

    This government needs to learn to serve the people and not to stab them from the back. If it cannot serve them then it better quit rather than asking foreign government to prolong their stay. I am sure there are tons of people in Pakistan who will love to honestly serve the country. Rather than keep trying old faces, who by the way will leave Pakistan the day after they are out of power and go to their palace in Dubai or England, Chateau in France, or Penthouse in the USA, new faces must be tried.

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  • minhas
    Dec 19, 2011 - 3:28AM

    non issue.. i guess it is when u compare it to million failures of the this govt!

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  • Imran
    Dec 19, 2011 - 3:43AM

    @Usman:
    Too bad for the heart burns of all haters of the smaller provinces.
    Treason is what is defined by the foreign and domestic policy of the government and the state, not dictated by the always conspiring military, and the ISI.

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  • Imran
    Dec 19, 2011 - 3:47AM

    Memo gate was concocted by the same criminals who hatched the “Khawaja Sharif Murder Conspiracy”.

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  • Ahmad
    Dec 19, 2011 - 4:22AM

    @Saleem

    Even if those messages are proven to be true, what Hussain Haqqani did was not a crime, or even wrong. He can be fired for keeping his boss out of the loop (as they are portraying it) but doesn’t come close to treason. It’s treason if the army was constitutionally above parliament, which it isn’t. This case may be a lot of things, but treason is not one of them.

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  • s
    Dec 19, 2011 - 5:19AM

    it indeed is treason, making changes to securuty establishment to suit another coutnry is treason? Will US makes changes to CIA to suit Pakistan? Any changes that need to be made should come from parliment and must not compropise Pakistan’s security.

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  • Saleem
    Dec 19, 2011 - 6:38AM

    @Ahmad:

    If hatching a conspiracy against an institution of the country with foreign help is not treason then what treason is? How would you classify asking India to help a Pakistani government against one of its institution? I am sure you will agree to call that treason at least.

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  • Akhtar
    Dec 19, 2011 - 7:00AM

    When the country broke into 2, no one resigned. May2, kargil….. Not a general resigned, why fuss now

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  • Mirza
    Dec 19, 2011 - 7:31AM

    The lies of double agent and a shady, shifty and media hog person have been exposed by the decorated Gen Jones. In addition, the long meeting between the PM and Kayani and landing of President in Karachi have poured cold water on all the lies and hopes of rightwing haters of democracy. These same liars were gloating that President would never come back. HH would never come back to Pakistan to name a few.
    The affidavit of Gen Jones crated enough doubt in the story of Mansoor Ijaz (the only witness) for any fair trial to convict HH. The burden of proof is on MI and his supporters and not HH. Now the PCO SC is going to be embarrassed for acting in haste as a trial court on the basis of a single witness.

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  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Dec 19, 2011 - 7:43AM

    @viren naik

    I am a Pakistani and know hundreds of Pakistanis as my family, family friends, friends and friends of friends, nobody is asking this question if zardari will be forced to resign or not.

    The current governments will complete her 4 year tenure in Feb-2012, after senate elections in March the country will head towards new elections therefore there is no reason and possibility from any quarter of establishment to force zardari to resign.Recommend

  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Dec 19, 2011 - 7:50AM

    @Saleem

    As per article 6 of constitution all core commanders who supported and executed Nov-2007 Emergency of Mushrraf falls under the category of treason.

    What’s your recommendation on this Mr. Patriot!

    We put on trial a civilian elected leader Sheikh Mujeeb on treason what happened then!!??

    When we will learn Saleen! Is there any end of stupidity!??

    Recommend

  • Ashraf P
    Dec 19, 2011 - 8:30AM

    @Saleem: What about Pasha’s visit to the gulf states to topple a democratic government? That is treason too. Recommend

  • ahmad
    Dec 19, 2011 - 8:41AM

    Zardari won once again. General Jones’ statement was heavier than DG ISI claims of memo being true. Recommend

  • Babar
    Dec 19, 2011 - 9:03AM

    Even if the memo is true, how does this amounts to a treason?

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  • Ishaq
    Dec 19, 2011 - 10:29AM

    What stupidity is it!! Even if true memo is not treason. Other side is going to foreign govts regularly!!

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  • Falcon
    Dec 19, 2011 - 10:46AM

    Well…look at the bright side…a very risky confrontation of institutions has been averted. This just goes on to show that our democratic culture is finally maturing.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Dec 19, 2011 - 11:08AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.The situation has been more complicated between the federal government and the army and the federal government is camouflaging truths and realities from the nation and most especially importantly COAS and ISI’s chief have been declared memogate real and true and have related it to the country’s and nation’s security and protection but the federal government is still insisting on this that memogate is fake.If COAS and ISI’s chief in the future consider memogate fake then they prove themselves incredible and untrustworthy and army officers are not fond of it and both are most powerful,credible and trustworthy in the whole Pakistan Armed Forces and withdrawal from their given statement seems impossible.

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  • It's (still) the economy, stupid
    Dec 19, 2011 - 4:05PM

    It is clear that at the end of the day credibility of the person made the difference in the word of war between Mr. Manjoor Ijaz vs Gen. James Logan Jones. People believed Gen Jones as a credible person. Policymakers of Pakistan should learn a lesson that in the world community Pakistan’s standing is like that of Mr. Manjoor Ijaz, no one finds it credible even if a truth is being told. It is time leaders should issue only credible statements and policies should have some credibility with the pople of Pakistan and in the world.

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  • Ishrat Salim
    Dec 19, 2011 - 4:52PM

    Let the court summon Gen Jones & Mansoor Ijaz……why shud we conclude anything prematurely when the case is in the court….let the law take its own course….Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Dec 20, 2011 - 2:03AM

    Now we guess why Zardari went to Dubai, probably to get assurances from Arabs to testify if matters get worse. Hats off Zardari. He is a master politician, true to his claim in an earlier Jalsa.

    Anyhow, it has ended up well and that is what is more important.

    Only thing we have to watch now is who all shall be taking up pilgrimage to Mecca. Read earlier in the news that a PIA flight for Haj landed in Dubai by mistake.

    Lion of Lahore defeated by Sher of Sindh.

    Recommend

  • Dec 24, 2011 - 1:03PM

    @Naeem Siddiqui:
    Naeem now would you believe me or not ? I know exactly what is going to happen in the near future in Pakistan..read all my threads it is all on the Internet..Next six months are going to be very different or difficult in terms of material management for the whole world Euro or No Euro a lot of peoples egos are going to be busted like never before.we are working at that make no mistake in understanding this..

    Regards and God Bless

    Viren naik

    Recommend

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