By Sajjad Shaukat
On December 15, last year, in his reply to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the memogate case, the Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani stated that the memo was a reality, and a conspiracy was being hatched against the army and national security. Ex-Chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha also submitted his reply, stating that Mansoor Ijaz would not have been able to write the article in Financial Times without having evidence about the memo.
Now, reality behind memogate case has been proved. On June 12, this year, the memo judicial commission’s report submitted in the Supreme Court, found out the truth about seeking American intervention to pre-empt a military coup after the May 2-kill Osama raid. The report established that the memorandum was authentic and Pakistan’s former ambassador to United States, Husain Haqqani was its originator and architect. It elaborated, “Mr Haqqani by offering his services as part of a proposed national security team to a foreign government—thus seeking to bring Pakistan’s nuclear assets under a more verifiable, transparent regime”, stating that ISI maintains “relations to the Taliban”, and offering to “eliminate Section S of the ISI and to help pigeonhole the forces lined up against your interests’ and were acts of disloyalty to Pakistan.” Mr Haqqani sought American help, making himself indispensable to the Americans—he lost sight of the fact that he is a Pakistani citizen, and therefore his loyalty could only be to Pakistan.”
The commission’s finding further said that the purpose of the memorandum was to show that the civilian government was a friend of America, but needed to be strengthened to prevail upon the army and the intelligence agencies, and American help was required to set up a civilian national security team, to be headed by Haqqani.
Pakistani-American businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, whose claims stirred the memogate controversy, pointed out that the Supreme Court’s unveiling of the judicial commission’s report, had brought forth the “truth he had been speaking from the day the case started.”
However, Husain Haqqani called the Memo Gate Commission report as one-sided, political, and not legal, while Asma Jahangir counsil to the former Pakistan ambassador to US Haqqani termed the report as biased, questioning the commission’s jurisdiction and that under what law could a commission declare anyone a traitor.
It is notable that when Gen. Kayani and and ISI former DG had exposed the truth about the memo, unfolding new revelations against the integrity of the country, some of Pakistan’s political leaders, media anchors and so-called human rights groups which always need an issue for manipulation had ignored the real connections of the issue. They had left no stone unturned in maligning Pak Army and country’s superior agency, making the memogate case a controversial scandal.
In this regard, on December 22, 2012, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, while hinting towards army and ISI, presumed that conspiracies were being hatched to topple the democratically elected government, and state within state would not be tolerated.
On December 19, last year, both Prime Minister Gilani and Opposition Leader of the P M L (N) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had stated that neither any undemocratic setup nor martial law would be accepted in the country. Chaudhry Nisar and ANP parliamentarian Bushra Gohar demanded for resignation of the ex-ISI chief over his alleged plot to oust the PPP government.
In this backdrop, on December 23, while dispelling the speculations of any military takeover, Gen. Kayani made it clear that these were being used to divert the focus from the real issues. He explained, “The Pakistan Army will continue to support democratic process in the country.” He further emphasised that the issues of “national security could be no compromised.”
However, all the rumours about military coup spread by some leaders and media proved untrue. Now after the release of memo commission’s report, PML (N) MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif remarked that Haqqani should be tried on charges of treason and be made a lesson for others in the future. He disclosed that Husain Haqqani “was on the payroll of the US…was being paid $2 billion for carrying out these gross activities against Pakistan’s interest.”
The Chairman of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, and leaders of other political parties including those of civil societies have also appreciated the report of the Memo Gage Commission.
Nevertheless, Gen. Kayani and Lt. Gen. Pasha appeared before the memo judicial commission in relation to the memo. Mansoor Ijaz also submitted his reply in the Supreme Court, claiming that he sent the draft of the memo to Husain Haqqani for review. He had revealed that the memo contained an offer, backed by President Asif Zardari that the US should help to oust the current military leadership—a new national security team would disband the Army unit and those of the ISI elements which collaborate with the Taliban and other anti-Western militant groups. Besides Mansoor Ijaz faced the cross-examination to the judicial commission, via a video link from London. Earlier Mansoor Ijaz had also revealed that on May10, 2011, a secret memo was given to him, by Hasain Haqqani to draft the same. It was handed over to the US Admiral Mike Mullen (R) through the former US National Security Advisor, Gen. James Jones.
But Husain Haqqani who had resigned from his post to face the investigations about the allegations made by Mansoor Ijaz, also attended the hearings of the Court, and joined the concerned judicial commission, but he was allowed to leave the country after an assurance that he would appear before the court whenever ordered to do so.
After going to the US, Husain Haqqani had been using various pretexts, not to face the judicial commission’s inquiry. On January 4, 2012, he sent an application before the commission including a medical certificate, requesting to adjourn hearing. Haqqani also requested the commission to record his statement via video link from Landon. Besides, he also indicated that his mobile phone set was missing.
In fact, while serving as Pakistani ambassador in the US, Husain Haqqani issued visas to many CIA agents like Raymond Davis to destabilise Pakistan. Besides, Haqqani developed secret links with the anti-Pakistan Indo-Israeli lobbies. This could be judged from his book, titled, “Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military.” In this book, he targeted both military and Islamic ideology, blaming Pak Army and ISI in contact with the Islamic militants. American famous writers and authors, especially Stephen P. Cohen exaggeratedly praised Husain Haqqani’s book as it was in accordance with the hidden agenda and blame game of the US which still continue against Pakistan and its security agencies.
While, former US National Security Advisor James Jones who earlier admitted the receipt of the secret memo denied the same, while the ex-Admiral Mike Mullen also refused its confirmation. The major purpose of the episode was to protect Husain Haqqani who has absconded as he was also working for CIA.
It is surprising that Asma Jahangir, a renowned human rights activist who continuously criticised the Pak Army and intelligence agencies has now claimed that she has been informed about threat to her life from security agencies of Pakistan. In this respect, Ministry of Defence offered her security which she declined. She even does not trust these agencies then she at least should trust the Supreme Court and tell the court about the reliable source to prove her claim. In fact, American CIA and Indian RAW which are already tarnishing the image of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies through a perennial propaganda could murder Asma Jehangir to implicate especially ISI in this regard. In the past few years, target killings of high profile leaders by these secret agencies might be cited as example.
Nonetheless, memo judicial commission’s report has now proved that Husain Haqqani had prioritised US interests over those of Pakistan by subverting the constitution of Pakistan for treason. It has endorsed the standpoint of Gen. Kayani and the then ISI chief Lt. Gen. Pasha about the reality behind the memogate case.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.. Follow on Sajjad Shaukat