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Updated: November 19, 2011 06:27 IST

‘Memogate' rattles Pakistan; envoy to U.S. resigns

Anita Joshua
Comment (11)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Asif Ali Zardari
Asif Ali Zardari

Handing over 26/11 culprits to India among Zardari's offers to U.S. in exchange for help to avert any coup

Pakistan's civilian government is said to have offered to act against the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks and hand over the guilty to Indian security services in an assurance given to the United States.

This was in return for Washington's intervention in pre-empting any military takeover after the American raid in Abbottabad that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2.

Mending fences with India by addressing New Delhi's demands vis-à-vis the Mumbai terror attack case was among the promises made to the U.S. in a memo that is alleged to have been sent to the former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari through a Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz on May 10.

Security team

Stating that a new security team would be put in place, the memo claims that under its guidance, the civilian government would cooperate fully with India to bring all perpetrators of Pakistani origin to account for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, whether outside the government or inside any part of the government, including its intelligence agencies. “This includes handing over [of] those against whom sufficient evidence exists of guilt to the Indian security services.”

‘1971 moment'

Of the view that Pakistan was facing a decision point of unprecedented importance — “a 1971 moment in Pakistan's history” — the memo that has now put a great strain on the already skewed civil-military relationship articulates the civilian leadership's willingness to improve relations with India.

“We, who believe in democratic governance and building a much better structural relationship in the region with India and Afghanistan, seek U.S. assistance to help us pigeon-hole the forces lined up against your interests and ours, including containment of certain elements inside our country that require appropriate re-sets and re-tasking in terms of direction and extent of responsibility after the OBL affair.”

Ambassador returns home

According to Mr. Ijaz, the memo was drafted by Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani on behalf of Mr. Zardari, but this has been denied by both quarters. However, with the military leadership apparently communicating its displeasure at this turn of events, Mr. Haqqani submitted his resignation on Wednesday and is expected to return to Islamabad during the weekend to explain his position on what is now being called the ‘Memo-gate' scandal.

What we expect from an Indian other than ill will against Pakistan Army. Keep out, this none of your business. We Pakistanis know You think like RSS. So shut up. Leave it to us What we do with our matters, Military or civilian.

from:  Khursheed
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 16:02 IST

Intrigue and deceit appear to punctuate politics in Pakistan. Pak ambassador to US, Hussein Haqqani, is reported to be a high profile independent personality more inclined towards US interests than of his own country. However, it is hard to conclude he would have initiated a letter perpetrated to be that from Zardari without his knowledge. There should have been some thought process discussed and agreed to between the two to embolden Haqqani to send that letter to Mike Mullen in Washington, who has acknowledged receiving such a letter. On the face of it, the request on behalf of Zardari, reflects the true fears of the civil administration over the frustrated Army after the OBL affair. It is outright deceit and betrayal on the part of the intermediary Ijaz Bhatt, who spilled the beans embarrassing the civil administration. It is also breach of trust on the part of Mike Mullen to have admitted receipt of the controversial letter, further straining the civil- military relationship.

from:  M.R.Sampath
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 10:24 IST

Before arriving at any conclusion, it must be identified whether the 'memo' is a fabrication in itself. Looking back at the OBL incident, at that time there was no divide between the civilian and military institutions. Also, the reputation of Mr. Mansoor Ijaz as a dubious character who acts independently without consent of respective authorities has already been independently established many times. It is irrelevant whether Mr. Mansoor Ijaz or Mr. Hussein Haqqani are correct, what is important is to determine the masterminds behind the idea, and bring forth the characters whose brainchild is this 'memo'.

from:  H. Haq
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 05:47 IST

Civil administration did not utilize the public mood during OBL
incident.Pakistan has lost the tremendous opportunity it had to bring
army under civil authority. politicians do your home work, and do what
is good for people of Pakistan.

from:  venkat
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 18:45 IST

The people of Pakistan are in a hopeless situation. They do not know who the enemy is and who the friend is. Withdrawal of Nato forces from Afganistan will definitely be the doomsday for this region and Pakistan in particular(when the boots replaces politicians)India will have to be more careful in dealing with them.

from:  Tulsi Nair
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 13:22 IST

Though the Pakistani Prime Minister has disputed the fact that a letter has been written to Mullen to preempt military takeover after the killing of Osama-bin-Laden at the instruction of Pakistani President, Mr. Zardari and has asked its ambassador in USA to come to Pakistan to explain the matter, but if it is true, the incident shows that civilian government wants to improve relations with India, but it is same time the government is also afraid of army takeover and treats the army as the greatest roadblock to civilian government. The history of Pakistan testifies to the fact that the fear is not unfounded, but we do not believe the story that Pakistan was willing to send perpetrators of Mumbai attack to India. We only wish that the story could be true.

from:  BIMAL CHANDRA JHA
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 11:03 IST

This is clear evidence that the military is intervening severely in the elected Government's decision-making, thereby making Pakistan a de-facto military ruled state. Then, shouldn't now sanctions be imposed on Pakistan as per UN conventions since it is a military ruled state stifling democracy? Also, the Government was only doing the right thing of handing over the terrorist masterminds, it wasn't doing anything wrong -- the Pakistan military's objection shows that Pakistan military is involved in terrorism.

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 10:39 IST

And Indians want to trust them ?

from:  Rohit
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 09:10 IST

The contents of the alleged memo contain what every patriotic and sane pakistani wishes for his country: the civil institutions must be liberated from men in boots, the country must be governed in accordance with the constitution , it must shed away its militant outlook about life and build peaceful and productve relations with all countries , particularly India and Afghanistan, and realize that its grossly thoughtless policy of creating armed jihadi groups has boomranged with a vengence and should be abandonded if we are not to endanger our own survival.

from:  Shakrullah Khan
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 05:37 IST

India has to be very careful when striking deals with an obviously unstable Pakistan. One must pity the poor Pakistani politicians, who fear their own military rather than their supposed arch enemy India! India cannot afford to repeat the mistake of 1971, when a golden opportunity to solve the Kashmir problem was wasted by the then Indian Government by believing the false assurances of Mr. Bhutto.

from:  CS Venkat
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 02:40 IST

The military is all powerful in Pakistan and is the cause of most of the problems in the South Asia region. The sooner the Pak military is defanged, the better it will be for the peoples of India , Pakistan etc.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Nov 19, 2011 at 01:30 IST
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