Revival of Memogate

March 19, 2017


By U.K. Dar

I, in good faith, always give credit to all political parties that runs its politics in Pakistan. We have all shades of political leaders and it is for the people to choose at the time of elections. But what the PPP leadership was doing during their last Government, as per the latest article of Mr Hussain Haqqani published in Washington Post, is simply outrageous and tantamount to being unpatriotic to Pakistan and in saving its sovereignty and interest and hence clearly violated the oath that they took while taking up offices as President and the Prime Minster.

According to Mr Haqqani the relationships he developed with the Obama administration “eventually enabled the United States to discover and eliminate bin Laden without depending on Pakistan’s intelligence service or military” and “help[ed] in stationing U.S. Special Operations and intelligence personnel on the ground in Pakistan” and that he did it with the approval of “Pakistan’s civilian leaders”. If all above is not treacherous, please help me finding a new word for it. Mr Haqqani has exonerated himself by stating that, “Ambassadors do not make policy.” and indistinctly charge sheet’s the civilian leaders of the time by stating that he had acted under the authorization of Pakistan’s elected civilian leaders.

The Abbotabad operation by the Americans does not worry me because it killed Osama bin Laden, the two nations common enemy and goal. I am very sure that vast majority of Pakistanis do not subscribe to the theory that Osama bin Laden was advocating and that the Pakistan Army was harboring him. It is hard to believe that the Army which was facing the direct brunt of the terrorist attacks happening in the country at that time will be safeguarding the very person responsible for terrorist attacks on them. The Abbottabad Commission Report submitted by Justice Javaid Iqbal, as is available on Aljazeera, also absolves Pakistan Army of any blame or wrongdoing. But the Abbotabad operation does worry me and created mistrust in my mind about the Americans and their willingness to act unilaterally if it suits their interest. It gives me sleepless nights just to think what will happen if the scenario is repeated and on some issue where US and Pakistan interest do not converge, like the Pakistan Nuclear Assets. American stance on Pakistanis nukes and concerns about their security is very clear and stated many a times openly by various administrations.

Let me give the devil his due and appreciate American that they used all “available resources” at their hand to achieve their goal which was publically announced by their ex-President Mr Obama where he said that, “We must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights.” Americans did what they said. The only thing worrisome for me as a Pakistani in the entire episode is “available resources”; if such resources are sitting on top level Government positions in Pakistan, then may Allah save Pakistan and its nuclear assets if and when Americans decide to take them on.

PPP and its leadership need to come clean from this quagmire. Either they should say in unequivocal terms that Mr Haqqani is simply lying and then sue him and take him to Court; otherwise, I have failed to understand the wrath of PPP Opposition leader towards Mr Haqqani who has clearly stated that he had the pat of both ex-President and the ex-Prime Minister for what he was doing.

I would urge the parliament especially PTI leadership to raise the issue like they have raised the issue of Panama leaks. This issue is equally important and involves the safety and survival of Pakistan nuclear assets. Till the time everything become crystal clear, Mr Zardari, Mr Gillani and Mr Haqqani should be barred from holding any public office. Legislations are also required by which it should be clearly defined that anyone with any asset outside the country or having dual nationality will not be eligible for sensitive appointments in the Government.

*The author is a freelance columnist