The Memogate and the NRO cases marked the height of the triangular battle between the PPP, the Supreme Court and the GHQ.
Posted on 29 February 2012 by Tea Server
The Memogate and the NRO cases marked the height of the triangular battle between the PPP, the Supreme Court and the GHQ.
Posted on 25 February 2012 by Tea Server
The verdict on the Memogate scandal is yet to be given but the government and judiciary, among many others, have a lot to answer for.
Posted on 22 February 2012 by Tea Server
Testimony of Mansoor Ijaz in London
OPENING STATEMENT UNDER OATH
I, Musawer Mansoor Ijaz (Ijaz), a citizen of the United States of America, do hereby solemnly swear that the testimony I present in this Witness Statement on oath to the Honourable Commission (the Commission)is the truth as I know it to have occurred based on the evidence in my possession and to the best of my recollection where physical or documentary evidence is not available in reference to the subject matter of this inquiry (the Inquiry).
I submit my testimony as a first person witness to the events herein. I appear in front of this Commission to present the physical evidence in my possession and to allow such evidence as I have to be forensically tested in any manner chosen by competent, independent and unbiased experts retained by the Commission so that the authenticity of these data can be ascertained with certainty. I duly submit this Witness Statement to the Commission as a private citizen of the United States, born in the State of Florida in the year 1961, and bound only by the laws of the United States of America. I state for the record that my loyalties are first and foremost to the national interests of my country of birth. I do not now nor have I ever served in any official position in the US government. I act at the behest of no person in government, outside of government, in any foreign country or in the United States of America.
CONTACT WITH PAKISTAN OFFICIALS
While I maintain high-level political and military/intelligence contacts in nearly two dozen countries around the world, during the past decade, I have had no contact with any Pakistani government official, civilian, judicial, military or intelligence with the following four exceptions (Amb. Haqqani excluded):
(a)2003 when I last interacted with the former director general of Inter-Services Intelligence, Gen. Ehsan ul-Haq, shortly before he left the DG-ISI position in 2004; and,
(b)Nov. 2005 when my wife and I visited the prime minister of Pakistan and some military officers during and after our trip to Kashmir as the earthquake reconstruction period began; and,
(c)May 5, 2009 when I met with President Asif Ali Zardari for 45-50 minutes at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC at the invitation of Amb. Haqqani(Haqqani)to brief the president shortly before he met with US officials at the White House; and,
(d)Oct. 22, 2011 when I met alone with Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the current DG-ISI, a this request for approximately four hours in London to provide him with the same accounting of facts I provide to the Commission herein.
CONTACT WITH HAQQANI
Over the past decade, I have maintained regular contact with Haqqani through e-mail, BlackBerry chat exchanges, SMS, in-person meetings and telephonic discussions. Often, after the 9-11 attacks, when I was not available for media appearances due to calendar conflicts, I would refer producers to Haqqani as a qualified expert on Pakistan affairs. Haqqani was helpful
and supportive in other important matters, including speaking at one of my charity’s annual
fundraising dinners in June 2009 (please see Exhibit-A for examples of our communications).From the day Haqqani assumed his ambassadorship role, I had no involvement in his Congressional or White House lobbying efforts, no role in his development of the Pakistani-American community or any other aspect of his role as ambassador other than assisting in the ways we were able to after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
At no time during Haqqani’s ambassadorial tenure have I lobbied anyone for Pakistan, acted as an agent of the Pakistani government or represented any foreign interest lobbying for a particular outcome. I acted in this matter purely as a friend in my private capacity trying to assist Haqqani in communicating his message in ways that only he dictated, characterized and gave authority for, not in any way to be construed as diplomatic or official activity. Other than as disclosed above, I maintain no active relationships of any type electronic, e-mail contact, telephonic contact, BlackBerry messenger contact or SMS contact with anyone living in Pakistan. I have no close relatives living or alive in Pakistan. I have no business interests in Pakistan. I have no political interests in Pakistan. I have never been involved in any political party, political organization or given a single political contribution in Pakistan to any candidate for high office, or sitting elected official. In short, I have no material ties to Pakistan other than my birth parents.
EVENTS OF MAY 9, 2011 UNTIL MAY 12, 2011
The events I describe herein are a factual recantation of my interactions with Haqqani on the dates of May 9th, May 10th, May 11th and May 12th of 2011, and then again starting on October10, 2011, the date on which an opinion piece I authored was published in the Financial Times entitled “Time to take on Pakistan’s jihadist spies.”
The text of this opinion article has already been entered into the record on the date of the Court’s Order.
I had further material interactions with Haqqani on October 28, 2011 and November 1, 2011. At no time did I meet Haqqani in person. All communications were electronic / telephonic.
The events of the three and a half days in May will be summarized in Tabular form in order to show the type of communication (telephone, e-mail, BlackBerry chat, PIN message and handwritten notes), a brief description of each type of communication, and where a communication was evidenced by physical documentation or electronic messages those are attached hereto as labeled exhibits. My recollections of the discussions in telephone calls a replaced in quotations where attributed to Haqqani. Where the dialogue uses coded words or phraseology that may not be apparently clear to the Court, I have put annotations to explain what was intended by the language used.
I reserve the right to amend this Witness Statement at a future date once forensic examination of my electronic BlackBerry device is complete. There are certain messages (PIN, SMS, etc) that may be archived in backup volumes that I am presently unaware of, having not seen any of those messages since June 2011 when the last monthly backup was made. I have chosen not to retrieve these messages from my computer hard drives which normally roll off after a thirty (30) day period in the device until a certificate that my BlackBerry device has not been tampered with and contains original data in it can be provided. The backup data will only be reviewed once the forensic examination is complete. I would also ask the Commission’s permission to spend about20-30 minutes in explaining how BlackBerry handsets work and why the knowledge of BB operations are so critical to the analysis of data in this matter. Finally, certain Explanation comments that I have noted are for “In Camera” hear in gs only because the disclosures are not appropriate for this statement that can be viewed by others. Please note in the tabular formats set forth below, line numbered for convenience, the following legend: BBM = BlackBerry Messenger chat exchange SMS = Short Message exchangeE-M = E-MAIL sent or received CALL = Telephone OUT to recipient or received IN (numbers withheld for “In Camera” briefing)
TBA = To Be Announced (for those messages referenced but held on backup hard drives)All dates are shown in MONTH/DAY/YEAR format. All times given are Central European Time (CET) in military time format.
HAQQANI BLACKBERRY PIN NUMBERS
I submit for the Commission’s records the two PIN numbers that are unique in the BlackBerry system of communications that were used by Haqqani during our communications by BBM Messenger. The first one, 2326A31D, was used in May. The second, 287EF1E9, was used in the October and November exchanges up until at least November 5th or 6th when I noticed he had disabled me as a BBM contact. I wish to additionally inform the Commission that in the intervening weeks since Haqqani once again changed his BlackBerry PIN, I have been informed
by two important official sources (whom I shall identify “In Camera”) that attempts may have
been or are being made to manipulate, erase, delete or otherwise distort data in the electronic devices of Haqqani that could confirm the data I have provided herein as fact. Additionally, it may be noted by the Commission that both the Interior Minister of Pakistan as well as Haqqani have confirmed that some form of electronic messaging and commstook place with me. Yet Haqqani continues to deny the entirety of any exchanges, for example, as those set forth in this Statement. So which is it? Did he communicate with me or not? If so, where is that data and who has access to it today?
TELEPHONE CALL SUMMARIES
05/09/2011 IJAZ TO HAQQANI
I called Haqqani at the London Intercontinental Hotel, Room 430 as he had requested a few minutes earlier by BlackBerry messenger. We had not spoken by telephone for some time, so we briefly exchanged pleasantries. I asked him what he was doing in London he simply said it was a private visit and moved on to the subject matter at hand. There was an elevated stress in his voice. He spoke rapidly, almost randomly at times. Several times I had to ask him during the call to slow down so I could get the notes down from what he was trying to tell me. He explained that the bin Laden raid had created severe stresses between the army/intelligence organs of Pakistan and the civilian branch of government. Referencing some meeting that had
taken place “72 hours ago” between the army chief, the prime minister and the president, he said there was a “collective jute chalak y” [my spelling phonetically because I do not know what these words mean as my
Urdu is quite rudimentary] between the army and ISI to pin the blame of the bin Laden failure on President Zardari’s administration.
He said the US and British were “beating the shit out of us” to get information in the raid’s aftermath about how bin Laden had been on Pakistani soil for so long. He said in clear words that I wrote on my notepad as he said them, “the Army wants to bring the government down”. He then said he needed my help.
I asked in which sense and he informed me that it was urgent to get a message verbally to “the Americans” that the Obama administration needed to back the army down. He said this was a “1971 moment” a reference I did not understand at all at the time he first made it and had to ask him at the end of the call to clarify for me because he repeatedly referred to this phrase during the call. He then immediately stated his preference for the right person to give this as yet undefined verbal message to was Adm. Mike Mullen, then chairman of the US joints chiefs of staff because (a) he was one of the few people who Gen. Kayani would listen to and (b) he was about to chair a meeting with a Pakistani delegation a two days later in Washington (Wednesday, May 11, 2011).I informed him that I did not know Adm. Mullen. I asked him why he needed me to do this for him when he had so many other ways to do it and he said in his official position, it was impossible to get such a message to the Americans without risking the possibility of detection by
ISI or the military officers he had around him at the embassy in DC. He said I was “plausibly deniable” as a conduit and that no one would ever believe if this got public in those days he had come to me for such kind of help. I made it clear that I had long ago given up the role of a back-channel communicator and that I would do it for him as a friend only if I could get someone on the US side to agree to deliver a message to Adm Mullen in the timeframe Haqqani had requested.
I then asked him whose authority he was acting on behalf of. He was vague. Not evasive, just vague. He said there was a like-minded group of people in Islamabad that would be brought on board by “the boss” a reference I understood to mean President Asif Ali Zardari as the new national security team once tensions had dissipated. He mentioned two names I recognized (Jehangir Karamat and Mahmud Durrani) but added that they would be approached once this was all over a point I took to mean they were unaware of this operation in advance. I then asked him what the message was that he wanted delivered and by when exactly it had to be in Mullen’s hands. He dictated a series of points to me, many of which are contained on the two pages of handwritten notes, and the rest were typed into a blank e-mail template at the point I asked him to pause because I couldn’t keep handwritten pace with his verbal speed while holding the phone to my ear at the same time. The balance of notes, typewritten into the blank e-mail template, ultimately became the basis of the first draft of the written memorandum that I sent him at 18:32 on May 9, 2011. The handwritten notes are explained further under EXHIBIT B explanations. We concluded the 16-minute phone call by agreeing to use certain coded words in our BBM chat exchanges during the following two days until the effort was concluded. These are enumerated as each chat took place in the “Explanation” column of Table 1
05/09/2011 IJAZ TO GEN. JONES
I called Gen. Jones at home. His wife picked up and said he was jogging. I explained the importance. As I rarely called at home that early in the morning, she understood it was important and said she would get in touch with him while he was running and get him to call me back in about an hour when he was in. I gave her a brief overview that the matter had to do with a rapidly devolving situation on the ground in Pakistan and that I had been asked to get an urgent message into a senior administration official. I did not go into details. I did not give names.
05/09/2011 IJAZ TO LAWYER #1
As a parallel track, I immediately called my outside counsel, whose name I am withholding pending an “In Camera” hearing on this matter, in Washington DC he is a former senior government official from the administration of Pres. George H W Bush working at one of Washington’s most prominent and largest law firms. I called him because I knew he had a wide array of contacts available for us to explore how else we might approach Adm. Mullen if I was unable to persuade Gen. Jones to pass the message on. I explained the situation at hand inoutline form only. I explained under attorney-client privilege that Haqqani had asked me to assist him, that the tone of my earlier discussion with Haqqani indicated to me that something serious was amiss in Islamabad and that if we could help we should. His principal concern was under whose authority such a sensitive message was being delivered. I explained that Haqqani generally enjoyed the complete confidence of the president in Pakistan, and that I understood the impetus for this operation was coming from Pres. Zardari in the broader sense, if not operationally. He told me there were two options available to us through the law firm, one a senior US political figure now in private life and the other an acting officer of the US government who knew Adm. Mullen well. He told me he would get in touch with both andreport back to me later in the day (it was 7am in Washington at the time I reached him)
05/09/2011 GEN. JONES TO IJAZ
Gen. Jones called me back from his private cell number around 8am his time in Virginia. I recapped the entire Haqqani call (please see summary of Call #1 for details). His first reaction was to say he didn’t particularly trust Pakistani officials (generally, not specifically), and that in his experience through government work with them, they often made verbal promises that they didn’t keep. He said he would not consider taking any message to Adm. Mullen if it wasn’t in writing. Gen. Jones also insisted on having higher political authority than Haqqani, whom he had grown to be somewhat skeptical of over time, if and when he decided to go ahead. We went through the points Haqqani wanted relayed, which took the bulk of the time on the call. He commented that while compelling, it sounded like an opposition group’s agenda. I made clear that it was morelike a change of players under a sitting head of state whose new ground rules and agenda were so diametrically different than the old that it (Haqqani’s desired message) could give off that impression. I gave Jones some background on my relationship with Haqqani and told him that Haqqani would never have come to me if it wasn’t serious because of my past tensions with the senior leaders of Pakistan, no matter whether military, intelligence, political of any party persuasion.
Jones’s skepticism remained throughout the call, but in the final analysis he said he would do it as a favor for me if I could get the message to him in writing with the appropriate political authority. We agreed to be in touch later in the day once I had gotten Haqqani on board with the NO VERBAL, ONLY WRITTEN demand and I had further explained to Haqqani that Jones wanted certain knowledge of the appropriate political authority and consent for this operation before delivering the message to Adm. Mullen.
05/09/2011 HAQQANI TO IJAZ
During this call, I informed Haqqani that one of the three choices on the US side was insisting onhaving the message in writing, with higher political authority than Haqqani alone, to go forward. I informed him that I had taken the precautionary step, given the tight time constraints, to prepare a written draft based on the notes I took in the first call and that I had tried to reach him earlier in the day to let him know about the in-writing constraint. He agreed and told me to send him the draft in writing for his review. I then asked him to clarify what he meant by “discipline” in the nuclear program a point he had made in the written notes earlier and whether the point he made about US Vice President Biden on the “blank sheet” agreement on nukes and Kashmir should be included in the preamble paragraphs. He said no. I also asked him whether he wanted names included in the paragraph mentioning the new national security team he said no. Finally, I asked him whether he wanted any characterization of the army chief, prime minister, president’s meeting included this is when he gave me the information about the CIA station chief’s name being outed and the phraseology about “no central control being in place” as a result of the stresses in Islamabad during the previous days.After inserting a few of the necessary comments into the e-mail draft, I sent the draft to Haqqaniat 18:32. We closed the call by noting my mail to him would come in a few minutes as well as the message’s delivery timing and logistics.
05/09/2011 LAWYER #1 TO IJAZ
23:49:10 & 23:55:21
DURATION 05:28 & 09:58
During these two calls
the first with my outside general counsel, the second a conf call with a third party, we explored the requirements posed by two other possible candidates to deliver the message to Adm. Mullen. My counsel informed me that he had reached a close aide of the active US government officer who knew Adm. Mullen well, and that he wanted to have a conference call with me to listen to how we wanted to do this and what the US official wanted from us as performance parameters before agreeing to our request. We then agreed that the US political personality was out due to slow response. We followed up this call with a 10-minute conference call with the US official’s trusted friend.
We discussed two possibilities the first was to have the US official arrange a private meeting between myself and Adm. Mullen so I could deliver a verbal message as Haqqani had initially preferred. This approach had two problems
I was a nine hour airplane ride away from Washington and there simply wasn’t enough time to match Adm. Mullen’s busy schedule with my getting in the air before the Wed. meeting was to have taken place. The second problem was my personal hesitation to carry a verbal message given what Gen. Jones had told me in his first call about the unreliability of Pakistani officials saying one thing and doing another. The second possibility discussed was for us to have the US official deliver the message, in writing, to Adm. Mullen. This posed two different challenges the US official was unwilling to do it as a “non paper” (a message delivered in writing on paper without signature or letterhead between governments). He insisted on the message being on letterhead with appropriate signature. This conference call made it clear that the 2nd potential US interlocutor was simply not the right solution.
05/10/2011 HAQQANI TO IJAZ
I informed Haqqani that two of the three options for transmission were out, why they were out
and that in order to proceed with the third option I needed him to confirm the memo’s draft form
or send me his changes, and I needed his confirmation that he had the Pakistani government’s highest political authority to proceed. He said he would review the memo during the night. On authority, he said something like “don’t worry about that, I’ve got it sorted out with the boss.”
Haqqani also quickly informed me at the end of the conversation that I needed to remove Point 6on the list because it was already agreed by the Pakistani authorities in the intervening hours since we had last spoken.
05/10/2011 IJAZ TO GEN. JONES
I called Gen. Jones immediately to say that he would transmit the message, that I had confirmation from Haqqani of his authority to proceed from the highest political level and that I would be sending the memorandum over shortly with a request that he hold on to it until I had Haqqani’s final word in the morning (Tue, 10 May). I told Gen. Jones that given the fluidity of events on the ground, it was best that he waited until at least midday on Tuesday before puttingthe Memo in Adm. Mullen’s hands. I recall asking him whether he preferred WORD.DOC files or .PDF files for printing purposes and I sent him both types of files later in the night so that if there were last minute changes and I was not in front of a computer, he could make the necessary changes himself with me giving him Haqqani’s changes by telephone.
05/10/2011 IJAZ TO HAQQANI
During this call on the morning of May 10th, I asked Haqqani if he had any last minute changes to the Memorandum, and then informed him that I had sent it to the US interlocutor earlier in the night so that if there were no changes, we were ready to deliver to Mullen later that day, before Haqqani had planned to leave London .We went through the architecture of the Memo, focusing this time on the opening paragraph and confirming the new signature paragraph (from whom did this document come) that had been added in. We reviewed briefly the six agenda points.I then asked him one last time to confirm he had the authority from the highest political level to proceed with the operation because Gen. Jones (who remained anonymous to Haqqani) would not proceed without that understanding from me and he said, “I’ve got the boss’s approval; go ahead”. I told him we would n
eed to wait until just after lunchtime for me to reach the US interlocutor and give the final delivery instruction.We discussed briefly his schedule for return to the US and next contact time, and when I wouldbe given the time of the Wednesday meeting with Mullen.
05/12/2011 IJAZ TO HAQQANI
01:09 ON MMI US CELL
Haqqani informed me about the results of the meeting with Mullen. He said a “call will go outfrom Washington to Pindi [Rawalpindi?] tonight.” and that he was sa
tisfied the intervention hadworked. We clarified the M remark in my BBMs, he thanked me and the call ended.
RATIONALE FOR WRITING THE Financial Times ARTICLE
Much confusion has been introduced by media analysts, critics and supporters alike about the motivations and agendas that may have led me to publish the initial FT article on October 10,2011. I state for the record that there was no external impetus given to me to write the initial article, neither from any individual, nor from any governmental body US or foreign nor anyother source in any manner whatsoever. Since 1996, when I published my first article in The Wall Street Journal, I have published over 125 opinion pieces in only the most reputable journals and newspapers around the world, and have appeared extensively on television and radio as ananalyst regarding political, security and business issues. I have also had numerous articles written about my citizen diplomacy initiatives in Sudan, Kashmir, Pakistan and elsewhere.In recent years, I have reduced my writings dramatically, writing only a few times a year when a major political or geopolitical event takes place that bears consequence on subject matters thatinterest me. Pakistan generally, and more specifically the struggle to bring a secure and stable democracy to the fore without hidden agendas, corrupt practices and the venality that is so often present in modern day Pakistani rulers military and civilian alike is a major topic on which I have written often in the past. If the Commission so wishes, I am happy to provide a full reference list for my past writings on Pakistan.
I further state for the record that my sole motivation in writing the Oct. 10th FT article was to enunciate a policy prescription I believed was in the best national security interests of the United States about how best to deal with Directorate S of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. The impetus for the article, which I drafted the first thoughts for on 24 September 2011, arose from testimony offered by Adm. Mullen in his final appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee in which he called the Haqqani network of terrorists a “veritable arm” of the ISI, among other very strong comments.
The reaction in Pakistan’s media to Adm. Mullen’s statement was immediate, and as it has been in my case under the glare of the Mullen Memorandum controversy, was shrill and unabashed in lambasting a high-ranking military officer of the United States who served our country honorably for 43 years. While Adm. Mullen needed no defense from my writings, I felt it was important for US policymakers to know that an effort which involved Adm. Mullen himself back in May had been made to reign in Directorate S of ISI, and it so happened that to source this material for my
opinion piece, I referenced the memorandum as the “peg”
as it is called in journalism to base my opinions on. There was no malicious intent involved in bringing the memorandum into the opening paragraph. The description I gave was the bare minimum of facts that were needed in order to give my opinion piece the authenticity it required for the policy prescription to be given any weight. I had written more or less exactly the same opinion article on June 2, 2011 for Newsweek / Daily Beast Company
after learning of the death of Saleem Shahzad, without material effect in the inquiry of my arguments. Clearly, introducing the memorandum into the FT opinion article strengthened the argument because it gave it the needed authenticity. Editors at the FT who normally evaluate my opinion columns for publication have tended in the past to choose those articles of mine that begin with some historical anecdote to anchor the article’s policy prescriptions and opinions. This article was no different, other than the anecdote was in the form of a “first person” analysis.
If the Commission so requests, I will make available my internal correspondence with the FT editors to provide evidence of this fact. I would like to note, for the Commission’s interest, that Haqqani sent me the following BBMchat on June 4, 2011 to which I responded and he then wrote a reply please see the following screen shots:
I apologize to the Commission for the frank exchange of language between Haqqani and myself, but this is evidence of the type of relationship we shared together. Message time-stamped 02:18was first message from Haqqani. I replied the next day. Message in second screen time-stamped18:05 was his reply. One final point of note on this subject matter: some sections of the media have questioned why it took so long for the opinion piece to be published in the FT from the date of Adm. Mullen’s
statement. As you are most certainly aware, FT is a financial newspaper whose editorial pages are reserved primarily for finance discussions, not matters of security and foreign policy. As Europe has been engulfed in perhaps the most important financial crisis it has suffered since the introduction of the Euro, the Eurozone crisis dominated the editorial pages of the FT for those weeks, and my opinion article which dealt with matters much further away and unrelated to the major editorial thrust, simply was placed on a date that was convenient to the FT’s editorial calendar. I had no control over that decision and again, at the Commission’s request, I amprepared to make my internal communications with the editors available in this specific regard.
EVENTS OF NOTE AFTER THE Financial Times
Haqqani sent me a BlackBerry message around 21:50 GMT on the evening of October 10, 2011, shortly after my opinion article had been published on the FT’s website. It read: “This FT op-ed of yours is a disaster”. Before I had a chance to see it and respond, he telephoned me at 21:57GMT in a somewhat panicked voice, reiterating what he had just said by BBM message and then asking me whether there were any other “senior Pakistani diplomats” I knew in Islamabad that he could name to throw the “press hounds of my scent”. I responded by querying why the op-ed was such an issue for him and what he was so upset about. He replied simply by saying everyone would now assume it was he who was the brainchild of the Memorandum and that I understood nothing about Pakistan’s domestic situation. It was a short call lasting only 00:45.
At the time of this writing, I do not yet have the hard copy details of my October telephone bills to give the exact time and date of the second call I received from Haqqani
it was about 5 or 6days before I met with Gen. Shuja Pasha in London. My recollection of that call is as follows: Haqqani called to inform me he had just learned that Gen. Pasha was coming to London. I expressed disinterest and lack of knowledge. He expressed some anxiety over my disinterest and said something to the effect of “what’s going on here” a clear reference to his skepticism of my disinterest. He did not ask once during that call whether I had been approached to see Gen. Pasha. His only concern was whether Gen. Pasha would be meeting with the FT editors in London, whether I knew anything about it and whether I would do him the favor of intervening with the FT editors to insure they did not provide Gen. Pasha with a copy of the Memorandum or any other evidence that I had provided the editors when I wrote the opinion piece. I responded by again asking him, as I had on the night of May 10, 2011, why he was so paranoid about the Memorandum and whether we had done something wrong in delivering it to Adm. Mullen. His response was to simply reiterate that I understood nothing about Pakistan’s domestic political situation and that there were some who would say Haqqani “was playing for your [U.S.A.] side” if the content of the Memorandum was revealed in public. I told him that I did not believe the FT editors would take a meeting with Gen. Pasha without a lot of advance work being done about purpose, etc and the call ended.
SUMMARY OVERVIEW OF MEETING WITH DG-ISI LT. GEN. SHUJA PASHA
I was contacted by a person, whose real name I do not know to this day, on or about the 16th of October to see whether I would be willing to meet with Gen. Pasha. I inquired purpose and proposed location. Purpose: to determine the truthful facts surrounding the content of the Memorandum and its genesis (authorship, operational details of the effort to get it delivered to Adm. Mullen, etc). Location: London was the most convenient location for both of us to meet. After discussing the implications of such a meeting going ahead with my in-house legal counsel and my family, I agreed to take the meeting. We met on the evening of 22nd October in London at the Park Lane Intercontinental Hotel, Room210, from approximately 1830hrs until 2230hrs, according to my records. There was one person
I believe the logistics manager of the meeting with Gen. Pasha when I was shown into the room by a member of his security detail and that person shook hands with me and left the room promptly.
I brought my electronic devices and a notepad to the meeting. We both agreed to take batteries out of our telephones while we spoke. The telephones were stored in a drawer near the table we sat at. Gen. Pasha brought a notepad as well. After being seated face to face at a small dining table, Gen. Pasha opened the meeting by stating his purpose in asking to meet me. He made clear he was not there to interrogate but rather to understand with evidence supporting my statements what exactly had happened in the days in question. He made clear he was in London with the consent of the army chief, Gen. Kayani. He made clear he did not know who I was prior to the meeting, and had asked one of his researchers to prepare a dossier for his review. He asked me to give him my own summary of my background, partly to allow me to introduce myself, but also to separate fact from fiction in the dossier he held. Each comment I made was later backed up during the meeting by evidence I showed him on my computer about my background, life, family and businesses. I made clear to him at the outset of the meeting that I had agreed to the meeting on the basis that it was entirely possible in my mind given the adverse reactions Haqqani had shown me on the two telephone calls I had with him prior to this meeting that Haqqani did not properly inform the government of Pakistan of his activities, and that if anything he had done was against the laws of Pakistan, in violation of the Constitution of Pakistan or the rules of international diplomacy as agreed between the US and Pakistan, it was possible that myself, Gen. Jones and Adm. Mullen had become unwitting accessories to these possible wrongdoings. For that reason alone, whether I liked or disliked the ISI, whether I had written against it or the military or any other organ of the Pakistani state, I felt the responsibility to share the facts with him and to understand whether there was any possible wrongdoing on our part collectively as US citizens that had assisted Haqqani in transmitting the message to Adm. Mullen. I also made clear to Gen. Pasha that I did not want to personally be involved in any debriefing of
him that would lead to a disruption of the civilian government’s normal business he responded by making clear that it was his and Gen. Kayani’s deep desire to see a government complete its term, but that the rumors of what was contained in the Memorandum from a content perspective could simply not be ignored. On this basis, we agreed to start the meeting in good faith with him questioning openly without constraints and me answering in the most truthful and complete manner possible. He asked me about my relationship with Haqqani (length, frequency of contact, type of contact, etc). He queried me about my interactions with prior Pakistani ambassadors in the United States, as well as past political leaders (Bhutto, Sharif, Musharraf, etc). After my initial set of answers about 30 minutes into the meeting he went to the door of the room and informed the security person that “this is going to take a while”.
We then began the data debriefing. We went through the information that has been provided in this Witness Statement line by line so that I could explain what had happened in those three and a half days. He asked questions, at times looked a bit astonished at what he was seeing but at no time did he offer any assessment of the data other than to indicate that the records were “clear and convincing” evidence. We took the bulk of the four hour meeting to do the data debrief. In my recollection, Gen. Pasha read the Memorandum itself in about three or four minutes, demonstrated surprise and dismay at times disgust and disappointment over the content of the document. He did not ask a single question about the content of the document other than if I was willing to divulge the names of the others besides Haqqani that he had told me were to be part of the new national security team. I did so with the caveat that I did not believe either Karamat or Durrani knew anything about the plan to deliver the Memorandum, the contents of the Memorandum or the mindset of Haqqani and those behind him in dreaming up the scheme. At the point during the meeting where he learned of the three US people I had approached to deliver the Memorandum to Adm. Mullen, he asked me how I knew each of them, how well and to briefly summarize my requests of them in terms of why, who was involved, under what authority and in which modality such delivery might take place with each person. Intermittently during the data debrief, I would open my computer or my BlackBerry device and point out how the data was stored, transmitted, displayed, etc. He then carefully analyzed dates, times, “properties” of my Microsoft documents to see when the documents were created and how
they fit into the timeline I was stating, looked at the original telephone bill logs, checked the time at which each BBM message was sent or received and reviewed my handwritten notes. Contrary to media reports, at no time did Gen. Pasha try to send a BBM message to Haqqani from my handset. He recorded the PIN numbers that I had for Haqqani, both the old one and the new one Haqqani did not yet have the third PIN at that time that he would ultimately obtain. Gen. Pasha did ask to see how I stored e-mail addresses and to see the ones I had for Haqqani one from his private university mailbox (Boston Univ.) and one for official use at the embassy in Washington. There were no other issues relevant to this subject matter discussed during the meeting. It ended on a cordial note with Gen. Pasha thanking me for providing a clear record of events and asking if it was okay to follow up if other questions arose in the aftermath of his further investigation into the matter.
BBM CHAT EXCHANGES WITH HAQQANI ON 28 OCT 2011
approx 21:55 until 22:33 CET
Participants:Mansoor IJAZ, Husain HaqqaniMessages:
Husain Haqqani: you can keep saying you delivered a message and show bbm convos to prove it Husain Haqqani: Basically you don’t get itHusain Haqqani: You have given hardliners in Pak Mil reason to argue there
was an effort to get US to conspireagainst Pak MilHusain Haqqani: You are a US citizenHusain Haqqani: You are supposed to look after US interestsMansoor IJAZ: I wrote one article. Have not said one word on the record since then to anyone. I think your press isworking both sides against the middle, trying to force something out of anyone they can. Period. I don’t play in thatgameHusain Haqqani: In Pak political situation, getting burned as a US stooge undermines one’s effectivenessHusain Haqqani: I will make sure FO shuts upHusain Haqqani: Let this die downHusain Haqqani: We are in the rightHusain Haqqani: We will still make things happenMansoor IJAZ: Okay, well I know my IQ is pretty low so you are probably correct in saying I just don’t get it.Husain Haqqani: The Pak press be damnedHusain Haqqani: I stand by you as a man of integrity werving his countryHusain Haqqani: You don’t let ppl back home argue I play for your team, not oursMansoor IJAZ: But from my point of view, if there was a real threat, as you stated at the time, it is clear you weretrying to save a democratic structure from those hawksHusain Haqqani: You get to write the book on how you changed US-Pak dynamic and won the war in A’tan (w/ somehelp from a Paki nerd) Mansoor IJAZ: I was happy to get the message in the back door because it served American interests to preserve thedemocratic civilian setup and the offers made, if achieved, were very much congruent with American objectives inthe regionHusain Haqqani: True that, friend. But you know premature revelation ain’t goodMansoor IJAZ: As far as I can see, we did right. Unless there is something I don’t see here. But then I’m sorta dumbfrom down on the farm where them hillbillies liveHusain Haqqani: Hey! Don’t run down hillbilliesHusain Haqqani: Even the smartest can miss a piece of the puzzleHusain Haqqani: You are assuming there are no powerful men in Pak willing to break w/ US. Premature revelationgives those ppl reason to claim ‘conspiracy’, ‘treason’Husain Haqqani: That is all you missed. Period.Husain Haqqani: And no one else might tell you this, you’re becoming irritable and losing your sense of humor asyou grow oldHusain Haqqani: Let this one go. There is much to do. MUCH. And then, there’s the beach where I’ve been waitingto be invited, the slum boy visiting the millionaireMansoor IJAZ: I’m not a millionaire. But I do know a nice piece of beach!Husain Haqqani: I’m not a slum boy either but I know how to make friends with smart people with a sense of history:PMansoor IJAZ: Jesus, then what the fuck are you doing hanging around with me? =DHusain Haqqani: We’ll make things happen and if we can’t, we’ll write a book about itHusain Haqqani: Who said I was hanging around witjh you. A minute ago I thought you were about to hang me Mansoor IJAZ: :OMansoor IJAZ: Really?Husain Haqqani: Look, Isloo is a mess. Journos gone wild. Politicos scared of mil. Mil scared of Yanks.Mansoor IJAZ: Tell me one important thing. Who likes you and who hates you in the US establishment? Who wantsyou to stay and who wants to fuck you up?
Husain Haqqani: The debate abt your oped has caused my detractors to put pressure on my bossHusain Haqqani: In US estab, I can count on Leon and PetraeusMansoor IJAZ: I thought YOU were the boss!Mansoor IJAZ: Who is against you?Husain Haqqani: Folks at State don’t like meMansoor IJAZ: Why?Mansoor IJAZ: Too close to AZ?Husain Haqqani: They think I am too mixed up w/ DoD and others and do not help them cut deals w/ Pak milHusain Haqqani: Close to AZ bit tooHusain Haqqani: They are wrong re DoD and others.Husain Haqqani: It is just that becoz of A’tan, they are more imp than StateMansoor IJAZ: I always thought HRC was one of your fans. She even has a lady from our parts working with herHusain Haqqani: It is folks at State who got pissed off by your missionHusain Haqqani: She may be but I was Holbrooke’s buddy so everyone who hates him hates meHusain Haqqani: I have no time for just pushing paper aroundHusain Haqqani: State likes processMansoor IJAZ: Which mission? Sudan, Kashmir, there were so many they got pissed off about. I showed them howto do real American diplomacy and that was like a big pile of shit on their desk they couldn’t swallowHusain Haqqani: Conferences, statements–with nothing changingHusain Haqqani: The latest oneMansoor IJAZ: Yeah, I got it. You’re right!Mansoor IJAZ: Anyway, State will always hate me because I don’t accept their muddling way of doing thingsHusain Haqqani: I don’t know for a fact but I won’t be surprised if the FO statement was prompted by someone hereHusain Haqqani: Robin Raphel is back as Grossman’s deputyHusain Haqqani: You stepped on her toes w/ Kashmir missionMansoor IJAZ: That would be typical. But Grossman knows me and he knows how serious I am. Raphael still hatesme for the Kashmir intervention where she did everything she could to fuck me upHusain Haqqani: And now they hate me more when folks back home who hate me tell them you and I might havebeen together on s’thing (whether we were or not is irrelevant to them)Husain Haqqani: Grossman is good but he doesn’t like anyone playing a larger than life role. Old schoolHusain Haqqani: That’s why I have been requesting you to let this one goMansoor IJAZ: Yeah I know. Found that out when he was our lobbyist. But he’s a good guyHusain Haqqani: That takes attention off meMansoor IJAZ: Hmmmmmmmmm……. Not sure anything could take attention off youHusain Haqqani: I try and make peace with State and focus on battles at homeHusain Haqqani: HaHa Mansoor IJAZ: Diplomacy at its finest!!!Husain Haqqani: Yeah, right! But at least I shd not be painted as playing for your teamMansoor IJAZ: Why not? You were a good quarterback for those three days!!Husain Haqqani: I want to solve f***ing problems not fight a rearguard action all the timeHusain Haqqani: Husain Haqqani: Let us wait and see if Hillary’s latest foray changes things in any directionMansoor IJAZ: Did we really solve a true problem or was this all smoke and mirrors?Mansoor IJAZ: I mean on those days of stress…Husain Haqqani: View here is that everyone in Isloo sucks!Mansoor IJAZ: That’s pretty much true!!!!Husain Haqqani: Too early to say re solutionMansoor IJAZ: But if they all suck, then what did we save — a sinking ship that was going to sink anyway???Husain Haqqani: And there is a genetic problem at that end, predisposed to going round and round in circlesMansoor IJAZ: Yup!! That’s for damn sureHusain Haqqani: I think we save the situation from an extremely violent outcomeMansoor IJAZ: How can you solve the problems you understand so well from here if all the people in charge overthere are wrong? It’s only one year til we have a change in the US. Then you really won’t like who we have here!Husain Haqqani: I mean, Iran might have done better if the Shah had been saved AND some true reform introducedHusain Haqqani: Actually, I think the new ppl here might be better to deal with
Husain Haqqani: They won’t take lies easilyMansoor IJAZ: Don’t bet on it. We have a lot of extremists cropping up and seeping into the systemMansoor IJAZ: They don’t trust anything PakistaniMansoor IJAZ: Don’t matter what it isHusain Haqqani: Well, in that case find me a cheap piece of beachMansoor IJAZ: Cain, Romney (who hates Muslims), Perry — its all the same crapMansoor IJAZ: Hmmmmm, yes, I can arrange thatMansoor IJAZ: Why is Z such an idiot?Husain Haqqani: But don’t go off writing opeds abt arranging piece of beach w’out consulting first Husain Haqqani: HaHa! Tough questionHusain Haqqani: I have a speech in 20 mins so let’s keep that for laterHusain Haqqani: Bye for nowMansoor IJAZ: Okay. Good luck.Husain Haqqani: Thank you!
BBM CHAT EXCHANGES WITH HAQQANI ON 01 NOV 2011
22:06, then 22:31 until 23:03
Participants:Mansoor IJAZ, Husain Haqqani Messages:
Mansoor IJAZ: Hi buddy, I understand you/ your foreign office hacks are commissioning hatchet pieces against me.Unfortunate…. very unfortunate Husain Haqqani: I will enquire and stop them. There’s no need for any of this.Husain Haqqani: You haven’t helped by engaging so much w/ Pak media.Husain Haqqani: What happened to the ‘silent soldier’?Mansoor IJAZ: I issued a statement that was designed to put an end to all of this after Imran Khan’s rally nonsense.But be that as it may,I’m not going to tolerate character assassination in any of thisHusain Haqqani: I agreeHusain Haqqani: Will do my best to prevent itMansoor IJAZ: Roger thatHusain Haqqani: Focus on your policy message instead of who did what and we can turn this aroundMansoor IJAZ: Please remind your boss that his beloved wife, who later became a good friend of mine, tried thesame bullshit tactics in 1996 when Maleeha was envoy — result: her government was dismissed in Nov 1996.Mansoor IJAZ: I’m not someone he can mess around with. He better get that message from me and really understanditHusain Haqqani: My response to Imran was very simple and true: I did not write a treasonous letter and if Imran hasa copy, he should present itHusain Haqqani: I don’t think your threatening helpsMansoor IJAZ: That’s true from my point of view as well. But politicians are politiciansMansoor IJAZ: I don’t make threats. I state facts. Your boss needs reminding of the factsHusain Haqqani: Are you sure your side won’t deny?Mansoor IJAZ: No, maybe they will. But that would also be a mistake. Too much proof on that side as well.Husain Haqqani: But does “proving” help anything?Husain Haqqani: Is it not the nature of a private mission that officials deny it?Mansoor IJAZ: Don’t know. Don’t care. My point is simple — I’ve said what I was going to. Attacks on my personwill not be tolerated. And my statement stands. Stop telling lies about me and I might just stip telling the truth aboutyouHusain Haqqani: If you were to listen to my advice, you would let this blow over and prove yourself afterwards. Youare the one who will outlast the flying shit Husain Haqqani: That is usually my strategy: be there when the others have self-destructed or blown over
Mansoor IJAZ: I’ve kept to my word — if everyone wants to call it a fabrication and make me the fall guy, thengloves come off and it’s not going to be fun or pretty for anyoneMansoor IJAZ: You did something you thought was right outside channels because you felt it would be the mosteffective way to get the job done.I helped you execute. I haven’t thrown you under the bus. But be damn sure I won’t let anyone do that to meHusain Haqqani: I’ll do what I can to keep it prettyHusain Haqqani: I haven’t. I won’t.Mansoor IJAZ: By the way, I know a lot more than you give me credit for about the circumstances that led to May 1and your role in all that. Just FYIHusain Haqqani: Honorable ppl stick with one another. Take care.Mansoor IJAZ:
BBM CHAT FROM HAQQANI ON 02 NOV 2011 at 03:42
Husain Haqqani: I am maintaining silence so pls check with me before reacting if some Pak journo attributes anything to me
This completes my Witness Statement to the Commission. I wish to thank this august body forpermitting me to be heard in completeness. I remain ready to answer any of your questions. Iwish the Commission
God’s speed in addressing the important issues raised by this matter.
Thank you, Chairman and the members of this Honourable Commission, for your time and yourattention in this matter of great national importance.
Submitted for the record this 16th day of February, 2012
Deponent Musawer Mansoor IJAZ
Verifying on solemn affirmation on this 16th day of February, 2012 at London that all content of this affidavit, oral as well as printed in script from blackberry, email and other devices are absolutely true, honest and sincere to the best of my knowledge and nothing has been deposed falsely, ambiguously and wrongly. Deponent Musawer Mansoor IJAZ
Filed under: CURRENT AFFAIRS
Posted on 31 January 2012 by Tea Server
By Richard Leiby for The Washington Post
Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, was permitted to travel abroad Monday by the nation’s Supreme Court after two months of fending off treason allegations over his purported involvement in a mysterious memo that sought Washington’s help to neuter Pakistan’s powerful military.
The court ruling indicated that authorities seem to have lost interest in continuing to probe Haqqani’s role in the scandal, known here as Memogate, which at one point threatened to bring down the civilian leadership of this coup-prone country.
Haqqani, a confidant of President Asif Ali Zardari, was forced to resign, recalled to Islamabad and ordered not to travel abroad after a Pakistani American tycoon, Mansoor Ijaz, alleged that the diplomat engineered an unsigned missive to the Pentagon hoping to block a coup in the turbulent days after the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Haqqani denied involvement and said Ijaz, a onetime acquaintance, cooked up the memo.
In an e-mail to Agence France-Presse, Haqqani said: “I am glad that the Supreme Court has restored my right to travel, which had been rescinded without any charges being filed against me.” He added that he planned to join his family in the United States.
Memogate prompted a showdown between the army and the civilian leadership, which technically oversees the military, and brought an already shaky government to the verge of collapse. The fissures between the two sides now seem to have been repaired, and the incessant political and media interest in the scandal has waned in recent days.
One reason seemed to be the dwindling credibility of Ijaz, who has yet to appear to testify about his role in the memo, saying he fears for his safety. The bulk of evidence has come from Ijaz, who released logs of what he says are BlackBerry message conversations between him and Haqqani.
Since his return to Islamabad, Haqqani has stayed within the walls of the official government residence, saying he feared for his life.
Earlier this month, U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) issued a statement condemning the “harassment” of Haqqani, a former journalist and Boston University professor. They called him a “principled advocate” for Pakistan.
Despite allowing the erstwhile diplomat to travel, the Supreme Court did not drop the matter entirely: It granted a two-month extension to the judicial commission that is probing Memogate. And Haqqani’s lawyer had to guarantee that the former envoy would appear before the court if called, on four days’ notice.
A separate parliamentary investigation is also underway.
Posted on 27 January 2012 by Tea Server
Newsline looks back at the biggest events of 2011 and gives them a satirical spin.
Posted on 26 January 2012 by Tea Server
INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS
Commission internationale de juristes – Comisión Internacional de Juristas
” Protecting and promoting human rights through the Rule of Law”
PRESS RELEASE For immediate release – 25 January 2012
Former Pakistan Ambassador to the US faces threats to his life – ICJ
Geneva, Switzerland – The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today expressed its
grave concern for the infringement of rights of Hussain Haqqani, former Pakistan
Ambassador to the United States of America.
Hussain Haqqani has been embroiled in a political and judicial conflict stemming from a
leaked political memorandum that he was alleged to have authored, only a few days after
al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by US military forces.
“Hussain Haqqani faced a vicious media trial following which the Supreme Court of Pakistan on a petition filed debarred him from travelling abroad, despite the fact that he has not been charged with any crime,” said Sheila Varadan, International Legal Advisor at the ICJ Asia-Pacific Regional Office. “Hussain Haqqani continues to receive threats and has been painted as disloyal to the country. There is, though, no proof of any betrayal of his
duties as an Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States.”
His counsel, Asma Jahangir, confirmed that Hussain Haqqani is under threat and has taken refuge in the compound of the Prime Minister’s residence.
The leaked memo, which on 10 May 2011 was delivered to the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, was said to contain promises of greater cooperation with the Americans in counter-terrorism operations from President Zardari’s People’s Party of Pakistan (PPP) Government in exchange for support from the United States to subvert a potential military coup d’état.
News of the memo was leaked to the media by an American-Pakistani businessman, Ijaz Mansoor, in early October 2011.
Hussain Haqqani was recalled to Islamabad and resigned his post as Pakistan Ambassador to the United States in November 2011. The PPP Government denied allegations of involvement in the memo scandal and a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry was set up on 21 December 2011 to investigate the matter. A few days later, the Supreme Court of Pakistan established its own Commission of Inquiry.
There are legitimate concerns that in convening this Commission, the Supreme Court may have overstepped its constitutional authority and that this action could undermine the ongoing Parliamentary inquiry.
“We are calling on the Pakistani Authorities to respect Hussain Haqqani’s right to be presumed innocent and to remove the restriction on his right to leave the country and any other restrictions on his right to freedom of movement,” added Sheila Varadan. “They
must also ensure his personal safety at all times and respect his right to a fair and impartial hearing throughout the Inquiry process.”
For further information, please contact:
Sheila Varadan, International Legal Advisor, ICJ (Bangkok), tel + 66 2 619 83 04
Posted on 22 January 2012 by Tea Server
By Pramit Pal Chaudhri for The Hindustan Times
In Pakistan’s current crisis, why is its military is so reluctant to consider simply seizing power? One reason is that General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani cannot count on the US looking the other way. At a minimum, Washington would have to slap sanctions on an economically faltering country. At a maximum, it would be the last straw in a bilateral relationship at its lowest ebb since it was first woven in the 1950s.
Pakistan’s establishment claims it has been used and abused by the US, the most serious violation being that country’s stealth attack on Abbottabad that led to Osama bin Laden’s death. There has been the Raymond Davies affair, the endless drone attacks and the increasingly public accusation of double-dealing by senior US officials – the most notable being Admiral Mike Mullen’s linking of the Inter-Services Intelligence with terrorist groups.
There is some satisfaction for India in all this. It has been persistently claiming the existence of a military-terrorist nexus. Many in Washington agree. After Abbottabad, there is no one in Washington who doesn’t. The US-Pakistan relationship, says Daniel Twining of the German Marshall Fund, “was really at a historic high for the past decade but is diminishing.” But it might not matter as much to the US if relations fall apart, he says.
Other events are undermining the basis of the US-Pakistani bond. Islamabad had expected the US to totally retreat from Afghanistan, leaving Pakistan’s Taliban allies in charge. Instead, the US will leave a substantial force behind along with many drone bases. The US is talking with the Taliban, but only desultorily with groups that Islamabad patronises.
With the US Congress also pulling the plug on aid to Pakistan, what is left? The answer is nukes. “If Pakistan didn’t have nuclear weapons, with Al Qaeda almost gone, no one would care a fig about that country,” said one ex-US ambassador to the region. As they realise this, Islamabad is getting more paranoid about the security of its “strategic assets.” The more unstable they look, the more willing the US will be to try and do something risky to salvage Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
US officials are talking about a “new normal” in their Pakistan relations. This would cut ties to the bare bones: counterterrorism cooperation, limited military transit requirements, Afghan talks, narcotics and some humanitarian assistance. “We’ll have to work with the Pakistan military on a limited basis while negotiations with the Taliban proceed,” says John Schlosser, a former state department South Asia hand.
There seems to be no real understanding among Pakistanis that their leverage is dwindling or how much Abbottabad vapourised their credibility in the US. A parliamentary committee report on how to change the US relationship bizarrely demanded, for example, a civilian nuclear agreement.
It could get worse. “The relationship will fall further if the US finds [Al Qaeda chief] Zawahiri in Pakistan. Or there are terror strikes on India or the US,” says Bruce Riedel, former AfPak advisor to Barack Obama.
The worst thing is that Washington is decoupling just at a time when Pakistan, economically and otherwise, can least afford to lose their most generous international partner.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Democracy, India, Nuclear, Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Pakistanis, President Obama, Taliban, United States, US Army, US-Pakistan Relations Tagged: Afghanistan, Asif Ali Zardari, Husain Haqqani, India, Mansoor Ijaz, Memogate, Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, President Obama, Taliban, United States, US Army, US Pakistan Relations
Posted on 19 January 2012 by Tea Server
It’s ironic that while bikini-clad wrestlers face-off in what Ijaz, as match commentator, pitches as the match of the century, the bigger denouement to a thrilling clash of wits may be just round the corner.
Posted on 18 January 2012 by Tea Server
Spats, brawls, scuffles, tiffs and quibbles: call them what you want but 2011 was full of confrontations and Newsline recaps the biggest face-offs of 2011.
Posted on 17 January 2012 by Tea Server
January 12, 2012
The Secretary of State
The Honorable Hillary Rodham ClintonU.S.
Department of State2201 C Street, NWWashington, DC 20520
Dear Madame Secretary:
We American and Canadian Muslims have watched with increasing anxiety the situation of theformer Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani. Motivated by our deep concern for thelife and safety of Ambassador Haqqani we write to you to ask you to speak on his behalf.Ambassador Haqqani is living under virtual house arrest in Pakistan. Pakistan’s security agencies confiscated his passport and the judiciary, under pressure from the military, has restricted him fromtravelling outside Pakistan.
Ambassador Haqqani’s travails began after it was alleged that he had initiated a letter to theChairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, following the US military actioninside Pakistan in which Osama Bin Laden was killed. The letter reportedly asked for Americanintervention in Pakistan in order to forestall a military coup.Click here to read complete letter.
Posted on 17 January 2012 by Tea Server
By Alex Rodriguez for The Los Angeles Times
Dealing a heavy blow to Pakistan’s embattled government, the Supreme Court on Monday initiated contempt proceedings against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for refusing to revive a long-standing corruption case against the nation’s president.
Gilani, a top ally of President Asif Ali Zardari in the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, must appear before the court Thursday, when the justices will listen to his explanation for not going ahead with the case.
If the court moves forward with the contempt proceedings and Gilani is convicted, he could be disqualified from office and forced to step down. He also could be forced to serve up to six months in jail.
Zardari’s government is locked in battles with the Supreme Court and Pakistan’s powerful military, both of which have had an acrimonious relationship with the president since he took office in 2008. The crisis has stirred talk of the government’s possible ouster, though experts say it probably would happen through legal action taken by the high court rather than a military coup.
The military has ousted civilian leaders in coups four times in Pakistan’s 65-year history, but military generals have said they have no plans to mount a takeover.
Nevertheless, they were deeply angered by an unsigned memo that a Pakistani American businessman contends was engineered by a top Zardari ally to seek Washington’s help in preventing a military coup last spring. In exchange, the memo offered several concessions, including the elimination of a wing of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency that maintains links with Afghan insurgent groups.
The businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, says the then-ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, approached him with the idea. Haqqani, who was forced to resign after the allegations surfaced, denies any involvement in the creation or conveyance of the memo. A Supreme Court commission is investigating the case, and on Monday it ordered Ijaz to come to Pakistan and appear before the panel Jan. 24.
The high court’s move to start contempt proceedings against Gilani involves money-laundering charges in Switzerland that Zardari was convicted of in absentia in 2003. The case was appealed by Zardari and his late wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and was later dropped at the request of the Pakistani government in 2008.
Since 2009, Pakistan’s high court has repeatedly ordered the government to write a letter to Swiss authorities asking that the case be reopened. Gilani and government lawyers have refused, arguing that as president, Zardari enjoys constitutional immunity from prosecution.
Last week, the court warned Gilani that it could remove him from office if he did not abide by its demand. Government lawyers were supposed to appear in court Monday and explain why Gilani’s administration had ignored the court.
Instead, Atty. Gen. Maulvi Anwarul Haq appeared before a packed courtroom and told a high court panel that the government had not given him any instructions about what to say in court. The head of the panel, Justice Nasir Mulk, said Gilani’s inaction gave the court no recourse but to pursue a contempt case against him.
Outside the courtroom, Haq said that if the court eventually issues a contempt finding against Gilani, “this conviction has ramifications…. Under the constitution, with a conviction it’s disqualification from office.”
Before the court issues its findings, it probably would hold evidentiary hearings, Haq said. If Gilani on Thursday tells the court he will ask Swiss authorities to reopen the corruption case, the justices probably would consider dropping the contempt proceeding, said Tariq Mehmood, a lawyer and retired judge.
Gilani has given no indication he plans to give in. He will, however, appear in court Thursday to explain the government’s rationale, he told parliament late Monday. “We have always respected the courts,” he said. “The court has summoned me, and in respect of the court I will go there on Jan. 19.”
Zardari’s administration hopes to become the first civilian government to finish out its term, which ends in 2013. The political turmoil may thwart that plan, as opposition leaders increasingly push harder for early elections. Though Zardari is widely criticized in Pakistan for failing to revive the country’s moribund economy and tackle corruption, his party remains confident that it can weather the storm and retain power for a second term.
Even if Gilani is removed from office, Zardari continues to hold together a coalition that controls parliament’s lower house, which elects the prime minister. On Monday, however, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, a staunch ally of the president, doubted it would come to that.
“The prime minister will stay,” Malik told reporters outside parliament. “The government is in command. Our flight may be a little bumpy, but God willing, we will have a smooth landing in 2013.”
Filed under: Afghanistan, Democracy, Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Pakistanis Tagged: Asif Ali Zardari, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, Husain Haqqani, Mansoor Ijaz, Pakistan, Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Supreme Court, PPP, Yousuf Raza Gilani
Posted on 16 January 2012 by Tea Server
By Saeed Shah for The Miami Herald
Pakistan’s political crisis, which pits its president against determined opponents in foes in Parliament, the Supreme Court and the military, is likely to reach fever pitch on Monday with a confidence vote scheduled in Parliament and hearings scheduled in two critical court cases.
The crisis is so intense that President Asif Zardari’s administration may be willing to call elections for as soon as October, according to members of his ruling coalition and its advisers. But that may not be enough to mollify the opposition, which wants earlier elections, or the country’s powerful military establishment, which is believed to be trying to force a so-called “soft coup,” under which Zardari, a critic of the military’s traditional dominance of Pakistan, would be forced out by Parliament or the courts.
The threat of an outright coup also hangs over the crisis, if the politicians cannot find a way out or the court proceedings reach absolute stalemate.
Whether the government can reach agreement with opposition leader Nawaz Sharif is unclear. Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party doesn’t want to announce elections until after voting in March for a new Senate, which the PPP is widely expected to win. But Sharif would like the new elections to be in the summer, perhaps June, which would require an earlier announcement.
“There is no other option for the government to come out of the current crisis without elections,” said an adviser to the PPP leadership, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, as did the other coalition members. “It is in the interests of the PPP to reach an agreement with Nawaz.”
The PPP rules with three major coalition partners, but the alliance is looking shaky. Two of the parties, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, have distanced themselves somewhat from the government.
A senior member of the coalition said the parties so far have agreed internally only to a general election to be held in October. That would be just a few months before the February 2013 date when Parliament would complete its five-year term and elections would have to be held anyway.
An early election should also placate the courts and the military. A supposedly neutral caretaker government would have to be installed to oversee a three-month electioneering period.
Another coalition member said: “It is 100 percent certain that there will be elections in 2012. The only solution is elections. It doesn’t matter whether they are held in June or October.”
Zardari’s coalition itself brought Monday’s confidence vote resolution to Parliament, cleverly wording it so that it asks for support not for the prime minister or even the government, but for democracy. That makes it difficult to oppose.
But the PPP’s troubles in Parliament are only one of the fronts in its battle for survival. The courts and the military are both maneuvering against the party’s leaders, with two explosive cases coming up for hearings Monday.
The first stems from a 2007 decree by President Pervez Musharraf that granted immunity from prosecution to Zardari and other exiled PPP politicians in an effort to persuade them to return to Pakistan to participate in elections that Musharraf was being pressured by the United States to hold.
The Supreme Court later ruled, however, that the decree was illegal and demanded that the government reopen corruption charges against Zardari stemming from the time when his wife, the assassinated PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, was prime minister.
The government declined, however, and now the court has summoned the government to explain its actions. The court could declare Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in contempt of court, which would in effect remove him from office.
The other case involves the the scandal in which a judicial commission is investigating allegations that Husain Haqqani, a close Zardari adviser and former ambassador to the U.S., wrote a memo that was passed to U.S. officials in May. That memo offered to replace the Pakistan military’s top officials in return for U.S. support should the military attempt to push Zardari aside.
Haqqani, who was forced to resign, says he had nothing to do with the memo, which the military has said amounted to treason.
The judicial commission may take testimony this week from an American businessman, and occasional news commentator, Mansoor Ijaz, who claimed that he had delivered the memo to U.S. officials, in a column that appeared in the British newspaper the Financial Times in October. Ijaz has said he will show up as a witness, though he apparently has yet to receive a visa to enter Pakistan.
Filed under: Afghanistan, American Muslims, Democracy, Freedoms, Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Pakistanis, President Obama, Taliban, United States, US Army Tagged: Asif Ali Zardari, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Imran Khan, Mansoor Ijaz, Memogate, MQM, Muttahida Quami Movement, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan, Pakistan Muslim League-Q, Pakistan Parliment, Pervez Musharraf, PPP, Yousuf Raza Gilani
Posted on 14 January 2012 by Tea Server
Posted on 09 January 2012 by Tea Server
London (UNN) Mystery Memo confirmed that Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zaedari want to see an larger role of US in Pakistan.
American monitoring Husain Haqqani’s situation closely because they want …