Haqqani’s real crime?
Former Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani’s recent article carried by The Washington Post captioned ‘My real crime: Standing up for US-Pakistan relations’ is reflective of his craftiness and confirms his disloyalty to Pakistan. Though he claims to have rendered meritorious services, his performance as ambassador to the US has been a dismal failure, as the relations between Pakistan and the US never touched the lowest ebb as they did during his tenure.
Anyhow he should not tell the people about his real crime, as judicial commission found him guilty of initiating anti-Pakistan document called “Memogate” and that he was not loyal to the state of Pakistan while serving as an ambassador to Washington.
The people of Pakistan and the media not only welcomed the outcome of Memo Inquiry Commission but also took a sigh of relief that the shady character like Haqqani has finally been spotted by the Commission. In his article we do not see any remorse or pricking of conscience, as he continues to hold the brief for his masters.
He wrote: “My sincere efforts to transcend the parallel narratives that have shaped US-Pakistani relations were not always appreciated in Pakistan, where conspiracy theories and hatred for the United States have become a daily staple of the national discourse. My detractors in Pakistan’s security services and among pro-Jihadi groups have long accused me of being pro-American; they condescendingly described me as the US ambassador to Pakistan based in Washington The expectation that Washington should simply do whatever the Pakistani hyper-nationalists desire remains unrealistic”. He also admits having the knowledge that in Pakistan people used to describe him as the US ambassador to Pakistan. Despite all such negative metaphors attached to his name Haqqani seems to have learned no lessons and appears to have become a motivated American rather than a proud Pakistani. He mentioned that anti-Americanism was waxing, but it was after the 2nd May incident when the US violated Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Pakistan and the US have had good relations during the last six decades except short spans of disagreement when Pakistan’s security concerns were not addressed. A great majority of Pakistanis are peace-loving, and as exhorted by Quaid-e-Azam they want to have good relations with all the countries of the world, including the US. They are not anti-American but are against policies of the US government vis-�-vis nuclear agreement with India, and giving special role to India in post-withdrawal in Afghanistan.
Despite his rhetoric, Haqqani could not hide his real face from a resolute probe conducted by the Judicial Commission. The Memo Commission concluded that the memorandum was real and it was authored by Hussain Haqqani, former Pakistan ambassador to the US. The report has confirmed that former Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani is not a trustworthy person and has been disloyal to the state.
The sealed report presented by Memo Commission was read out to the apex court’s nine-member bench, which stated that the former ambassador was a functionary of government of Pakistan but, he was not loyal to the country.
It stated that Hussain Haqqani violated the Constitution of Pakistan only to prove that the civil government in Islamabad is a friend to the US and can help the US in its non-proliferation efforts. Earlier, during the course of commission’s hearing, Mansoor Ijaz was allowed to depose via video conferencing from London after he refused to come to Pakistan due to security concerns.
Haqqani had refused to attend the hearings after he was not allowed to depose from abroad. If Haqqani had evidence to prove his innocence he would have come back to Pakistan to get his position vindicated. Since he was involved in the Memo, he had decided to stay away from the proceedings of the commission despite the fact that he was committed to come back on a short notice of four days.
It has to be recalled that the memo had accused Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani of planning to bring down the government in the aftermath of the raid on Osama bin Laden on May 2. It asked Mike Mullen to use his influence to stop it. It said: “The government will allow the US to propose names of officials to investigate bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, facilitate American attempts to target militants like al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and Taliban chief Mullah Omar, and allow the US greater oversight of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons”. By going through the last two pages of Haqqani’s book ‘Pakistan between Mosque and military’, one could reach the conclusion that he wrote things to appease his masters, and that he was the one who authored the memo. The book had analysed and traced the origins of the relationships between Islamist groups and military, thus disparaging Pakistan and its army. A brief summary of Hussain Haqqani’s changing loyalties and changing goalposts would be appropriate to read his mind.
Hussain Haqqani was once correspondent for Far Eastern Economic Review; then he was media advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Nawaz Sharif when Benazir Bhutto was Prime Minister of Pakistan during her first stint in 1988-1990. He switched to serve caretaker Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi in 1990, and then switched back again to serve Mian Nawaz Sharif when he was elected Prime Minister. He stooped so low as to use vulgar language for Bhutto family’s women folk. In 1992, he was sent to Sri Lanka as Pakistan’s High Commissioner showing disregard to the merit. On the eve of Nawaz Sharif’s dismissal by the then president under 58-2(B) on 18th April 1993, he jumped out of the sinking ship and joined President Ghulam Ishaq Khan’s bandwagon. Immediately, he was rewarded and made special assistant to the caretaker Prime Minister Mir Balakh Sher Mazari with the rank of Minister of State. He was a turncoat having no parallel in at least Pakistan’s history. There is a perception that during his stint as Ambassador to the US he did not care for the prime minister and president of Pakistan.