Much has rapidly changed in the Us-pakistan relationship with Ambassador Husain Haqqani resigning over the Memogate scandal. Haqqani, who served as Pakistan Ambassador to the US from 2008, was seen as a great friend and confidant of the US government: a fact that also drew strong criticism and suspicion from the Pakistani military establishment. On the Pakistani side, the Ambassador was perceived to be very close to the President, thus drawing criticism from political parties within the country.
The infamous memo, allegedly sent by Haqqani following the Bin Laden raid earlier this year, to American businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, was made public after the latter published an explosive op-ed in the Financial Times. Ijaz claimed that Haqqani, initially on the orders of Zardari, had asked him to deliver a memo to Admiral Mike Mullen. Ijaz had asked General Jim Jones to be the interlocutor and deliver the memo to Mullen.
The memo that sought US assistance in preventing a suspected military coup of a weak civilian government following the Abbottabad raid, drew furor from the Army as well as the ISI. Admiral Mullen, the recipient of the memo, did not deem the unsigned memo credible or authentic and Haqqani vehemently denied any involvement with the matter.
However, the Ambassador was summoned to Pakistan and in a closed-door meeting at the Prime Minister’s House that involved President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, General Kayani, DG ISI, Shuja Pasha, Ambassador Haqqani offered his resignation that was promptly accepted by the Prime Minister. It is expected that a transparent inquiry will be made into the matter and an independent commission will be set up to investigate the details of the memo, its author and the agency behind its issuance.
Husain Haqqani has been replaced with human rights campaigner, journalist and former Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Sherry Rehman, who will now assume the post of Pakistani Ambassador to the US.