Pakistan The Memo and Clash of the Titans
The Memo, allegedly drafted by Mansoor Ijaz on the direction of Husain Haqqani and delivered by Gen. James Jones to Adm. Mike Mullen, threatens a head-on clash between the government and the supreme judiciary of Pakistan.
It was the American national of Pakistani origin, Mansoor Ijaz, who revealed in a Financial Times article that he had arranged to deliver a Memo to (US) Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, at the request of Hussain Haqqani, then Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S. He further said that he had drafted the said Memo according to Haqqani’s direction and the latter had approved the final draft. The memo was delivered to Mullen through Gen. Jones. Jones who admitted delivering the memo to Mullen and the latter has admitted having received it, saying he did not act upon it.
The alleged Memo delivered about a week after US Special Forces had killed Osama bin Laden contains some highly volatile material that, on the face of it, appears treasonous. It promises for instance, that Pakistan’s nuclear program would be placed under a “more verifiable, transparent regime” that is acceptable to the US.
Another mouth-watering offer says that a new national security team will be created that will “elimi- nate Section S of the ISI charged with maintaining relations to the Taliban, Haqqani network, etc. This will dramatically improve relations with Afghanistan.” And finally, it pledges that “The new national security team is prepared, with full backing of the Pakistani government – initially civilian but eventually all three power centers – to develop an acceptable framework of discipline for the nuclear program.”
The undertakings in the transcript of the Memo amount to inviting Washington to take over the country’s control, including its security apparatus. More astonishingly, these pledges are voluntary and gratuitous without seeking a quid pro quo. When the disclosure created a furor, Hussain Haqqani was summoned from Washington and forced to resign. But he and the government have been in the denial mode from the very start.
Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif, petitioned the Supreme Court for a judicial probe into the matter. Haqqani’s lawyer, Asma Jahangir argued that Sharif’s petition was not maintainable and should be dismissed. But the Supreme Court rejected her plea and appointed a judicial commission comprising Balochistan High Court Chief Justice, Qazi Faez Isa, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice, Iqbal Hameedur Rehman and Sindh High Court Chief Justice, Mushir Alam, to inquire into the matter and submit its findings within one month. Asma Jahangir’s plea was that the alleged memo was just “a piece of paper” and besides, when the prime minster has already tasked the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) to inquire into the affair, the Supreme Court should not entertain Sharif’s petition. But she had no answer when the Court questioned why the government was conducting any investigation into it at all if it was “just a piece of paper.”
The decision evoked angry reactions from Ms. Jahangir and some PPP top brass. She withdrew from representing Haqqani. She accused the Supreme Court of being influenced by the “establishment” (read, military)