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.

Southasia - - CONTENTS - By S.G. Ji­la­nee

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)

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