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[Comments: He should be declared judge for himself, or select judges of his choice]
A Brief Analysis
In all civilised societies mlitary is subservient to the civilian political authority for the defence of country [not in private control to support their corrupt practices]. If 'Memogate' is true, then its a nasty effort by corrupt and incompetent people to keep defence forces under full control like PIA, Steel Mill, Railways and other strategic national assets, which are in doldrums, verge of collapse, causing national loss of loss of Rs100 crore/1000 millions per day. Hope Memogate is untrue but ......
Around 1485, a 'Memo' was written by Amir Abdullah to Christian power of Spain. Abdullah had requested help from Christians that if he is helped by King Ferdinend, Abdullah would hand over Muslim Spain to Christians. In return, Abdullah only wanted wealth, gaurenteed puppet status and permission to keep personal overseas lands and wealth. Incredibly, the supreme court and ministers as well as intellegencia and army of the time knew of the 'secret' correspondence but stayed silent in national interest or were bought by Abdullah. As a result, Granada and last bastion of Islam in Europe fell to Christians in 1492, who pounced upon the opportunity frm regional states. The name of Prime Minister of Abdullah was also Yusuf ! Today, after 500 years, history is hauntingly being repeated. Another memo has been written on identical terms and have been exposed. The courts and opinion makers play games, while army watches!
How Mansoor Ijaz Nearly Brought Down the Government
The murky affair billed as Memogate is as good as dead and buried. The investigation by the judicial commission will drag on till the end of March, and the relevant people will go through the motions, but the sting is out of the scandal. Nearly all stakeholders have stepped back and do not appear interested in pursuing the matter any more.
The trail seems to have gone cold.
As the dust begins to settle, it becomes clear that the scandal has produced two casualties: Husain Haqqani, and the truth. In time, Haqqani may recoup the damage done to him, but the truth may not be known for a long time. But what is known is that the country has been taken for a ride.
All those involved may now heave a collective sigh of relief, but this glosses over the fact that almost every stakeholder comes out smelling bad. In fact, the least to be affected – in an ironical way – may be Mansoor Ijaz. He didn’t really have much to lose. He never had any stakes in Pakistan, and neither did he have much credibility to start with. Known as a publicity-seeking self promoter, Ijaz had flirted around with almost every recent Pakistani government, peddling his supposed influence within the US power circles and presenting himself as a mediator, facilitator and promoter of various issues. No one in Pakistan had taken him too seriously before. In fact, perhaps the only people who ever took him seriously were the Fox News Channel news managers, who occasionally featured him as an expert on Pakistan.
So why did his word carry so much weight this time around? Perhaps he became an unwitting cog in a larger strategic game. Perhaps he triggered off a series of events which then spun out of control. Or maybe – just maybe – he was actually on to something, but didn’t have enough evidence to prove it. Whatever the case may be, what is clear is that he was not the sole player in this sordid saga. Messages were exchanged. Lines were written. Emails were sent. And thoughts were structured for a plan of action. The action was just never executed.
In other words, there was enough material flying around for the head of ISI to take it seriously. Were it not for his London trip to meet Ijaz, and were not it for his convincing arguments to the army chief, the Memogate scandal would have died a natural death on the editorial pages of the Financial Times. From there, the issue gained new life as it got splashed in the local media. Suddenly detailed transcripts of email and BBM exchanges found reams of column space and hours of air time. A one-paragraph accusation transformed into a full-blown political scandal.
The rest, as they say, is history. Except that it’s not.
The army chief and the ISI head still have a lot to answer for. What convinced them to take this issue so seriously? What prompted them to get Husain Haqqani’s scalp and still relentlessly pursue the matter in court through their strongly-worded written statements? And what made them ultimately back away and not ensure Ijaz’s arrival in Pakistan? These questions may stop making headlines, but they still remain unanswered, and will keep hanging around for some time to come.
The government has a lot to answer. Why was it so afraid of a thorough enquiry into the matter? Why did it panic at the thought of Ijaz coming to Pakistan to record his statement in front of the judicial commission? Why did it keep insisting the memo was nothing more than a piece of paper when its content was specific, and required specific answers? The memo may recede into oblivion, but a nagging feeling still pollutes the air that the government knew more than it admitted to; that there was more to the affair than the government cared to admit. In short, the government was terrified of full disclosure.
Additionally, the judiciary has a lot to answer for. Why did it pounce on the matter despite the dubiousness that surrounded the issue? Why did it act in haste by banning Haqqani from travelling abroad, and by forming a commission? And why has it suddenly put the issue in veritable cold storage by giving the commission a two-month period to complete its work? The superior judiciary will be accused of indulging in judicial haste when perhaps judicial restraint may have been a better and more prudent option. The judicial commission will be blamed for its ineffectiveness and failure to fulfill its mandate to find the truth.
Nawaz Sharif will also have to answer several questions. Did he jump the gun by rushing into court with a bagful of petitions on the matter? Was he used? Is he now a victim of his own second-guessing? And has he also realized that the matter benefits no one if it drags on. His best defence would be that he judged wrongly. The best is clearly not good enough.
The media, too, needs to do some introspection. In its eagerness to go after the Big Story, did the media overplay the issue? Did the relentless coverage of Memogate inflate it beyond its actual significance and force the institutional power players to dig in their heels for fear of losing face? And should the media move on to the next story when Memogate has clearly not reached a logical conclusion?
The final verdict is still to be given. But chances are Mansoor Ijaz will not land in Pakistan any time soon. Expect a few more op-ed pieces from him in the coming weeks and months. Perhaps even a book. But words alone will never be enough to explain why Pakistani leaders were – and still are – so afraid of an unsigned piece of paper that no one owns up to.
The Musharraf-enacted NRO that gave Asif Ali Zardari immunity as president and he and cronies to run riot in Pakistan with impunity has come a full circle more than two years after the Supreme Court judgment declaring it null and void. “Dr” Babar Awan (of “Monticello Univesity” fame) is all fire and brimstone, but let’s see how long his bravado lasts.
Many things have come to a head, all at once. Whether on national security or on economics, the political games being played by Zardari and Gilani had only one motive, how to escape accountability and buy their way back into power in order to loot the public some more. Watching the parody Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain the day Hamid Mir’s interview with Zardari was to be aired on Geo TV, a short clip of the interview was shown in-between as a “promo.” When Hamid Mir brought his attention to the virtual meltdown of PIA, the Railways, Wapda and other organisations, Zardari dismissed each with a shrug: “It is your assessment, it has only become weak.” For one surreal moment one thought it to be part of the comedy show, and then I realised the mocking tone was vintage Zardari, and for real. Either the man had completely lost common sense, or the brazenness was reflective of the deep scorn with which with he treats Pakistanis for having elected a tainted man like him as head of state?
With both the judiciary and the Pakistani army serious about uncovering the truth about the Mansoor Ijaz-Husain Haqqani memo, the Memogate Commission is more than likely to come up with the facts in the near future. When Mansoor Ijaz arrives in Pakistan he will probably reveal much more. By dragging their feet on issuing Ijaz a visa and intimidating him to prevent his coming to Pakistan and appearing before the commission, the government was clearly following the strategy of sabotaging the process. Not getting a straight reply about Ijaz’s visa and his personal safety from the interior secretary, Justice Isa warned him that he would be charged with contempt of court: “Don’t make a mockery of the commission.”
Unlike Mansoor Ijaz, who promised to hand over his Blackberry and all related data, Husain Haqqani flatly declined to hand over his own Blackberry for investigation. Claiming initially that he was unaware of where the device was, he then volunteered it was somewhere in his home in Washington DC. Even without having anything to hide, as he insists, he categorically rejected the commission’s request to waive his privacy rights with the Canada-based manufacturer of Blackberry phones, “Research in Motion” (RIM). He said tongue-in-cheek: “I may require approval of the government as I am bound to observe the Official Secrets Act.” Refusing to submit the Blackberry data to the commission, he also declined to share the PIN of his old set with the commission. When Justice Isa politely asked Haqqani’s lawyer if the waiver would harm his client, he received an evasive answer. The chief justice of the Balochistan High Court rightly observed that if obstacles continued to be created “an adverse inference can be drawn.” That is quite damning. Could it be that Haqqani is desperately hiding something even worse than what was in the memo?
Three weeks after the army chief and the director general of the ISI had submitted their responses to the Supreme Court, Gilani chose a Chinese newspaper to make the “revelation” (meant to embarrass the army chief during his visit to China) that no official action can be taken by a government functionary without the prior approval of the government, and therefore their depositions in the Memogate case were unconstitutional and illegal.
Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed said dozens of government servants submit their replies with the courts of law daily as a routine practice in various legal cases, and they do not get their replies vetted. The prime minister simply wanted to confuse and complicate things in order to sabotage the memo enquiry. The PPP government wanted “Shahadat” (martyrdom) to win people’s sympathies by choosing a confrontational path with the institutions.”
Neither the people of Pakistan nor the rank and file of the army want martial law, but they would also not tolerate any attack on the institutions of the army and the ISI. Any attempt by the government to sack Kayani and Pasha could well incite a mutiny. What prompted Gilani to ignite the fire by fuelling a controversy by virtually charge-sheeting the army chief while he was abroad but a deliberate attempt to incite reaction that would plunge the country into complete anarchy and chaos?
Having been caught red-handed in the Memogate case both Zardari and Gilani are trying desperately to become martyrs of democracy. By playing politics with national security to save his skin, Gilani is not only putting the system and democracy at risk but Pakistan as well. While his incompetence in the exercise of his authority as prime minister is well-documented, his attempt to try to achieve political goals threatened to demolish the entire system. Despite the deliberate provocation the army, let the Supreme Court implement the rule of law. The Supreme Court has done well by heading off the possibility of martial law or, even worse, a mutiny.
The army should exercise patience and remember Sun Tzu’s saying: “If you wait by the river long enough, you will see the corpse of your enemy go floating by.” Gilani and President Zardari mock at state institutions, including the judiciary and the military establishment, to further their regime’s misrule and corruption. They use their version of democracy selectively to camouflage and gloss over their wrongdoings.
Despite vehement and vociferous protests from my good friend of 48 years, 34th PMA course-mate and in-house lawyer Commander Kaifi, one has always liked and respected Adm Fasih Bokhari. However, failure to prosecute the outright crooks indicted by the Supreme Court was shocking and disappointing. Before his reputation suffers further damage, he would do his friends and admirers (and the uniform) a great favour by resigning as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau before facing the Supreme Court on Jan 16.
Notwithstanding the good faith behind the Supreme Court’s giving the government various options, the “Doctrine of Necessity” can never be really eradicated. It is like a chameleon, it will surface in both political and military forms. It made its appearance in its judicial image when the Supreme Court gave an option to the government to face disqualification or to go the electorate. Zardari and Gilani either violated their oath of office, or they did not. The rule of law in either case has to take its course, there is no third option.
http://mahameed-articles.blogspot.com/2011/12/some-more-questions-about-husain.htmlConspiracies are intriguing and fascinating. The Memo Scandal, involving Husain Haqqani and others, is no different. Some of its secrets are already known, while others may be on the way. In my previous post (“Some questions on the Husain Haqqani fiasco”), I raised some questions. Here are some more.Why was the memo written and delivered in the first place?According to Mansoor Ijaz, Haqqani claimed that the government feared a military coup. However, now it appears that it was the other way round. After the Abbottabad attack, the army preferred to claim that it had been taken by surprise. In view of its vulnerability due to public outrage, somebody in the Zardari coterie had the brilliant idea that the present army leadership should be replaced with pliable one. The idea got a favorable hearing.However, it was not forgotten what had happened to Nawaz Sharif, who made a clumsy attempt to remove the army chief with disastrous consequences. So, it was decided to get the American support before replacing top generals.The thrust of the charge against Haqqani is given in Mansoor’s article in Newsweek (http://www.thedailybeast.com/
newsweek/2011/12/04/an- insider-analysis-of-pakistan- s-memogate.html). He writes,“Zardari and Haqqani both knew the U.S. was going to launch a stealth mission to eliminate bin Laden that would violate Pakistan’s sovereignty. They may have even given advance consent after CIA operations on the ground in Pakistan pinpointed the Saudi fugitive’s location. The unilateral U.S. action, they might have surmised, would result in a nation blaming its armed forces and intelligence services for culpability in harboring bin Laden for so many years. They planned to use the Pakistani public’s hue and cry to force the resignations of Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and intelligence chief Gen. Shuja Pasha. Pliable replacements would have been appointed.”Haqqani has not much to worry about a conviction if Zardari is still the President. After all, there will be nothing to stop Zardari from pardoning Haqqani promptly. If Rehman Malik can survive despite court judgments, there is no reason why Haqqani should fare worse.Persons close to Zardari, in Islamabad and Washington, conceived, wrote and finished the memo, with his approval. Then it was delivered to the Pentagon through Mansoor.Why did the memo surface now?Both Haqqani and Ijaz would have kept the memo secret forever, whether or not it led to any action by the U.S. How come it was disclosed only after four months? Lt Gen Hameed Gul believes that the Pentagon made the disclosure after the government had failed to carry out the promises made in the memorandum even in over four months. (That means the Pentagon did give the warning to the army top brass that Zardari coterie wanted and then waited for the fulfillment of the promises in the memo.)There is another possibility. The Pentagon did not expect a pliable government to emerge after the elections because parties of both Zardari and Nawaz Sharif were losing popularity. Imran Khan could break into vote banks of both PPP and Nawaz League. The more time he has, the more popularity he will gain. Even if he did not get majority in election, he could still end up as the head of a coalition. That will make life quite difficult for the U.S. operations in Afghanistan.The urgent question for the Pentagon was: How to stop Imran Khan? The best option would be to get rid of the PPP government now, help install an interim government to revive economy and clear the mess, and get the elections postponed indefinitely. Then it will be comfortable army-to-army dealings. Since top Pentagon generals knew the existence of the Haqqani memo, one of them asked Ijaz to disclose it. It was to be a booby trap. No wonder, the Zardari regime is teetering on the verge of collapse.Could Haqqani nip the scandal in the bed?He could. The day Mansoor’s article appeared in The Financial Times, Haqqani could have concluded that Zardari’s game was up. The Pentagon did convey the warning to the army in May but was now angry with Zardari for failing to carry out the remaining promises in his memo.That should have been enough for Haqqani to resign immediately, claiming that he was exhausted by grueling diplomacy and wanted to go back to his “professory” (as we say in Urdu). To be on the safe side, he could also seek political asylum. To his misfortune, Haqqani dragged his feet and finally had to leave Washington kicking and screaming to face the music in Islamabad.As it happens often with ambitious persons, arrogance makes them ignore the ground realities. Haqqani was not willing to call it quits so easily. With Zardari at his back and many influential friends in the U.S., he was sure he could survive easily. However, his defense against Ijaz’s onslaught was only denial. It was like defending oneself with a plastic shield against a rocket launcher. So, he landed himself soon in a very hot soup, with his hope dashed of becoming the National Security Advisor and, with luck, even something much higher. Now he wonders whether it will be his neck or that of his “boss” -- or both.What can Haqqani do now?There was for some time a talk of compromise (muk muka مک مکا in plain words), to end the episode after getting Haqqani’s resignation. However, the action by Supreme Court on the Haqqani scandal has made it impossible.بات نکلی ھے تو دور تلک جاءے گیNow Haqqani has two options: Stick with Zadari or betray him. If he believes that Zardari will survive the crisis, he may decide to remain faithful to him. If, in his view, Zardari may be forced out even without impeachment or conviction (see below), Haqqani may become an approver against his “boss.”What are the prospects for Zardari’s survival? His impeachment may be difficult, as he may use all his skills and means to win over most MNAs. The motion to impeach Pervez Musharraf seemed likely to succeed, as it had support from both the U.S. and the army. If the same support is available, Zardari may be impeached. However, it will be simply removal as President. He will still be a force to reckon with, being the head of his party.If Zardari is prosecuted, his prospects will be better than impeachment. He did not allow any case against him to reach a conclusion despite years of trial. He will work harder to do the same indefinitely, using all the tricks of legal profession.Haqqani might be tried not under Article 6 of the Constitution but, according to Justice Tariq Mahmood, under Section 121 of the Pakistan Penal Code, viz., “Whoever wages war against Pakistan, or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.”How will it all end?A lot of noise may be created for months by investigation, court trial, impeachment motion, discussions, agitations, all the words poured out in the paper and electronic media but the process may well drag into Zardari’s final months in office. He is not very keen for another term for him and his party because he and his cronies have grabbed all they wanted, destroying all they could in the process. So, he will not be unhappy if he leaves in 2013 with a guard of honour. He may even resign soon, if pressed hard enough.However, what most people fear may well happen, as long as Zardari is in Sadar Mahal صدر محل (President House). In the meantime, he may do much worse than he had promised the U.S. in his memo to Admiral Mike Mullen. So, the Establishment may not be willing to allow status quo to continue. It also has to consider abysmal conditions in the country: economic disaster, massive corruption, gross misgovernance, high inflation, severe crime wave, energy crisis, political chaos, subservience to foreign interests. The security of the state and vital national interests are far more important than any possible hostile reaction from politicians, media and Supreme Court. (The so-called “international community,” including the U.S., may also soon reconcile with fait accompli, even if it is not happy.) So, don’t be surprised if you learn one fine morning that the 111 Brigade is in action.
Some questions on the Husain Haqqani fiasco
-------------Memogate: What Happened Behind Closed Doors
The “memogate” scandal is adding to pressures on the already deeply unpopular government. Some analysts have speculated that President Asif Ali Zardari himself could be in danger if charges that he signed off on the memo gain traction.
“The target is not me, the target is President Zardari and Pakistani democracy,” said Haqqani, who has offered to resign over the affair.
Though Pakistan has a civilian president, the military retains vast political and economic power. It has ruled Pakistan, directly or indirectly, for most of its six-decade existence, and fiercely resisted attempts by civilian leaders to curb its role.
If authentic, the memo would fuel politically toxic charges that the government is colluding with the United States against the interests of the country and its army. Though Washington pumps huge amounts of aid into the country, the U.S. is highly unpopular here. The affair has been whipped up by rightwing critics of the government and those close to the military establishment, which doesn’t trust Haqqani.
The unsigned memo was sent soon after the May 2 raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a city outside Islamabad and was delivered to Adm. Mike Mullen, the top U.S. military officer at the time. The bin Laden raid led to intense and highly unusual domestic criticism of the army.
A Pakistani English-language newspaper, The News, and Foreign Policy’s website on Friday published the text of the memo. After initially denying any knowledge of the document, Mullen’s spokesman confirmed he received it but ignored it because it was not credible.
The memo promises to allow the U.S. to propose names of officials to investigate bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, facilitate American attempts to target militants like al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri and Taliban chief Mullah Omar and allow the U.S. greater oversight of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
The memo also accuses Pakistan army chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani of plotting to bring down the government in the aftermath of the bin Laden assassination. It asks Mullen for his “direct intervention” with Kayani to stop this.
Haqqani denied having anything to do with the note. Still, some say Zardari will have no choice but to dismiss Haqqani, a close ally. Zardari’s spokesman said Thursday that the government had not decided what action, if any, to take against the envoy, who has been summoned to Islamabad to explain the scandal.
The News also printed what it said were transcripts of Blackberry messenger conversations between Haqqani and Mansoor Ijaz, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani origin who claims to have delivered the memo to Mullen via an intermediary, on the orders of Haqqani.
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/memogate-scandal-threatens-pakistans-ambassador-to-us-and-possibly-president/2011/11/18/gIQAcxRZXN_story.html
The Memo shock
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