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Rediff.com  » News » Let Haqqani reveal the truth, says man who exposed 'memogate'

Let Haqqani reveal the truth, says man who exposed 'memogate'

December 08, 2011 14:21 IST

Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, whose revelations sparked a storm in Pakistan, has said that former envoy to the United States Husain Haqqani should be allowed to speak the truth about the memogate controversy, and be offered immunity from prosecution.

"Haqqani should be offered immunity from prosecution in Pakistan and simply tell the Pakistani people the truth about what he -- and his boss -- did. He will be seen as a hero for having the guts to call a spade a spade," Ijaz wrote in an opinion piece on the CNN website.

Ijaz, in an opinion piece in The Financial Times, London had revealed that he delivered a secret memo to Admiral Mike Mullen, the then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The memo according to Ijaz was drafted by the then Pakistani ambassador to US, Haqqani, on behalf of the Pakistan President, Asif Ali Zardari; both of whom have denied such a claim. Haqqani has since resigned pending an investigation on this issue.

"To some in Pakistan, the memo was the product of an honourable civil servant (Haqqani) attempting to save his boss's government from imminent demise at the hands of military men he had come to despise. To others, the memorandum's contents were nothing short of high treason, the product of a ruthless operator's (Zardari) directive and his cunning collaborator's (Haqqani) compliance. The truth probably lies somewhere in between," Ijaz said.

"Rogue operations inside governments have no place in our world today. The people of Pakistan deserve better. They deserve to know the truth. And it is for the Pakistani people to decide whether their political leaders deserve their faith and trust after learning the truth of what has been done in their names," he said.

"I did not ask to be involved in the events that gave rise to this firestorm. I too face threats and haranguing from Zardari's supporters on a daily basis. But I had the courage to speak truth to power -- as I have done all my life -- and now I'm going to make sure the facts of what the ambassador and those behind him asked me to do in the name of democracy are put squarely on the table for the people of Pakistan to see, judge and decide," Ijaz said.

"Inadvertent as my purpose was in disclosing the memorandum, the debate it has touched off is real and the issues being debated are finally the ones that need illumination in a country that survives on a rich diet of conspiracy theories and the adolescent antics of its political leaders," he said.

The memorandum, he writes, called on Mullen to dissuade his friend, Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Kayani, from moving against the civilian government in the tense days that followed Operation Neptune Spear -- the US Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

"In return, it offered a commitment by a reconstituted civilian government, which would have added national security muscle previously belonging to the army and intelligence sectors, to do a lot of what America and its allies in the region, India and Afghanistan, have long been calling on Pakistan to do," he wrote from Zurich.

Lalit K Jha In Washington
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