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When Zardari almost sent 26/11 culprits to India

Last updated on: November 18, 2011 12:15 IST

When Zardari almost sent 26/11 culprits to India

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Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was so scared of a military coup after Osama bin Laden's death that he was ready to create a "new security team" favourable to Americans and promised the US to hand over Pakistan-based 26/11 perpetrators including those from its intelligence agency to India.

 

The promises were part of a secret memo to the then Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.

Click here to read the memo

The secret memo from Zardari, was apparently handed over to Mullen by Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistani-American businessman, in May this year in the aftermath of the May 2 killing of bin Laden in a safe house in Abbottabad.

 

The information about this secret memo was first leaked by Ijaz himself in an op-ed in the Financial Times last month.

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According to this memo, Zardari, leading a civilian government wanted to create a new national security structure.

 

Ijaz has claimed that this memo was drafted by the Pak Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, who has denied these allegations, but has tendered his resignation to Zardari over the same.

 

Capt John Kirby, who was Mullen's spokesman, told Pentagon media persons on Thursday in a statement.

 

"Neither the contents of the memo nor the proof of its existence altered or affected in any way the manner in which Adm Mullen conducted himself in his relationship with Gen Kayani and the Pakistani government," he said.

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Image: Pak Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani

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When Zardari almost sent 26/11 culprits to India

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"He (Mullen) did not find the memo at all credible and took no note of it then or later. Therefore, he addressed it with no one," Kirby said.

 

The content and a copy of the said sacred memo was posted by The Foreign Policy's blog Cable late Thursday night.

 

"We are prepared to cooperate fully under the new national security team's guidance with the Indian government on bringing all perpetrators of Pakistani origin to account for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, whether outside government or inside any part of the government, including its intelligence agencies.

 

"This includes handing over those against whom sufficient evidence exists of guilt to the Indian security services," the secret memo said.

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Cable claimed that it has verified the authenticity of the memo.

 

The memo also acknowledges the direct connection between ISI and terrorist organisations.

"The new national security team will eliminate Section S of the ISI charged with maintaining relations to the Taliban, Haqqani network etc. This will dramatically improve relations with Afghanistan," it says.

On behalf of the President, the memo said the new national security team will do all this and much more including establishing an independent commission on the lines of 9/11 for the events leading to the May 2 incident; if Kayani and the ISI chiefs pave the way for it.

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The memo further said, "Request your direct intervention in conveying a strong, urgent and direct message to gen Kayani that delivers Washington's demand for him and Gen Pasha to end their brinkmanship aimed at bringing down the civilian apparatus -- that this is a 1971 moment in Pakistan's history."

 

"Should you be willing to do so, Washington's political/military backing would result in revamp of the civilian government that, while we weak at the top echelon in terms of strategic direction and implementation (even though mandated by domestic political forces), in a whole sale manner replaces the national security adviser and other national security officials with trusted advisors that include ex-military and civilian leaders favourably viewed by Washington, each of whom have long and historical ties to the US military, political and intelligence communities.

 

"Names will be provided to you in a face-to-face meeting with the person delivering this message," it said.

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