Original Articles

Express Tribune must not distort facts about Husain Haqqani – by Laibaah

Source: Pakistan Blogzine

Related posts: Husain Haqqani, memogate and urban elites’ pandemonium on Twitter

A critical analysis of Husain Haqqani vs Mansoor Ijaz saga

It is now well established that by virtue of his influential position as Pakistan Ambassador to the USA and excellent social skills, Ambassador Haqqani has been able to create a personal clout within Pakistan’s urban elites, most of whom remain vehemently anti-PPP and anti-Zardari. (For example, read Nadir Hasan’s article on Husain Haqqanis’ press corps.)

In the aftermath of the memogate, many urban-centric writers, bloggers in Pakistan and internationally are currently busy in presenting Ambassador Haqqani as indispensable for democracy in Pakistan, promoting his real and imaginary services to democracy and the PPP. This issue has been dealt in detail in a previous post which can be read here.

In the present post, we would like to present only one example of how urban elites are conveniently rewriting history and twisting facts in their quest to defend and promote Husain Haqqani.

In its editorial (17 Nov 2011) titled “Our man in Washington”, Express Tribune writes:

Haqqani has been something of a political chameleon throughout his career, starting as a student activist of the Islami Jamiat Taleba, shifting to the PML-N before finally settling on the PPP. But the one constant in his life has been a principled opposition to military dominance over civilian affairs. It is in keeping with this ideology and character, then, that Haqqani would seek to curb the military’s power.

While Ambassador Haqqani’s professional ability (or lack of it) has been recently exposed through his mishandling of the Mansoor Ijaz affair (both before and after the Financial Times article), the line which drew our attention in Tribune’s editorial was this one: “one constant in his life has been a principled opposition to military dominance over civilian affairs. It is in keeping with this ideology and character, then, that Haqqani would seek to curb the military’s power.” Nothing could be further from truth.

A man who started his career in IJT when Jamaat-e-Islami was being logistically, financially and ideologically supported by General Zia and his regional martial law administrators, who was in charge of propaganda cell of ISI-made IJI whose only purpose was to promote military establishment’s interests by defaming PPP and its leadership, who distributed fake documents and insulting pictures of Benazir Bhutto and Nusrat Bhutto, is now being presented as a life long, principled opponent of military dominance over civilian affairs? Dear editors of Express Tribune, is integrity still permissible in the filed of journalism?

Huma Imtiaz, a budding blogger of Express Tribune has been tasked to promote Husain Haqqani. It is quite entertaining to read her articles and watch her video (titled Tribune Take).

Here is a clip:

“In today’s episode of the Tribune Take we take a look at the latest from Washington DC about Ambassador Husain Haqqani’s possible resignation”

Apparently, some progressive writers too, due to their own reasons, have become a part of the Namoos-e-Haqqani-Network. For example, Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa (a columnist for Express Tribune) uncritically recommended the said editorial of Express Tribune . Here is a copy of my exchange with her on Twitter:

iamthedrifter Ayesha Siddiqa
a good commentary on 3/4 years of HH – Our man in Washington tribune.com.pk/story/293399/o… via @etribune

Laibaah1 Laibaah
@iamthedrifter Are you sure it is a good commentary? It mentions one constant in his life. Did his work for IJI simply vanish? @etribune

iamthedrifter Ayesha Siddiqa
@Laibaah1 why do you stick to one line? he has produced a great book and was good in DC during these years

Laibaah1 Laibaah
@iamthedrifter It is good that you have rediscovered your fine democrat. Who cares about one line and fine details! All good.

iamthedrifter Ayesha Siddiqa
@Laibaah1 I have not found my democrat you are not in a habit of reading are you? all i said was gd work in DC and gd book is this greek 4 u

After this conversation, Ayesha Siddiqa blocked me on Twitter. So much is the level of integrity and tolerance of Pakistan’s urban elites.

It is pertinent to mention here that only a year ago, Dr. Siddiqa wrote an obituary of democrat Husain Haqqani who, in her view, had transformed himself to an army-serving diplomat Husain Haqqani. Dr. Siddiqa writes:

Suddenly, the skies of American capital city seemed full of vultures hovering around to search the dead body of a diplomat they could chew on. Things became extremely dramatic as it was a matter of survival. For our friend HH, the choice was between killing the democrat to save the diplomat or vise versa. Obviously, the choice was to save the diplomat which was the logical thing to do in a Washington DC where policymakers and the human-terrain type academics stick to a set recipe for democracy out of the political cookbook. HH the diplomat could hear the sound of the boots marching to Washington and it was best to put the democrat to sleep. And so one evening those present at the occasion of the reception hosted at the Pakistan embassy, Washington, DC in honor of the foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani also witnessed the funeral of Husein the democrat.
Those of us, who care about democracy and politics in Pakistan, will remember the man for his services. He was a charming salesman whose presence will be missed in Washington where there is now hardly anyone to sing a song of and for the democratic forces in Pakistan. The vultures are still hovering above searching for bits and pieces of flesh and bones of the democrat. The spirit will probably be in some pain at the moment but will soon vanish from where it may not be recalled. The services of HH the democrat will always be remembered. May his soul rest in peace.

Hossp said…
A good one.
But HH has a history of opportunism…
May 12, 2010 5:59 PM

Ayesha Siddiqa said…
It is still sad that he is unable to defend democracy and is now with the khakis
May 12, 2010 8:38 PM

By the way, let’s congratulate Dr. Siddiqa on her new job as advisor to NAB’s chairman Admiral (retired) Fasi Bokhari.

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Jehangir Hafsi


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