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My real crime – by Husain Haqqani

Editor’s note: LUBP expresses concern over Pakistani judiciary’s biased decision (under the influence of Pakistan army) against Husain Haqqani (former Pakistan Ambassador to the U.S.). Not only did the memo commission violate its jurisdiction by issuing the label of traitor but it also confirmed the accusations about its neutrality and integrity. The timing of the commission’s report is also quite interesting as it seems to divert public attention from the graft scandal involving Pakistan’s controversial Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and his son Dr. Arsalan Chaudhry. According to noted lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir, the memo commission acted in two capacities — complainant and adjudicator. The inquiry report should have been shown to the counsel of the parties before it was presented to the Supreme Court. The commission declared that Mr Haqqani had forced Mansoor Ijaz to write the memo, but failed to establish any evidence to the effect. This shows that the commission was totally prejudiced and the report has exposed it. Ms Jahangir strongly objected to the fixing in haste of the Haqqani case for hearing. We wonder whether the purpose of doing so was to divert the attention of the media (from the Cheief Justice Family Gate saga). The timing also suggests that judiciary’s token activism on illegal abductions and murders in Balochistan by Pakistan army is nothing more than an eye-wash. The 3-Jeem Mafia (Jenerals, Judges, Journalists) remains united against democratic government and its various components and supporters. The memo commission recorded Mr Ijaz’s evidence through video conference but denied the same facility to Mr Haqqani. Clearly, such manoeuvring and double standards do not boost judiciary’s sanctity. It is pertinent to recall that that in the past ANP leader Khan Abdul Wali Khan and poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz too were declared traitors by Pakistani establishment and judiciary, an opinion which was overwhelmingly rejected by the people of Pakistan. Below we are cross-posting an important article by Husain Haqqani in which he explains his real crime, i.e., standing up for U.S.-Pakistan relations and for a Pakistan ruled by a civilian-led government. Mr. Haqqani writes about the memo and we agree: “Many people around the world would recognize that its contents suggesting changes in Pakistan’s counterterrorism and nuclear policies reflect reasonable views that are not treasonous and are, in fact, in line with global thinking.”

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I am saddened but not surprised that a Pakistani judicial inquiry commission has accused me of being disloyal while serving as my country’s ambassador to the United States. The tide of anti-Americanism has been rising in Pakistan for almost a decade. An overwhelming majority of Pakistanis consider the United States an enemy, notwithstanding the nominal alliance that has existed between our countries for six decades. Americans, frustrated by what they see as Pakistani intransigence in fighting terrorism in Afghanistan, are becoming less willing to accept Pakistani demands even though Pakistan has suffered heavily at the hands of terrorists.

This is a difficult time to openly advocate friendly relations between the United States and Pakistan. I am proud that I did so as ambassador. During my tenure, the United States agreed to initiate a strategic dialogue with Pakistani civil and military leaders. The idea was to overcome the episodic nature of bilateral relations: Our countries had a pattern of working together for a few years and then falling out amid complaints about each other. The strategic dialogue sought to reconcile Pakistan’s regional concerns about Afghanistan and India with U.S. global concerns about nuclear proliferation and terrorism. But the dialogue stalled last year, and a series of unfortunate incidents, culminating in Osama bin Laden being found in Pakistan last May, has brought our countries to the brink of an adversarial relationship.

My sincere efforts to transcend the parallel narratives that have shaped U.S.-Pakistani relations were not always appreciated in Pakistan, where conspiracy theories and hatred for the United States have become a daily staple of the national discourse. My detractors in Pakistan’s security services and among pro-Jihadi groups have long accused me of being pro-American; they condescendingly described me as the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan based in Washington. Falsehoods were circulated in Pakistani media about my issuing thousands of visas to “CIA spies” who would allegedly act with impunity against my country. Few considered that Pakistan was pledged record amounts of U.S. aid and that Pakistani views were being heard on a range of issues. The expectation that Washington should simply do whatever the Pakistani hyper-nationalists desire remains unrealistic.

I resigned last November after an American businessman of Pakistani origin — now residing in Monaco — claimed that I had asked him to deliver a secret memo to Adm. Michael Mullen, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seeking U.S. help in thwarting a military coup right after the U.S. operation that killed bin Laden. The affair was dubbed “Memogate” by the Pakistani media. Our Supreme Court, pursuing a populist ideological agenda without regard to legal or constitutional niceties, intervened directly. Without any trial, it barred me from leaving Pakistan and created a Commission of Inquiry.

This week the commission presented its findings. It alleged that I had acted against Pakistan’s interests and had authorized the controversial memo. The report’s release has been timed to distract attention from serious allegations by a Pakistani businessman that he paid millions to the son of Pakistan’s chief justice as part of efforts to buy favors.

How ironic that Pakistani hard-liners claim I was an American agent of influence with access in Washington’s power corridors. Were that true, there would have been no reason for me to seek help, certainly not from a businessman of dubious credentials, to deliver a message to the U.S. government. The one-sided “evidence” has failed to prove my connection to the memo. I have not been charged or tried — though the report could lead to charges, and a treason conviction carries the death penalty. No, I was simply labeled guilty by a “fact-finding” commission that bent over backward to accommodate my discredited accuser.

The commission’s bias was clear in its refusal to hear from me via videoconference — a request I made in light of security threats — and its disinterest in seeking the testimony of U.S. officials who received the controversial memo, Mullen and Gen. Jim Jones. Notably, Jones said in a sworn affidavit that I had nothing to do with the document that had been transmitted to him and that the memo reflected the ideas of its author, the American businessman Mansoor Ijaz.

The commission’s findings are motivated by politics, not law. I served Pakistan sincerely. Most people in Washington saw and know that. Branding me a traitor will not solve any of Pakistan’s myriad problems, not least of which is the prospect of international isolation. The 2012 BBC Globescan poll found that the international perception of Pakistan is as bad as that of Iran and North Korea.

It is tragic that anti-Americanism is being exploited to push ideological agendas, but I stand by my view that positive U.S.-Pakistan relations under a civilian-led Pakistani government are necessary for international peace and Pakistan’s stability. My real “crime” is standing up for U.S.-Pakistan relations for Pakistan’s sake. I had nothing to do with writing and sending that memo. But many people around the world would recognize that its contents suggesting changes in Pakistan’s counterterrorism and nuclear policies reflect reasonable views that are not treasonous and are, in fact, in line with global thinking. (Source: Washington Post)

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Abdul Nishapuri

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  • “The entire proceedings reflected the political machination of ideological elements including the judiciary and had little to do with fact-finding,” Mr. Haqqani alleged.
    “The commission has based its findings on the claims of one man, a foreigner, and dubious records presented by him, which were reinforced by an equally dubious exercise termed as forensics,” he said.
    The former diplomat also stated that the commission could neither pronounce him guilty nor uphold his innocence. “In any case, the commission was created as a fact-finding body and not as a trial court so it has no right to pronounce anyone guilty or innocent of any crime.”
    “Similarly, the Supreme Court of Pakistan cannot act as a trial court and must not abuse its authority as the court of final appeal to divert attention from the embarrassment of its politicised leadership,” he added.
    Haqqani also suggested that there may have been an ulterior motive to the commission’s report. “The commission’s report has been released to distract attention from other more embarrassing developments,” he said, alluding to the allegations relating to Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s son Arsalan Chaudhry.

  • The memo commission’s report submitted in the Supreme Court stated that Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, was not loyal to the country and that the memo seeking US support was indeed real and authored by Haqqani, our sources reported.

    A nine-member larger bench of the Supreme Court was on Tuesday hearing constitutional petitions about the controversial memo delivered to former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen reportedly by Haqqani.

    The bench, headed by the chief justice, comprised Justices Mian Shakirullah Jan, Jawwad S. Khawaja, Khilji Arif Hussain, Tariq Parvez, Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Amir Hani Muslim, Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Azmat Saeed.

    Earlier on Monday, the memo commission had submitted its report to the apex court. It stated that the memo was indeed real and authored by the former ambassador Hussain Haqqani.

    The commission’s report said that Haqqani had forgotten that he was Pakistan’s ambassador to the US.

    The report moreover said that Haqqani violated the country’s constitution, adding that while Haqqani was earning a salary paid by the government, his loyalties were not with Pakistan.

    The former ambassador chose not to stay in Pakistan, the report said, adding that neither did Haqqani have any property in the country, nor did he have any bank balance.

    The commission moreover said that the purpose of writing the memo was to convince American authorities that Pakistan’s civilian government was US-friendly and that it was only the civilian setup that could control the expansion of Pakistan’s nuclear work.

    http://paktribune.com/news/Haqqani-behind-controversial-memo-Commission-report-250551.html

  • متعصب ججوں، زر خرید میڈیا اور کرائے کی فوج کے کہنے سے کوئی غدار نہیں ہوتا۔ ایسے لوگوں میں تو وہ سب غدار ہیں جن کی سوچ ذرا سی مختلف ہے۔ ججوں جرنیلوں اور جرنلسٹوں کی نظر میں تو ہر وہ شخص غدار ہے جو ان کے پھیلائے فساد کو جہاد نہیں مانتا۔ جو گلے کاٹنے والوں کو برا سمجھتا ہے۔ وہ بھی غدار ہے جو اسکولوں، مسجدوں، اولیائے اکرام کے درباروں اور بازاروں میں بچوں، بوڑھوں اور عورتوں کو خون میں نہلانے ولے خود کش حملہ آوروں کو فدائی نہیں کہتا۔آج امریکا کو گالیاں دینے والے اسی کی دھائی میں ہمیں سبق پڑھاتے تھے کہ ً امریکا کے ساتھ تعاون عین شرعی ، جائز اور قدرتی ہے۔ کیوں وہ اہل کتاب ہیں۔ اہل کتاب کے ساتھ کھانا پینا جائز یہاں تک کہ شادی بھی ہوسکتی ہےً۔ کتنی ستم ظریفی ہے کہ امریکا کو اس ملک میں دھکیلنے والا حمید گل آج ٹرکوں کے سامنے لیٹنے کی بات کررہا ہے۔ شرم تم کو مگر نہیں آتی۔