The fact that Mansoor Ijaz, the Pakistani-American businessman who has been a conduit for years between the Pakistani Government and the successive US administrations and recently has allegedly been a go between the coubtry’s top man and Admiral [R] Mike Mullen has committed to appear, along with all evidence, before a Pakistani investigative forum, including a parliamentary committee and the Supreme Court of Pakistan leads us to believe that there is something really very very serious. The controversy is now definitely going to upset the already precarious relationship between the civil and military leadership as it relates to the safety of the country’s nuclear arsenal as well as its sovereignty and, therefore, only a thorough investigation into the matter by the government and an honest explanation can lend some semblance of normalcy to the situation.
“IF YOU STOP TELLING LIES ABOUT ME, I MIGHT JUST STOP TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU”.
The News Editorial
Mansoor Ijaz, the US business tycoon who has become the centre of a huge controversy over the reported memorandum sent through him by President Zardari to Admiral Mike Mullen, on Sunday night issued a rejoinder from Zurich, responding to the statements issued by presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar, the Foreign Office and Ambassador Husain Haqqani on the issue.
With an unending power crisis, soaring unemployment and sky-rocketing inflation, the last thing the government needed was another scandal. But it seems to have landed itself smack in the middle of one: the Mansoor Ijaz memo controversy. The army chief and President Zardari met at Aiwan-e-Sadr early Tuesday and also discussed, according to sources, the army’s reservations about the Mansoor Ijaz memo. Security officials are said to have done their own snooping and concluded that Ijaz’s claims are not entirely fabricated. They have thus approached the president for an explanation who has assured them that a thorough probe is underway. US Ambassador Cameron Munter met the president late Tuesday night in what is being called an ‘unscheduled’ meeting.
Soon after, Pakistan’s Washington embassy confirmed that the Ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani, had been officially summoned to Pakistan to brief the ruling leadership on “certain aspects of Pak-US relations”.
Are all these developments related to the memo mystery? It is certainly interesting that the ambassador has been summoned at a time when the earlier whisperings about the authenticity of the memo story have acquired a cacophonous decibel. Though Ijaz has never officially revealed the identity of the man he accused of entrusting him to pass the memo to Admiral (r) Mike Mullen, he has left little doubt that the middleman is Pakistan’s ambassador to the US. Questions about Ijaz’s credibility notwithstanding, the fact is that he has committed to appear, along with all evidence, before a Pakistani investigative forum, including a parliamentary committee and the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Given that this controversy threatens to upset the already precarious relationship between the civil and military leadership and relates to the safety of the country’s nuclear arsenal as well as its sovereignty, only a thorough investigation into the matter by the government and an honest explanation can lend some semblance of normalcy to the situation.
Ijaz has said on record that he cannot say with certainty whether the president authorised the contents of the memo himself or if this was purely the work of the middleman. This makes it even more important for the government and the president – if they have nothing to hide – to reveal the whole truth, because obfuscation may do more damage than has already been done.
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