Tag Archives: Ambassador

‘Magnificent Delusions’ of US-Pakistan relations

By Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Even as an ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani was one of the most eloquent critics of Pakistan’s military, the country’s most powerful institution.

Haqqani, once derided at home as Washington’s ambassador to Pakistan for his pro-Western views, has taken a step further, accusing the government of directly supporting militant groups in his latest book “Magnificent Delusions”.

Now a professor of international relations at Boston University, he was ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011, a turbulent time in US-Pakistan relations that culminated in a raid by US special forces in May 2011 that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Haqqani resigned in November 2011 and left Pakistan after becoming involved in a scandal surrounding a secret memo that accused the army of plotting a coup and sought help from the United States to rein in the military.

Haqqani, who has denied any connection to the memo, spoke to Reuters by telephone from the United States about his book and his views on US-Pakistan relations.

Q: Why do you believe Pakistan supports militant groups?

A: As far as terrorism is concerned, Pakistan was the conduit of weapons and training for the war in Afghanistan against the Soviets. After that, Pakistan switched it to India, especially in Kashmir. And that is the point at which the United States said “You are engaging in terrorism”. The Pakistani response was “But we started it together”.

The problem is that the “pro-jihadi” narrative has become so mainstream that it is very difficult for any government to … put all fighters out of business. But Pakistan would not find peace without putting all of them out of business.

Q: Why is this happening now?

A: The whole idea of building a nation around religious nationalism has backfired. What has happened is that religious nationalism has only produced extremism. If Pakistan were to be an Islamic state, the question arises “What kind of Islamic state?” We are now in a virtual civil war between various sects and militias attached to these sects who don’t tolerate each other.

Continue reading ‘Magnificent Delusions’ of US-Pakistan relations

Saudi Arabia is a Peninsula of Stability in the Region – Said Pak Ambassador

Faiz Al-NajdiBy: Faiz Al-Najdi

Muhammad Naeem Khan – the Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia – has said that Saudi Arabia has emerged as a “peninsula of stability” in the region. He was speaking as the Chief Guest on the occasion of investiture ceremony of the newly elected office bearers of Pakistan Investors Forum-Riyadh (aka: PIF) – at Riyadh Palace Hotel on Tuesday evening. This event was attended by about 500 persons that included several high officials from SAGIA (Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, Riyadh Chamber of Commerce & Industries (aka: RCCI), Saudi officials from various Saudi departments that included: Passport, Labor, Police departments and several noted Saudi businessmen. Many Pakistani professionals and members from the Pakistani community also attended.

Received via Email: faizalnajdi@gmail.com

 

Venezuela Withdraws Its Ambassador from Egypt

By Telesur

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced today that he would withdraw the country’s ambassador from Egypt because of the conflict there and confrontations between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the defacto government, which has seen over 700 people killed.

“We have witnessed a blood bath in Egypt…We warned that the coup against Morsi was unconstitutional. Morsi was kidnapped and the responsible party for what is occuring in Egypt is the empire, which has its hands in it,” said the head of state.

Read more » Venezuelanalysis
http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/9946

Pakistan accuses ambassador to U.S. of blasphemy

Pakistani man accuses ambassador to U.S. of blasphemy

By Asim Tanveer, MULTAN, Pakistan

(Reuters) – Pakistani police registered an accusation from a businessman on Thursday that the country’s ambassador to the United States had committed blasphemy, a crime that carries the death penalty, in connection with a 2010 TV talk show.

The accusation against Ambassador Sherry Rehman is the latest in a string of controversial blasphemy cases in Pakistan, a largely Muslim nation whose name translates as Land of the Pure.

According to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone found to have uttered words derogatory to the Prophet Muhammad can be put to death. Those who are accused are sometimes lynched by mobs even before they reach court.

Rehman has already faced death threats from militants after calling for reforms to the country’s anti-blasphemy law, according to court documents. Two politicians who suggested reforming the law were assassinated.

Continue reading Pakistan accuses ambassador to U.S. of blasphemy

Canadian PM unveils religious freedom office

Andrew Bennett named to head Office of Religious Freedom

Ambassador for religious freedom is a Catholic dean and former civil servant

By CBC News

Andrew Bennett has been named ambassador for Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today. “Around the world, violations of religious freedom are widespread and they are increasing,” Harper said In a speech at the Ahmadiyya Muslim community centre and mosque in Vaughan, Ont. ….

Read more » – CBC

Link – http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/02/19/pol-ambassdor-office-religious-freedom-announced.html

USAID officially initiate construction of the Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences, a state-of-the-art hospital

Jacobabad, February 13, 2013 — U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Director Jock Conly, and the U.S. Consul General in Karachi Michael Dodman, joined by Sindh Minister for Health Dr. Sagheer Ahmed and Sindh Minister for Rehabilitation Muzaffar Shujra, attended a groundbreaking ceremony to officially initiate construction of the Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences, a state-of-the-art hospital. USAID is investing $10 million to build the Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences and expand access to quality health care services for the residents of Jacobabad, Sindh, and Balochistan.

Courtesy: http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/pr_021313.html

US President Barack Obama at UN

US President Barack Obama has delivered his speech to the 67th United Nations General Assembly at its headquarters in New York.

He urged global leaders to rally against extremism, saying it was the obligation of all leaders to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism, as he framed his speech with references to the US ambassador murdered in Libya. ….

Read more » BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19720640

State Department warns Americans against travel to Pakistan

WASHINGTON – (Reuters) – U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Pakistan, the State Department said on Thursday, in a fresh warning that follows numerous protests, demonstrations and rallies in Pakistan that U.S. officials said are likely to continue.

Officials upgraded their ongoing caution about the travel risks in Pakistan, explicitly advising Americans to put off any non-essential travel to the country. They also “strongly urged” those who are already there to avoid protests and large gatherings.

The State Department said the presence of al Qaeda, Taliban elements, and “indigenous militant sectarian groups poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan.”

Continue reading State Department warns Americans against travel to Pakistan

Anger Over a Film Fuels Anti-American Attacks in Libya and Egypt

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

CAIRO — Protesters angry over an amateurish American-made video denouncing Islam attacked the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday, killing a State Department officer, while Egyptian demonstrators stormed over the fortified walls of the United States Embassy here.

Continue reading Anger Over a Film Fuels Anti-American Attacks in Libya and Egypt

Pakistan must come clean on who provided support to Osama Bin Laden – says former Ambassador Husain Haqqani

Ex-envoy: Pakistan must account for bin Laden

By: Josh Rogin

The Pakistani government must explain how Osama bin Laden was able to hide in Abbottabad for years and reveal who in Pakistan helped him, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani said Wednesday.

“It’s Pakistan’s responsibility to the world to say who did it,” Haqqani told an audience at the Center for the National Interest, formerly known as the Nixon Center.  “It doesn’t have to be the government, it doesn’t have to be the military, but whoever it is, we have to come clean on that, because that is the only way we will assure the rest of the world that Pakistan’s government and Pakistan’s state has its hands clean on this whole thing.”

Haqqani said that he has no information on how the late al Qaeda leader lived with a large number of family for five years in a military garrison town, but that there were clearly sympathizers in Pakistan that supported bin Laden and the government has failed to issue any report on who they were.

Continue reading Pakistan must come clean on who provided support to Osama Bin Laden – says former Ambassador Husain Haqqani

Former Pakistani ambassador: Pakistan behaves ‘like Syria while wanting to be treated like Israel’

By Jamie Weinstein, Senior Editor

Recently removed Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani urged the American government to take a tougher line on his home country in a remarkably candid speech Wednesday afternoon.

“Pakistan ends up behaving like Syria while wanting to be treated like Israel,” Haqqani told several dozens journalists, think tankers, opinion makers and government officials at a luncheon in Washington held by the Center for the National Interest.

“And the behavior change is not going to come unless and until there is behavior change on your part. So you should stop the meddling. … You have to stop going in and seeing all our politicians and thinking they are all your friends and trying to influence. Make Pakistanis realize that America has an interest in Pakistan, but you know what, America respects Pakistani opinion. Show respect for Pakistani public opinion. And if Pakistanis don’t want to be your friends, you don’t want to be their friends, thank you very much.”

Haqqani, who recently returned to the United States to become director of the Center of International Relations at Boston University, was removed as Pakistani ambassador late last year after facing charges that he sought U.S. help to prevent a military coup in Pakistan in the wake of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Haqqani, who returned to Pakistan to face the charges against him at some personal risk, maintains the charges are baseless.

But Haqqani’s essential argument at the luncheon was that America and Pakistan should no longer put up the pretense that they are allies. Haqqani said that it is unrealistic to believe that “endless discussions and chats and what I call the class of narratives will somehow, some day produce a change of thinking either in Washington” or Islamabad.

The U.S. isn’t going to be convinced to treat India as an enemy for Pakistan’s sake and Pakistan won’t be convinced to give up its nuclear weapons or end its support for jihadi groups it sees as strategically beneficial for “regional influence” because America wants it to, he said.

Continue reading Former Pakistani ambassador: Pakistan behaves ‘like Syria while wanting to be treated like Israel’

Corruption charges hit Pakistani `Sesame Street’

by: CNN, Priyanka Boghani

(CNN) – No more “sunny days sweeping the clouds away” in Pakistan as its version of ‘”Sesame Street” gets its funding cut due to fraud charges, according to Reuters.

The United States has withdrawn funding for the Pakistani version of the American children’s television series known for its educational content and colorful puppets.  The U.S. Agency for International Aid received reports of corruption charges on the production company, Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, through an anti-fraud hotline, according to U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner. Exact details of the graft weren’t provided.

The show, which began airing six months ago, features Elmo with a cast of local characters. The funding cut comes just six weeks after the U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter visited the set of “Sim Sim Hamara,” the Pakistani name for the series, “to reaffirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to children’s education in Pakistan,” according to a USAID press release.

The U.S. had originally allocated $20 million to produce the show and $6.7 million of this has already been spent, according to press agency reports.

According to reports from Pakistan Today, the money was used to pay off Rafi Peer’s debts. The funding was also used to award lucrative salaries to family members, many of whom worked in the company.

Continue reading Corruption charges hit Pakistani `Sesame Street’

Judge Iftikhar Chaudhry threatens Pakistan’s democracy

By George Bruno

As the NATO military offensive against the revitalized Taliban progresses in Afghanistan, the political situation in neighboring Pakistan remains tense in a way that can directly impact U.S. military and political objectives in the region.

I have long believed that the pacification of the extremist threat in South Asia and around the world can only be accomplished in an environment of democracy and the rule of law. Any assault on these values fuels the fires of fanaticism.

Continue reading Judge Iftikhar Chaudhry threatens Pakistan’s democracy

Treason charges on Husain Haqqani reflect Pakistan’s isolation.

My real ‘crime’: Standing up for U.S.-Pakistan relations

By Husain Haqqani

Husain Haqqani, a professor of international relations at Boston University and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011.

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.

Continue reading Treason charges on Husain Haqqani reflect Pakistan’s isolation.

Handful of Baloch protestors in Geneva send Pakistan Military into panic mode.

Swiss, UK govts moved over Baloch leaders anti-Pakistan activities: FO

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office has moved the European countries providing asylum to Baloch leaders to make sure their soil was not used against Pakistan, Geo News reported.

Foreign Office Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit while replying to questions in his weekly press briefing here said, “Pakistan has raised this question with the concerned countries, adding a demarche has been issued to ambassador of Switzerland in Islamabad.”

Abdul Basit said Islamabad has also wrote to the relevant countries in this regard and was assured by them that their soil would not be used to hatch anarchy in Pakistan.

“We are cognizant of the developments in Balochistan and necessary steps have also been taken,” he added.

The spokesman said Pakistan s trying to handle the situation in the province politically adding “it is our internal issue and will be dealt with in accordance with the constitution and our own preferences”.

He said, “The foreign office and our missions abroad are engaged actively in order to ensure that this issue is not portrayed in any other context by the detractors.”

On the issue of Balochistan, the spokesman said Pakistan has been handling the situation politically in accordance with its own laws, priorities and constitution.

He also disclosed that years ago US embassy had applied for opening a consulate in Balochistan but Pakistan declined the request.

Continue reading Handful of Baloch protestors in Geneva send Pakistan Military into panic mode.

Balochistan is Pakistan’s internal issue, says EU envoy

Excerpts;

“… what is important is to say that in Balochistan, like in all other parts of Pakistan, international standards of human rights and fundamental democratic principles must be adhered to…. Trying to provide a democratic framework would ensure more stability and cohesion and would reduce conflict. This is essential anywhere in the world be it Balochistan, Sindh or anywhere else” — Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark of the European Union

To read complete News » Pakistan Today

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/02/balochistan-is-pakistan%E2%80%99s-internal-issue-says-eu-envoy/

Authored first draft of memo myself, says Ijaz

ISLAMABAD: The judicial commission probing the Memogate scandal continued recording US businessman Mansoor Ijaz’s testimony today at Pakistan’s High Commission in London, DawnNews reported on Thursday.

During his testimony today, Ijaz admitted that he had prepared the first draft of the controversial memo himself without former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani’s consent.

Former US General James Jones had asked for the message to be in written form, said Ijaz, adding that he had to author the first draft himself after he was unable to get hold of Haqqani.

Ijaz, who is testifying to the commission by video link, claimed he agreed on secret codes for the army and intelligence chiefs with Haqqani.

Ijaz told judges that the former wrote him a message on his Blackberry referring to the Pakistani government as “friend”, and army chief General Ashfaq Kayani and ISI chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha as “bad boys”.

He also claimed that Ispahani, which is Haqqani’s wife’s second name, was their code word for the Americans.

Asked by the commission, what he meant by “bad boys”, Ijaz replied: “they are army chief and DG (director general) ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence service).” ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

Pakistan’s festering wound – TOI

On February 8, representatives of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International testified before the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations at the US Congress against grave human rights abuses committed by Pakistan’s security forces in the restive province of Balochistan. Since then, Islamabadhas used as many as 10 different channels to strongly protest against what it calls America’s “blatant interference” in its “internal affairs”.The issue has flared up further following the introduction of a House Concurrent Resolution by Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher seeking the right of self-determination for the native Balochs. Pakistan has summoned the acting US ambassador to Islamabad twice in a single week at the foreign office, passed a parliamentary resolution and protested through its ambassadors in Washington DC and at the UN. Wasim Sajjad, a former Pakistan Senate chairman, while referring to HRW, has called for “immediately taking action against those NGOs or persons who are accepting dollars from the US and are pursuing their agenda on the lands of Pakistan and destabilising Balochistan.”

Although the congressional hearing and subsequent resolutions were not sponsored by the Obama administration, American diplomats still face the wrath of Pakistani officials due to utter ignorance of the American poli-tical system. Anti-Americanism is not unfamiliar in Pakistan, but bashing the Obama administration for a ‘crime’ it has not committed simply means there is something fishy in Islamabad’s cupboard.
Continue reading Pakistan’s festering wound – TOI

U.S. mind your business – Sherry Rehman

US congressional hearing on Balochistan ‘ill-advised’ move: Sherry Rehman

By APP

Rehman says govt of Pakistan strongly rejects the purpose and findings of the hearing.

WASHINGTON: Taking a strong exception to a United States Congressional hearing on Balochistan this week, Pakistan has termed it an “ill-advised” move that would be detrimental to the trust between Pakistan and the United States of America.

A Pakistan Embassy spokesman in Washington said that Pakistan’s Ambassador Sherry Rehman raised the issue of an exclusive hearing on Balochistan by US House Committee on Foreign Affairs in her meetings with the members of congress and senior officials of the US administration.

According to the spokesman, Rehman said that the government of Pakistan strongly rejects the purpose and findings of the hearing and considers it an “ill-advised and ill-considered” move that will have serious repercussions for Pakistan-US relations.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/334449/us-congressional-hearing-on-balochistan-ill-advised-move-sherry-rehman/

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) expresses concern over Husain Haqqani’s security

PRESS RELEASE – GENEVA – The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has expressed grave concern for the infringement of rights of Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States of America.

Husain Haqqani faced a vicious media trial following which the Supreme Court of Pakistan on a petition filed debarred him from travelling abroad, despite the fact that he has not been charged with any crime,” said Sheila Varadan, International Legal Advisor at the ICJ Asia-Pacific Regional Office. “Husain Haqqani continues to receive threats and has been painted as disloyal to the country. There is, though, no proof of any betrayal of his duties as an Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States.”

“We are calling on the Pakistani Authorities to respect Husain Haqqani’s right to be presumed innocent and to remove the restriction on his right to leave the country and any other restrictions on his right to freedom of movement,” added Varadan. “They must also ensure his personal safety at all times and respect his right to a fair and impartial hearing throughout the Inquiry process.”

Courtesy: Pakistan Today

A Hostage in Pakistan Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S., is living under house arrest. The reason? He offended the country’s military.

By MIRA SETHI, Islamabad, Pakistan

There are forces in Pakistan that want us to live in fear—fear of external and internal enemies.” So warns Husain Haqqani, until November Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington and now a de facto prisoner of the Pakistani generals whose ire he has provoked. “But just as the KGB and the Stasi did not succeed in suppressing the spirit of the Soviet and East German people, these forces won’t succeed in Pakistan in the long run, either.”

I am speaking to Mr. Haqqani in a spacious room in the official residence of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, where the 55-year-old former ambassador—wearing a cotton tunic, loose trousers and white rubber slippers—has been living for weeks, mainly for fear that he might be assassinated outside. The living arrangements may seem odd for those unfamiliar with Pakistan’s fractured politics. But his fear is not ill-founded.

Continue reading A Hostage in Pakistan Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S., is living under house arrest. The reason? He offended the country’s military.

‘Haqqani coerced to confess that Zardari behind memo’

Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani said that the judicial commission investigating the memogate was trying to coerce him to confess that President Asif Ali Zardari had urged him to draft the memo to former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Mike Mullen.

This was revealed by Haqqani to Professor Christine Fair of Georgetown University, a South Asia expert, who has extensively researched the Pakistan army, the Inter-Serviced Intelligence and the terrorist organisations based in the country.

Haqqani was asked to step down as Pakistan’s envoy to the US over his suspected role in the secret memo, which said that the Pakistan government had sought help from the United States to stave off a military coup in the wake of the Abbottabad raid on May 2, which killed Osama bin Laden.

Fair, who was discussing the memogate affair at a conference at the Hudson Institute and arguing how the judicial process has been subverted and due process disregarded in the investigation of Haqqani, said she had met Haqqani last week. His interpretation of the investigation was “that they are trying to use these proceedings to put the fear of Allah in him to get him to give up the goods on Zardari to bring this government down,” she said. “This is a well-worn playbook that this military had in its disposal,” she added.

Fair said that this case “bears some similarity to what we saw with (former Pakistan prime minister) Benazir’s (Bhutto) father — Zulfikar Ali Bhutto — when they took the head of his security and coerced him into becoming what’s called an approver in Pakistani parlanace — I guess in our parlance it would be basically a witness for the state.”

Thus, she said, “While we all care about Husain Haqqani, I want to emphasise that this is not simply about the particular personal safety or lack thereof of Haqqani, but also about Pakistan’s democratic institutions.”

Fair said that what was currently taking place in Pakistan “in my view is a slow-moving coup.”

So, if we care about Pakistan’s democracy as well as Husain Haqqani, the United States government really needs to be much more vocal than it has been,” she said. “We have to work with our partners to send a very clear message that we recognise that this is a coup albeit via judicial hue.”

Lisa Curtis, who heads the South Asia programme at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington-based think tank, warned that “if the Zardari government is forced out, whether it be through the Supreme Court — and it looks like the army is working in tandem with the Supreme Court albeit behind the scenes — this is going to send a negative signal.”

Curtis, a former Central Intelligence Agency official, said the signal would be clear that “the Pakistan army still wields inappropriate control within the systems,” and that ‘civilian democracy has really not taken root in Pakistan“. She argued, “Even though the Zardari government may not be perfect, it’s an elected government and we need to keep that in mind.”

Courtesy: rediff.com

http://www.rediff.com/news/report/haqqani-coerced-to-confess-that-zardari-behind-memo/20120119.htm?sc_cid=twshare

Mansoor Ijaz claimed Chief Justice ‘owes’ Nawaz Sharif – Daily Times

Mansoor Ijaz claimed CJ ‘owes’ Nawaz Sharif

RAWALPINDI: Although his guns are currently focused on former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, the creator of the Memogate controversy, US citizen Mansoor Ijaz, has vilified or denigrated virtually every individual and institution in Pakistan at some point in time. Research into the writings of the controversial figure reveal that once he described the most respected Chief Justice in Pakistan’s recent history, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, as someone who “sadly, owes his return to power to Mr Sharif” –a reference to the PML (N) leader.

Mansoor Ijaz’s derogatory remarks about the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan were slipped into an article titled, ‘A game changer for Pakistan-US relations’ published on the website of the International Center for Peace & Democracy-ICFPD in October 2010. In that article, Mansoor Ijaz claimed that “President Barack Obama had characterised Pakistan as the ‘cancer’ inhibiting US progress in Afghanistan. He went on to criticise the army, President Zardari, Mian Nawaz Sharif and the Chief Justice to conclude that American intervention was the only way things would change in Pakistan.

“The army, Pakistan’s only viable institution of governance, can’t decide whether it wants to nurture the Taliban so it can maintain strategic depth in Afghanistan or kill them so the money spigot continues to flow from Washington,” Mr Ijaz wrote. He added, “Pakistan’s vaunted intelligence services stand accused of harbouring America’s No. 1 enemy, Osama bin Laden, in northwest frontier border areas in the relative luxury of homes, not caves, by the very NATO officials they are supposed to be assisting in tracking down the terror master and his key aides.” (This was well before the US secret mission in Pakistan in May 2011 that resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad).

Continue reading Mansoor Ijaz claimed Chief Justice ‘owes’ Nawaz Sharif – Daily Times

Who prepared the Memo, Mansoor Ijaz now implicates Gen Jehangir Karamat & Gen Mahmud Durrani also

Exclusive: Ijaz told Jones three people prepared the “Memogate” document

By Josh Rogin

Mansoor Ijaz, the main figure in the “Memogate” scandal that is rocking the highest levels of the Pakistani political establishment, told his U.S. go-between Gen. Jim Jones in a private e-mail that there were three people who “prepared” the now-infamous memo, not just former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani.

Continue reading Who prepared the Memo, Mansoor Ijaz now implicates Gen Jehangir Karamat & Gen Mahmud Durrani also

A letter to Secretary of State, Ms. Clinton to show deep concern over the safety of former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madame Secretary:

We are writing today to express our deep concern over the safety and well-being of former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani. It has come to our attention that Ambassador Haqqani is under intense pressure in Pakistan, including possibly threats to his life, over the so-called “Memogate” affair.

Questions have been raised about the manner in which this case is proceeding against Ambassador Haqqani and whether due process of law is being followed. Internationally recognized human rights defender Ms. Asma Jehangir recently quit as Haqqani’s lawyer, citing her lack of confidence in the judicial commission established by the Pakistani Supreme Court to investigate the case. Because of her doubts about the commission’s impartiality, Ms. Jehangir refused to appear before it.

Ms. Jehangir described the Supreme Court decision to admit the memo petitions as a “black chapter” in the judiciary’s history and further noted her concern that Ambassador Haqqani could be picked up by Pakistan’s intelligence services and intimidated, and even possibly tortured, into providing a statement that suits their interests. In this context, the fact that Haqqani was forced to surrender his passport, despite returning to Pakistan voluntarily to face the charges, is particularly troubling.

The case against Haqqani follows an ominous trend in Pakistan. The assassinations of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, and journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad this past year have created a culture of intimidation and fear that is stifling efforts to promote a more tolerant and democratic society. Significant segments of the Pakistani media have already judged Haqqani to be guilty of treason, which could inspire religious extremists to take the law into their own hands as they did with Taseer and Bhatti.

While we, as individuals, may not have always agreed with Ambassador Haqqani’s views, we regarded him as an effective presenter of Pakistani positions in the Washington context. In keeping with its traditional support for human rights and its deep interest in a firmly democratic Pakistan, the U.S. government should do all it can to ensure Haqqani receives due process without any threat of physical harm.

We commend the State Department for its statement on Friday calling for fair and transparent treatment of Ambassador Haqqani in accordance with Pakistani law and international legal standards. We would urge the U.S. government to continue to weigh in with key Pakistani leaders and to make appropriate public statements to ensure that Husain Haqqani is not physically harmed and that due process of law is followed.

With High Regards,

Dr. Stephen P. Cohen, Brookings Institution

Ms. Lisa Curtis, Heritage Foundation

Mr. Sadanand Dhume, American Enterprise Institute

Mr. Toby Dalton, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Dr. C. Christine Fair, Georgetown University

Dr. Robert M. Hathaway, Woodrow Wilson International Center

Mr. Michael Krepon, Stimson Center

Ambassador Dennis Kux, Woodrow Wilson International Center

Ambassador William B. Milam, Woodrow Wilson International Center

Dr. Aparna Pande, Hudson Institute

Dr. George Perkovich, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Mr. Bruce Riedel, Brookings Institution

Ambassador Howard B. Schaffer, Georgetown University

Ambassador Teresita C. Schaffer, Brookings Institution

Dr. Ashley J. Tellis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Dr. Marvin G. Weinbaum, Middle East Institute

cc.

The Honorable U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden

The Honorable U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta

The Honorable U.S. National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon

The Honorable Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency David H. Petraeus

January 7, 2012

Courtesy: http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/282550/letter-to-secretary-of-state-hillary-rodham.pdf

News adopted from Bolta Pakistan Facebook page.

CIA agents in Pakistan

By Najam Sethi

These are difficult times for professional journalists in Pakistan. Eleven were killed last year in the line of duty. They were either caught in the crossfire of ethnic or extremist violence or targeted and eliminated by state and non-state groups for their political views.

Saleem Shehzad, for example, was abducted, tortured and killed last year and a commission of inquiry is still floundering in murky waters. He had exposed the infiltration of the armed forces by elements affiliated with Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Several journalists from Balochistan have been killed by non-state vigilantes sponsored by state agencies, others have fled to Europe or USA because they had sympathies with the nationalist cause in the province. Some from Karachi have taken refuge abroad because they were threatened by ethnic or sectarian groups or parties.

Now an insidious campaign is afoot to target senior journalists who question the wisdom of the security establishment on a host of thorny issues. They are being labeled as “American-CIA agents”. This is an incitement to violence against them in the highly charged anti-American environment in Pakistan today. Consider.

If you say the military’s notion of “strategic depth” in Afghanistan is misplaced, outdated or counter-productive, you are a CIA agent.

If you say the military was either complicit or incompetent in the OBL-Abbottabad case, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that the civilians should have control over the military as stipulated in the constitution, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that the military shouldn’t enter into peace deals with the Taliban that enable them to reorganize and seize Pakistani territory, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that the drones have taken a welcome toll of extremist Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that the military’s annual defense budget, which amounts to nearly half of all tax revenues, should be scrutinized by parliament or the Auditor General of Pakistan, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that the one and same resignation criterion should be applied to both Ambassador Husain Haqqani and DG-ISI Ahmed Shuja Pasha – the former is accused of trying to influence the American government to back up the civilian government of Pakistan in its attempt to establish civilian control over its army and the latter is accused of seeking the support of Arab regimes for the overthrow of the civilian regime ( both accusations come from one and the same individual) – you are a CIA agent.

If you say we should construct a social welfare state in place of a national security state, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that fundamental citizens rights enshrined in the constitution cannot be violated at the altar of a narrow definition of national security defined exclusively by the security state, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that human rights violations in Balochistan carried out by the security agencies are as condemnable as the ethnic cleansing of Punjabi settlers by Baloch insurgents, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that Pakistan’s foreign policy should not be the exclusive domain of the military establishment, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that the Pakistan military’s conventional and nuclear weapons doctrine amounts to a crippling arms race with India rather than a minimal optimal defensive deterrence, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that the ISI is an unaccountable state within a state, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that belt-tightening measures to control budgetary deficits and inflation should apply to wasteful aspects of defense expenditures no less than to wasteful aspects of civilian government expenditures, you are a CIA agent.

If you say that the Supreme Court should pull out Air Marshal Asghar Khan’s ISI-Mehrangate 1991 case from cold storage and adjudge it along with the Memogate 2011 case, you are a CIA agent.

The irony is that the Pakistan military remains the single largest recipient of American aid in the last sixty five years. The irony is that all military coups in Pakistan have drawn legal and political sustenance from America. The irony is that the Pakistani military has signed more defense pacts and agreements with America than all civilian governments to date. The irony is the Pakistan military has partnered America in Afghanistan in the 1980s, fought its war on terror and leased out Pakistani air bases and Pakistan air space corridors to America in the 2000s, and sent hundreds of officers for training and education to America in the last six decades.

The greater irony is that all those liberal, progressive, anti-imperialist Pakistani citizens who have opposed US hegemony and protested American military interventions in the Third World all their lives are today branded as CIA agents by the very state security agencies and non state religious parties and jehadi groups who have taken American money and weapons and done America’s bidding all their lives.

Courtesy: Friday Times

http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120106&page=1

Senators: Stop harassing former Pakistan envoy

By Karen DeYoung

Three U.S. senators Thursday expressed concern about what they called the “ongoing harassment and mistreatment” of Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, by authorities in his own country.

“We are increasingly troubled by Ambassador Haqqani’s treatment since he returned home to Pakistan, including the travel ban imposed on him,” said a statement by Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.), and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.). They urged Pakistani authorities “to resolve this matter swiftly,” consistent with the rule of law, and to prevent the investigation of Haqqani “from becoming a political tool for revenge against an honorable man.” ….

Read more » The Washington Post

Video (Urdu): Pakistani “security consultant” Zaid Hamid implicitly warns memogate judges not to acquit Husain Haqqani.

» YouTube

Statement of concern – U.S. senators demand fair treatment for former Amb. Haqqani

By Josh Rogin

Three U.S. senators are calling on the Pakistani government and judiciary to protect former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani, who they say has been the victim of “ongoing harassment and mistreatment” since resigning late last year due to the Memogate scandal.

“We are increasingly troubled by Ambassador Haqqani’s treatment since he returned home to Pakistan, including the travel ban imposed on him,” said Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) in a Thursday statement. “Like many in Washington, we are closely following Ambassador Haqqani’s case. We urge Pakistani authorities to resolve this matter swiftly and consistent with civilian rule of law and to prevent the judicial commission investigating Ambassador Haqqani from becoming a political tool for revenge against an honorable man.” ….

Read more » Foreign Policy (FP)

‘Sherry Rehman reluctant to go to Washington’

Reports from US say that Sherry Rehman is reluctant to assume charge as envoy.

As the government getting fragile due to rising tensions with both judiciary and army, there are reports in Washington that Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate Sherry Rehman is reluctant to assume charge.

According to well-placed sources, Sherry’s indecisiveness was being discussed in knowledgeable quarters in the American capital. The sources claimed that the Ambassador-designate was not sure about the longevity of her party’s government.

“It was useless for her to travel to Washington to join the duties of most crucial ambassadorship of Pakistan here if the PPP government’s days are numbered,” the sources observed while quoting senior US Administration officials.

The sources cited the government’s two-way frictions against both the apex judiciary and the army in support of their argument for which Sherry was reportedly reluctant. “That is why” the sources added, “Sherry has realized of late that the establishment is having problems with the entire PPP government instead of just her predecessor Hussain Haqqani”.

With this background, the sources claimed that Sherry has already conveyed her apprehensions to the seniors in the party as well the government. She may regret taking on assignment quoting personal reasons.

The sources linked the visits of Speaker National Assembly Dr Fahmeeda Mirza and Chairman Senate Farooq Naik to the US on Jan 10 and 12, respectively, to these developments. The purpose of these two high profile visits has not been made public so far, the sources added. ….

Read more » DunyaNewsTV