A sceptic’s guide to memogate
By Cyril Almeida
WHEN reality is so distorted, how does the record get set straight?
Memogate — the alleged plea by Husain Haqqani/Asif Zardari to save the civilian government from an army coup after May 2 in return for sacking military principals and disbanding a shadowy cell of the ISI that manages links to militant groups — was less startling than preposterous.
While this is Pakistan and anything is possible, some things are still more possible than others. …
… Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of memogate is Mike Mullen`s denial and then clarification of his denial and an outright admission.
We`re talking here about an administration that doesn`t officially acknowledge drone strikes or the 14-page memo Kayani handed Obama. That a recently retired top-ranking officer will through a spokesperson speak on the record to a reporter about such stuff is, quite frankly, astonishing.
Sure, Mullen denied he acted on the memo or that he took it seriously, but this two-term chairman of the joints chiefs of staff knows the media worldwide, even the Pakistani media, enough to be aware of his statement`s implications for Haqqani and the media pressure it would pile on Zardari in an already lopsided civil-military relationship that the Americans presumably have some interest in rectifying.
So yes, memogate is finally genuinely intriguing. Not because it implies games are afoot inside Pakistan, which they always are, but because Mullen has seen it fit to throw Haqqani, and possibly Zardari, under the bus.
It`s a tantalising question, based admittedly on flimsy evidence, but have the Americans soured on Zardari?
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