M A I N   N E W S

Zardari’s secret memo promised to punish Mumbai attackers
Afzal Khan in Islamabad

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s alleged secret memo to a top US military leader promised a new Pakistani national security leadership that would work with the Indian government to punish the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack.

The ‘Memogate scandal’ took yet another turn with the New York-based Pakistani businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, releasing messages asking him to put a lid on the controversy.

While Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani put up a brave face and denied any ‘crisis’, the swirling controversy and intense speculation about a regime change appears certain to scalp Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, who was named by Ijaz as the official at whose behest he had passed on a ‘secret memo’ to the Obama administration.

Haqqani has been summoned to Islamabad to explain his role, Gilani told the National Assembly on Friday, amidst speculation that Haqqani had sought political asylum in the US. Haqqani himself tweeted that he has been at such crossroads before and told a TV channel that he would be travelling to Pakistan in a day or two. He also ruled out reports that he is seeking asylum.

Ijaz, meanwhile, has accused Haqqani of trying to intimidate him and trying to suppress the controversy. ‘He got denials to be issued by the foreign office, the Presidency and even by Admiral Mike Mullen, to whom the memo was delivered. The memo, allegedly on behalf of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, offered a complete overhaul of the Pakistani security establishment, a free hand to the US military in Pakistan and even expressed willingness to hand over to India the 26/11 suspects — if only the US helped Zardari to foil a suspected military coup after Osama bin Laden was gunned down by US Seals in a covert operation in Pakistan.

Gilani, however, ruled out any imminent change in the government through ‘unconstitutional and undemocratic’ means. He also tried to assuage outraged members by saying that there would be no break-up of the institutions, specially the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

“The Opposition will have to wait till 2013,” he said, even as Pakistan Muslim League chief Nawaz Sharif demanded an inquiry commission to be set up to inquire into ‘Memogate’. Gilani denied Zardari’s involvement in the scandal. He added that the Pakistani intelligence and military are held in high regard by the government and they will be protected according to the Constitution.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |