Prime minister Gillani, Gen Kayani and Gen Pasha

My advice for the senior leadership will be to Play it Cool, Gentlemen. This could be a crucial time in our history where a united stance by our politico military leadership could help us come out of this crisis in one piece, mind you, 2012 has been projected by many in the west (as well as by some astrologists in India) to be a time of drastic changes at global level, where Pakistan is supposed to come out strong after years of this God Forsaken Long War.

By Adeela Naureen

With explosion of the Memo Gate Scandal, Pakistan’s politico military leadership is confronting a new challenge; to steer Pakistan out of this crisis without harming our national interest. There is a talk of melt down of relationship between Pakistan’s military and the political hierarchy, with scenarios of a military take over abounds on the electronic and print media. Our foreign friends and foes are giving twists and turns to Haqqani Saga in order to develop a perception that Pakistan’s leadership is divided on sensitive issues related to security of the state. The current winter season in Pakistan has already become ripe for controversies and rallies, thus creating an environment of imbalance in the political system, the addition of Memo Gate scandal in the charged atmosphere has acted like more fuel for more fire.

The Pakistani and foreign Media craving for breaking news and scandals has gone overboard to further ignite the situation, not realizing (or may be realizing) that Haqqani Saga has the potential to be critically divisive in these turbulent times. The fog of mistrust being created by media can create blurred vision leading to hasty decision making at national level, thus harming our national interest. I will not become judgmental here and endorse of what was right and what was wrong. If Mansoor Ijaz has some proofs than let these be presented in an inquiry board in Pakistan and the outcome may decide on whatever action is required. However, it may be interesting to watch Mr Mansoor Ijaz’s recent deliberations on some international TV channels including NDTV of our neighbor India. I am quoting (edited) extracts from discussion titled, Full Text of Mansoor Ijaz’s interview with NDTV of 21st November. Important thing to note is the kind of questions NDTV host Barkha Dutt asked in this programme, these were all targeted at proving that Pakistan’s political and military leadership was heading for a meltdown of relationship between the two and that Haqqani Saga was just tip of the iceberg covering a heap of more controversies to be unfolded in near future including divisions within the Pakistani Military.

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Barkha Dutt: There are obviously two narratives here, your narrative and Ambassador Husain Haqqani's narrative. The larger question is that many observers of this region see this as not so much about a memo, but about a meltdown, a potential meltdown between the military administration in Pakistan and the civilian government….

Mansoor Ijaz: Ya. Well my record is nothing short of Haqqani's record in being anti-military and anti-ISI in terms of governance structures in Pakistan… I think it is slightly different. I think there is a meltdown between the personalities of military leadership and political leadership… It is the most dangerous thing in the democratic society. When a narrow cabal or people inside the government of those countries decide, they know what's better than everybody else, that ought to be taken, that ought to be on the cc list… So this is a situation, where once it became clear that there was a, shall we say, sidebar conversation between Zardari, Haqqani and some big wig in the military… Once it became clear that they had tried to do something there was no issue about the facts… There is only one narrative, the facts. What the facts are and the facts are all out there in the open domain. Haqqani can lie about it all (if) he wants to. The records are absolutely clear. Now if you look at it from that perspective that they wanted to do this sidebar conversation…The issue is, whether you are a good leader or a bad leader, you had a responsibility to keep us in the loop on what you guys were doing in Washington. Tell me one time when Husain Haqqani has ever acted under the auspices of Prime Minister's Office who is technically his boss today; or the Foreign Office, when the Foreign Minister was his boss. Not once since he became the Ambassador has he done that. He has always acted on the unilateral authority of the President because of his position close to Benazir Bhutt…

Barkha Dutt: So you are saying that it is about a coterie within Pakistan's ruling establishment and that's what it's about and not Army versus civilian. But a counter to that would be, that it has to then mean, that Ambassador Husain Haqqani was not acting alone. Because why would he? He was obviously acting on somebody's orders…

Mansoor Ijaz: Yeah, that's a very good question.. and that is whether or not the Parliament, that whether or not the judicial enquiry, whoever it is that's coined, actually looked at all of this and looked at the records and see, you know what happened. Whether they would consider it sufficient evidence that the coded language Haqqani used with me genuinely indicated that in fact his boss was Zardari, was the progenitor, the architect of this whole thing. It is my view that Zardari does not have the mental capacity to be able to think or dream something like this up. I think probably what happened here, is that he made it clear to Haqqani that there were real problems and real pressures being applied by the military and ISI. And those pressures were real, not because something that had gone wrong between them but because of the embarrassment that the ISI and the Army was suffering in those days after bin Laden was killed. And he would have said to Haqqani, 'I got a problem. I need you to fix it', and Haqqani would have said, 'Leave it to me boss'. I'll handle it.. I will show you the result'… go into my Blackberry conversations, all the way down towards the end of the ones between the 9th of May and the 12th of May. And near the end of it you will see him, somewhere say, M refers to the Admiral right?' And then I said, 'In the messages that we are talking about?' And then I said, 'Yes'. And then I said, after that I said, 'Let me clarify', because I realised why was he asking me that question. Because he needed to show his Blackberry to somebody in Pakistan…

My advice for the senior leadership will be to Play it Cool, Gentlemen. This could be a crucial time in our history where a united stance by our politico military leadership could help us come out of this crisis in one piece, mind you, 2012 has been projected by many in the west (as well as by some astrologists in India) to be a time of drastic changes at global level, where Pakistan is supposed to come out strong after years of this God Forsaken Long War. We have done many deals and played many games, let us get Pakistan out of these unfortunate crises with honesty and by keeping Pakistan’s interest supreme over all petty and selfish motives and interests. Above all, have trust in the Allah Almighty and not Uncle Sam in solving our real and perceived problems; no one came to rescue Ben Ali of Tunis, Mubarrak of Egypt and Shah of Iran and no one will come to save your skin, when the chips are down.

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