First Memo casualty Hussain Haqqani Forced to Resign
Secret backchannel memo that was conveyed from Zardari to Mullen, through Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz.
What is in Secret Memo(Pakistan Nuclear Programe,Pakistan Army Scandalized)
Haqqani, who has long been a key link between the civilian government in Pakistan and the Obama administration, has also been battling for years with the Pakistani military and the
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s chief spy agency — two organizations whose influence in Washington he has fought to weaken. That battle came to the fore of Pakistani politics this month due to the growing scandal known in Pakistan as “memo-gate,” which relates to a secret backchannel memo that was allegedly conveyed from Zardari to Mullen, through Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijazz.
Under the putative plan, Zardari would have promised to dramatically weaken the Pakistani military intelligence branch the ISI, including totally disbanding its Afghanistan unit, in return for US military support in a move against Pakistan’s armed forces.
Ijaz alleged in an Oct. 10 op-ed in the Financial Times that on May 10, in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad, Zardari had offered to replace Pakistan’s powerful military and intelligence leadership and cut ties with militant groups. Ijaz said he was directed to craft the memo by a senior Pakistani official close to Zardari. Ijaz has implied — and the Pakistani press has speculated — that this official was Haqqani.
Last week, The Cable published an exclusive report on Mullen’s comments about the memo. “Adm. Mullen does not know Mr. Ijaz and has no recollection of receiving any correspondence from him,” Mullen’s spokesman Capt. John Kirbyz said Nov. 8.”I cannot say definitively that correspondence did not come from him — the admiral received many missives as chairman from many people every day, some official, some not. But he does not recall one from this individual.”
Ijaz shot back in an article in Pakistan’s The News, in which he published extensive Blackberry Messenger conversations with the Zardari-linked Pakistani official, allegedly Haqqani. He insisted that the memo did, in fact, exist, and that it was delivered from Ijaz to Mullen through another secret go-between, this one a senior U.S. government official.
“There can be no doubt a memorandum was drafted and transmitted to Admiral Mullen with the approval of the highest political level in Pakistan, and that the admiral received it with certainty from a source whom he trusted and who also trusted me,” Ijaz wrote.
Kirby told The Cable today that Mullen now acknowledges that the Ijaz memo does exist, that he did receive it — but that he never paid any attention to it and took no follow up action.
“Adm. Mullen had no recollection of the memo and no relationship with Mr. Ijaz. After the original article appeared on Foreign Policy’s website, he felt it incumbent upon himself to check his memory. He reached out to others who he believed might have had knowledge of such a memo, and one of them was able to produce a copy of it,” Kirby said. “That said, neither the contents of the memo nor the proof of its existence altered or affected in any way the manner in which Adm. Mullen conducted himself in his relationship with Gen. Kayani and the Pakistani government. He did not find it at all credible and took no note of it then or later. Therefore, he addressed it with no one.”
Zardari’s civilian political enemies, such as opposition leader Imran Kahn, have seized upon the controversy. Meanwhile, the Pakistani military, led by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayaniz, has been pressuring Zardari to start an inquiry into the memo.
Zardari, Kayani, and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani met for the second time in two days on the matter late on Wednesday. Zardari also had a late night meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munterz on Tuesday night.
Earlier Wednesday, on the floor of Pakistan’s National Assembly, Gilani publicly confirmed that Haqqani had been summoned to Islamabad to explain his position on the memo.
“Whether he’s ambassador or not, he has to come to Islamabad to explain his position,” Gilani said.
In an interview late on Wednesday afternoon, Washington time, Haqqani confirmed to The Cable that he will travel to Islamabad and has sent a letter to Zardari offering his resignation.
“At no point was I asked by you or anyone in the Pakistani government to draft a memo and at no point did I draft or deliver such a memo,” Haqqani said that he had written in his letter to Zardari.
“I’ve been consistently vilified as being against the Pakistani military even though I have only opposed military intervention in political affairs,” Haqqani said that he wrote. “It’s not easy to operate under the shadow of innuendo and I have not been named by anyone so far, but I am offering to resign in the national interest and leave that to the will of the president.”
Haqqani declined to comment to The Cable whether or not he played any role in the controversy surrounding the memo — for example, discussing it with Ijaz before or after the fact, as the scandal deepened. It’s widely rumored that Haqqani and Ijaz have known each other for many years.
It’s remains unclear whether Zardari had any knowledge of the memo at the time. In Islamabad, some speculate that Zardari may be trying to put an end to the memo-gate controversy by sacrificing Haqqani, but no decision has yet been made on whether or not Haqqani will step down. If he leaves, he will return to private life having played a key role in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship during its most tumultuous period — a role that is mired in the secrecy and intrigue of Pakistani politics and diplomacy.
Secret memo on Pakistan to Adm. Mike Mullen
CONFIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM BRIEFING FOR ADM. MIKE MULLEN, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF During the past 72 hours since a meeting was held between the president, the prime minister and the chief of army staff, there has seen a significant deterioration in Pakistan's political atmosphere. Increasingly desperate efforts by the various agencies and factions within the government to find a home - ISI and/or Army, or the civilian government - for assigning blame over the UBL raid now dominate the tug of war between military and civilian sectors. Subsequent tit-fortat reactions, including outing of the CIA station chief's name in Islamabad by ISI officials, demonstrates a dangerous devolution of the ground situation in Islamabad where no central control appears to be in place. Civilians cannot withstand much more of the hard pressure being delivered from the Army to succumb to wholesale changes. If civilians are forced from power, Pakistan becomes a sanctuary for UBL's legacy and potentially the platform for far more rapid spread of al Qaeda's brand of fanaticism and terror. A unique window of opportunity exists for the civilians to gain the upper hand over army and intelligence directorates due to their complicity in the UBL matter. Request your direct intervention in conveying a strong, urgent and direct message to Gen Kayani that delivers Washington's demand for him and Gen Pasha to end their brinkmanship aimed at bringing down the civilian apparatus - that this is a 1971 moment in Pakistan's history. Should you be willing to do so, Washington's political/military backing would result in a revamp of the civilian government that, while weak at the top echelon in terms of strategic direction and implementation (even though mandated by domestic political forces), in a wholesale manner replaces the national security adviser and other national security officials with trusted advisers that include ex-military and civilian leaders favorably viewed by Washington, each of whom have long and historical ties to the US military, political and intelligence communities. Names will be provided to you in a face-to-face meeting with the person delivering this message. In the event Washington's direct intervention behind the scenes can be secured through your personal communication with Kayani (he will likely listen only to you at this moment) to stand down the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment, the new national security team is prepared, with full backing of the civilian apparatus, to do the following:
1. President of Pakistan will order an independent inquiry into the allegations that Pakistan harbored and offered assistance to UBL and other senior Qaeda operatives. The White House can suggest names of independent investigators to populate the panel, along the lines of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, for example.
2. The inquiry will be accountable and independent, and result in findings of tangible value to the US government and the American people that identify with exacting detail those elements responsible for harboring and aiding UBL inside and close to the inner ring of influence in Pakistan's Government (civilian, intelligence directorates and military). It is certain that the UBL Commission will result in immediate termination of active service officers in the appropriate government offices and agencies found responsible for complicity in assisting UBL.
3. The new national security team will implement a policy of either handing over those left in the leadership of Al Qaeda or other affiliated terrorist groups who are still on Pakistani soil, including Ayman Al Zawahiri, Mullah Omar and Sirajuddin Haqqani, or giving US military forces a "green light" to conduct the necessary operations to capture or kill them on Pakistani soil. This "carte blanche" guarantee is not without political risks, but should demonstrate the new group's commitment to rooting out bad elements on our soil. This commitment has the backing of the top echelon on the civilian side of our house, and we will insure necessary collateral support.
4. One of the great fears of the military-intelligence establishment is that with your stealth capabilities to enter and exit Pakistani airspace at will, Pakistan's nuclear assets are now legitimate targets. The new national security team is prepared, with full backing of the Pakistani government - initially civilian but eventually all three power centers - to develop an acceptable framework of discipline for the nuclear program. This effort was begun under the previous military regime, with acceptable results. We are prepared to reactivate those ideas and build on them in a way that brings Pakistan's nuclear assets under a more verifiable, transparent regime.
5. The new national security team will eliminate Section S of the ISI charged with maintaining relations to the Taliban, Haqqani network, etc. This will dramatically improve relations with Afghanistan.
6. We are prepared to cooperate fully under the new national security team's guidance with the Indian government on bringing all perpetrators of Pakistani origin to account for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, whether outside government or inside any part of the government, including its intelligence agencies. This includes handing over those against whom sufficient evidence exists of guilt to the Indian security services.
Pakistan faces a decision point of unprecedented importance. We, who believe in democratic governance and building a much better structural relationship in the region with India AND Afghanistan, seek US assistance to help us pigeonhole the forces lined up against your interests and ours, including containment of certain elements inside our country that require appropriate re-sets and re-tasking in terms of direction and extent of responsibility after the UBL affair. We submit this memorandum for your consideration collectively as the members of the new national security team who will be inducted by the President of Pakistan with your support in this undertaking.
The full transcript of his exchanges with HH are also now available to The News. These were:
05/09/2011 12:31 HH: Are you in London? I am here just for 36 hours. Can we meet for after dinner coffee or s'thing?
05/09/2011 12:32 MI: I'm in Monaco but it's no problem for me to fly up. Takes 90 minutes. What time did you have in mind? Where do you want to meet?
05/09/2011 12:35 HH: Pls call me. I'm at the Park Lane Intercon +442071060900 room 430
05/09/2011 12:35 HH: Waiting for ur call now 05/09/2011 13:37 MI: Could access to the 3 stooges who widow the man be arranged as part of the bigger picture?
05/09/2011 13:39 HH: I am sure that can be arranged upon formal demand
05/09/2011 13:40 MI: That is critical to breaking apart the system outside - and understanding what was going on inside. Would we get candor and truth or some brainwashed jargon?
05/09/2011 13:40 MI: The calls to Isphani's people have been made. Very very receptive reaction so far
05/09/2011 13:44 HH: If my friend and I feel sufficiently empowered in relation to the bad boys, I will ensure we get candor
05/09/2011 13:45 MI: Got it. Let me see if we can't get you a sledge hammer with a golden handle
05/09/2011 13:47 HH: Would be nice
05/09/2011 13:47 MI: I'm sending you a PIN message that others cannot see. Please respond. Thanks
05/09/2011 13:48 HH: Okay. Thx
05/09/2011 13:54 MI: Message by PIN sent
05/09/2011 13:56 HH: Okay
05/09/2011 14:22 MI: Message has been delivered to Isphani. Receptiom positive but I need you to agree to do something. Can I call you?
05/09/2011 15:02 MI: Please PING when you can talk and on what number. Time sensitive
05/09/2011 15:05 HH: Entering No 10. Can speak on cell after an hour
05/09/2011 15:05 MI: Okay. I'll wait for your PING
05/09/2011 16:09 HH: PING!!!
05/09/2011 16:09 HH: PING!!!
05/09/2011 16:09 HH: Pls call on cell now +16179532835
05/09/2011 16:10 HH: PING!!!
05/09/2011 16:19 MI: Sorry. Was stuck on call to DC. Pls ping again when ready
05/09/2011 18:26 HH: PING!!!
05/09/2011 18:27 MI: Tried you. Phone says unavailable
05/09/2011 18:38 MI: The message I sent is what MM will see. It will be given directly to him and no one else
05/09/2011 18:59 MI: My friend in DC simply said too many people have been burned in the past two years on the US side and he wanted to insure that on such a sensitive subject, the data and proposal are clear. This is you to me, me to him. He trusts me enough to know I won't bring it forward unless it has top level approval. He does not need it with any email addresses etc. He will scrub that in any event. If you want names to be mentioned, yours, JK, MD, etc, I will do that in person. So get whatever message you want delivered back to me and I'll insure it gets in MM's hands. Best. M
05/09/2011 19:02 MI: By the way, the interesting thing is that they consider AZ's approval of the message worth more than anyone else in country right now. How do you like that?
05/09/2011 20:43 MI: I have additional information you need to hear. Ping when I can call you please
05/09/2011 21:10 MI: Would it be safe to say that you don't want to run this up your flagpole because you need to work this deal from the middle out? Tell me if that's the case and I'll use a different approach that does not require something in writing. What would then be helpful is if I could simply have a BBM saying my talking points are correct, or not, and then you set your table, I'll set my table and make sure you are an honored guest at my table when the party begins. If you're good with that, I just need your okay on the talking points. No need to run it up the az-pole, if you get my drift. M
05/10/2011 00:29 HH: Msg recvd. Tweaking. Middile of road option sounds good. Will call morning.
05/10/2011 00:29 HH: PING!!!
05/10/2011 00:37 MI: Will you be sending me your tweaks or am I to use my copy as final? If tweaks are short, I can call you to get them
05/10/2011 08:47 MI: You have mail from two of my mailboxes. Please read, respond and then we have one last short discussion before I put everything in motion. Thanks. M
05/10/2011 12:45 MI: I was just informed by senior US intel that GD-SII Mr P asked for, and received permission, from senior Arab leaders a few days ago to sack Z. For what its worth
05/10/2011 13:08 HH: Thanks. Very useful 05/10/2011 13:09 HH: My friend and I agree with middle option. Go ahead
05/10/2011 14:57 MI: Message delivered with caveat that he has to decide how hard to push - we only set the table. He must decide if he wants one course meal or seven course meal. Ball is in play now - make sure you have protected your flanks
05/11/2011 12:33 MI: I've been asked to find out what time your meeting is today. Response so far indicates they are having a hard look, although they find it nearly impossible to believe anyone could deliver such results... to be expected, I suppose. Hope you got home okay. Did you see Mush while in London?
05/11/2011 14:59 MI: PING!!!
05/12/2011 00:36 HH: Call me on my cell
05/12/2011 00:37 HH: Also, M in ur msgs above referred to the Admiral, right?
05/12/2011 00:37 MI: Yes
05/12/2011 00:54 MI: Clarification. M at the end of a message is Mansoor. M or MM in the text of a message is the admiral. Apologies for any confusion. BBM when free. I'll call you. Whether it is shattering news or not is up to you to decide
05/12/2011 01:47 MI: I just received an email from my link to MM independently confirming what you told me by phone. He says MM was appreciative of our intervention and utilized the data to advise and consent
05/12/2011 02:47 HH: Thanx. On way to Isloo. Will touch base on return
05/12/2011 02:54 MI: Good luck. Let me know at any time if you need any help
Details of chat between MI and HH after his Financial article was published until the first week of November, 2011:
HH: you can keep saying you delivered a message and show bbm convos to prove it
HH: Basically you don't get it
HH: You have given hardliners in Pak Mil reason to argue there was an effort to get US to conspire against Pak Mil
HH: You are a US citizen
HH: You are supposed to look after US interests
MI: I wrote one article. Have not said one word on the record since then to anyone. I think your press is working both sides against the middle, trying to force something out of anyone they can. Period. I don't play in that game
HH: In Pak political situation, getting burned as a US stooge undermines one's effectiveness
HH: I will make sure FO shuts up
HH: Let this die down
HH: We are in the right
HH: We will still make things happen
MI: Okay, well I know my IQ is pretty low so you are probably correct in saying I just don't get it.
HH: The Pak press be damned
HH: I stand by you as a man of integrity werving his country
HH: You don't let ppl back home argue I play for your team, not ours
MI: But from my point of view, if there was a real threat, as you stated at the time, it is clear you were trying to save a democratic structure from those hawks
HH: You get to write the book on how you changed US-Pak dynamic and won the war in A'tan (w/ some help from a Paki nerd) :D
MI: I was happy to get the message in the back door because it served American interests to preserve the democratic civilian setup and the offers made, if achieved, were very much congruent with American objectives in the region
HH: True that, friend. But you know premature revelation ain't good
MI: As far as I can see, we did right. Unless there is something I don't see here. But then I'm sorta dumb from down on the farm where them hillbillies live
HH: Hey! Don't run down hillbillies
HH: Even the smartest can miss a piece of the puzzle
HH: You are assuming there are no powerful men in Pak willing to break w/ US. Premature revelation gives those ppl reason to claim 'conspiracy', 'treason'
HH: That is all you missed. Period.
HH: And no one else might tell you this, you're becoming irritable and losing your sense of humor as you grow old
HH: Let this one go. There is much to do. MUCH. And then, there's the beach where I've been waiting to be invited, the slum boy visiting the millionaire
MI: I'm not a millionaire. But I do know a nice piece of beach!
HH: I'm not a slum boy either but I know how to make friends with smart people with a sense of history
MI: Jesus, then what the -- are you doing hanging around with me? =D
HH: We'll make things happen and if we can't, we'll write a book about it
HH: Who said I was hanging around with you. A minute ago I thought you were about to hang me :D
MI: :O MI: Really?
HH: Look, Isloo is a mess. Journos gone wild. Politicos scared of mil. Mil scared of Yanks.
MI: Tell me one important thing. Who likes you and who hates you in the US establishment? Who wants you to stay and who wants to -- you up?
HH: The debate abt your oped has caused my detractors to put pressure on my boss
HH: In US estab, I can count on Leon and Petraeus
MI: I thought YOU were the boss!
MI: Who is against you?
HH: Folks at State don't like me
MI: Too close to AZ?
HH: They think I am too mixed up w/ DoD and others and do not help them cut deals w/ Pak mil
HH: Close to AZ bit too
HH: They are wrong re DoD and others.
HH: It is just that becoz of A'tan, they are more imp than State
MI: I always thought HRC was one of your fans. She even has a lady from our parts working with her
HH: It is folks at State who got pissed off by your mission
HH: She may be but I was Holbrooke's buddy so everyone who hates him hates me
HH: I have no time for just pushing paper around
HH: State likes process
MI: Which mission? Sudan, Kashmir, there were so many they got pissed off about. I showed them how to do real American diplomacy and that was like a big pile of **** on their desk they couldn't swallow
HH: Conferences, statements-with nothing changing
HH: The latest one
MI: Yeah, I got it. You're right!
MI: Anyway, State will always hate me because I don't accept their muddling way of doing things
HH: I don't know for a fact but I won't be surprised if the FO statement was prompted by someone here
HH: Robin Raphel is back as Grossman's deputy
HH: You stepped on her toes w/ Kashmir mission
MI: That would be typical. But Grossman knows me and he knows how serious I am. Raphael still hates me for the Kashmir intervention where she did everything she could to **** me up
HH: And now they hate me more when folks back home who hate me tell them you and I might have been together on s'thing (whether we were or not is irrelevant to them)
HH: Grossman is good but he doesn't like anyone playing a larger than life role. Old school
HH: That's why I have been requesting you to let this one go
MI: Yeah I know. Found that out when he was our lobbyist. But he's a good guy
HH: That takes attention off me
MI: Hmmmmmmmmm....... Not sure anything could take attention off you
HH: I try and make peace with State and focus on battles at home
HH: HaHa :D MI: Diplomacy at its finest!!! HH: Yeah, right! But at least I shd not be painted as playing for your team
MI: Why not? You were a good quarterback for those three days!!
HH: I want to solve -***ing problems not fight a rearguard action all the time
HH: Let us wait and see if Hillary's latest foray changes things in any direction
MI: Did we really solve a true problem or was this all smoke and mirrors?
MI: I mean on those days of stress...
HH: View here is that everyone in Isloo sucks!
MI: That's pretty much true!!!!
HH: Too early to say re solution
MI: But if they all suck, then what did we save - a sinking ship that was going to sink anyway???
HH: And there is a genetic problem at that end, predisposed to going round and round in circles
MI: Yup!! That's for damn sure
HH: I think we save the situation from an extremely violent outcome
MI: How can you solve the problems you understand so well from here if all the people in charge over there are wrong? It's only one year til we have a change in the US. Then you really won't like who we have here!
HH: I mean, Iran might have done better if the Shah had been saved AND some true reform introduced
HH: Actually, I think the new ppl here might be better to deal with
HH: They won't take lies easily
MI: Don't bet on it. We have a lot of extremists cropping up and seeping into the system
MI: They don't trust anything Pakistani
MI: Don't matter what it is
HH: Well, in that case find me a cheap piece of beach
MI: Cain, Romney (who hates Muslims), Perry - its all the same crap
MI: Hmmmmm, yes, I can arrange that
MI: Why is Z such an idiot?
HH: But don't go off writing opeds abt arranging piece of beach w'out consulting first
HH: HaHa! Tough question
HH: I have a speech in 20 mins so let's keep that for later
HH: Bye for now
MI: Okay. Good luck.
HH: Thank you!
MI: Hi buddy, I understand you/ your foreign office hacks are commissioning hatchet pieces against me. Unfortunate.... very unfortunate
HH: I will enquire and stop them. There's no need for any of this.
HH: You haven't helped by engaging so much w/ Pak media.
HH: What happened to the 'silent soldier'?
MI: I issued a statement that was designed to put an end to all of this after Imran Khan's rally nonsense. But be that as it may, I'm not going to tolerate character assassination in any of this
HH: I agree
HH: Will do my best to prevent it
MI: Roger that
HH: Focus on your policy message instead of who did what and we can turn this around
MI: Please remind your boss that his beloved wife, who later became a good friend of mine, tried the same bullshit tactics in 1996 when Maleeha was envoy - result: her government was dismissed in Nov 1996.
MI: I'm not someone he can mess around with. He better get that message from me and really understand it
HH: My response to Imran was very simple and true: I did not write a treasonous letter and if Imran has a copy, he should present it
HH: I don't think your threatening helps
MI: That's true from my point of view as well. But politicians are politicians
MI: I don't make threats. I state facts. Your boss needs reminding of the facts
HH: Are you sure your side won't deny?
MI: No, maybe they will. But that would also be a mistake. Too much proof on that side as well.
HH: But does "proving" help anything?
HH: Is it not the nature of a private mission that officials deny it?
MI: Don't know. Don't care. My point is simple - I've said what I was going to. Attacks on my person will not be tolerated. And my statement stands. Stop telling lies about me and I might just stip telling the truth about you
HH: If you were to listen to my advice, you would let this blow over and prove yourself afterwards. You are the one who will outlast the flying ****
HH: That is usually my strategy: be there when the others have self-destructed or blown over
MI: I've kept to my word - if everyone wants to call it a fabrication and make me the fall guy, then gloves come off and it's not going to be fun or pretty for anyone
MI: You did something you thought was right outside channels because you felt it would be the most effective way to get the job done. I helped you execute. I haven't thrown you under the bus. But be damn sure I won't let anyone do that to me
HH: I'll do what I can to keep it pretty
HH: I haven't. I won't.
MI: By the way, I know a lot more than you give me credit for about the circumstances that led to May 1 and your role in all that. Just FYI
HH: Honorable ppl stick with one another. Take care.
HH: I am maintaining silence so pls check with me before reacting if some Pak journo attributes anything to me
MI: It's interesting (and heartening) to see that many of the proposals made in the memo are now being implemented in the bilateral relationship. Very good
Sent from my BlackBerry(r) wireless device