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Troika, ISI chief grill ambassador; evidence presented, 32 questions posed to Haqqani who rejected all allegations; Gardezi made caretaker envoy to US
- Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, and ordered a detailed investigation into the memo issue.


A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s House said all concerned (officials) would be afforded sufficient and fair opportunity to present their views and that the investigation shall be carried out fairly, objectively and without bias.


“After the controversy sparked by the memo which had been drafted, formulated and further admitted to have been received by the US authority, it has become necessary in the national interest to formally arrive at the actual and true facts,” he added. However, the spokesman did not reveal the details about the mode of the inquiry and whether it would be judicial, departmental or parliamentary inquiry.


Meanwhile, Husain Haqqani made the announcement of his resignation on the social networking service Twitter. He wrote: “I have requested PM Gilani to accept my resignation as Pakistan’s ambassador to US”.


Haqqani further said: “I have much to contribute to building a new Pakistan free of bigotry and intolerance. Will focus energies on that”. However, at the time of filing this report, his Twitter profile still read “Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States of America.”


The announcement of the resignation was made just after a meeting of the troika — President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani — and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha where the ambassador presented his side of the story of the memo controversy.


Iffat Imran Gardezi, serving as deputy chief of mission in Washington DC, was appointed as the caretaker Pakistani ambassador to the United States.


However, mystery surrounded the venue of the meeting that was either held at the Presidency or the Prime Minister House though both kept their silence on the issue. Sources say the meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s House.


When contacted, Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar said no meeting took place at the presidency. “When there is no meeting, how could I have any other information?” Though the government hopes to have buried the controversy with the resignation of Haqqani, political observers believe this is just the beginning of the end since the issue will now be thoroughly investigated.


According to sources, Haqqani replied to questions in detail at the meeting and presented his stance. “The proofs collected from Mansoor Ijaz, US businessman of Pakistani origin, were placed before Haqqani, who challenged them and gave his point of view,” they added.


Sources said around 32 questions were posed to Haqqani, who denied his role in the memo and said the ‘whole game’ was planned to create a misunderstanding between the political and military leadership of the country.