The role of Pakistan’s former ambassador in Washington has become further controversial and notorious. His role has raised many serious questions about his actions as ambassador in executing policies. It is not yet established if he was executing policies by his own or directed by the central government in Islamabad. His contention is that he was not executing policies without government’s consent. At least, there was some misuse of power and this need to be identified.
Hussain Haqqani opened up the pindora box again. The killing of Osama Bin Laden is on the limelight again. He claimed that he helped the Americans to kill Osama in Abbottabad on 2 May 2011. The allegation-cum claim has exposed the Zardari-Gillani-Haqqani network that assisted the Americans to hunt Osama.
Did Pakistan’s state security was jeopardise by Hussain Haqqani’s actions? Was he sincere to fight against terrorism as he claimed? Did the PPP Government run the counter-terrorism policy by its own or listen to the military establishment? Is Hussain Haqqani a traitor or how he should be described in his role in hunting down Osama? How the condemnation of his role, would serve the interests of Pakistan? There are more questions than answers. Each reply is highly contested.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was in search of Osama in full cooperation with the United States, who was killed on 2 May 2011 at Abbottabad. The PPP – President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani – appointed ambassador Hussain Haqqani and he remained in office during 2008-2011. They wanted the end of the Taliban, improving relations with Afghanistan and India and an end of military influence in foreign policy.
Haqqani was assigned or did the job by his own good-will to cooperate with the United States in hunting Osama. He fully cooperated as ambassador as Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani officially directed him to issue visas to the Americans without seeking clarification from the ISI and other agencies as mentioned by Shaheen Sabahi, a journalist living the United States. It is yet to be established that ambassador can issue visas without government approval.
Gillani made a statement on the Haqqani’s article but he did not elaborate his position on the matter. He or Zardari also did not clarify their positions in the Abbottabad Commission appointed under Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal. He said that what Haqqani recently said did not surprise the Abbottabad Commission. His statement appeared in a newspaper. The Memogate scandal is yet another evidence what Haqqani has now revealed. What all needed is to traced out the trail of Haqqani’s actions and network.
Haqqani facilitated the CIA agents and other spies and provided them with visas and other facilities to hunt Osama inside Pakistan. It also meant that Pakistan ran two policies on this issue- one led by the PPP Government to cooperate with the CIA and the other led by the army.
In a fresh article, published in The Washington Post, on 10 March, Haqqani claimed that role as ambassador that enabled the United States to kill Osama in Pakistan. He said that he informed the Pakistani civilian authorities about US Special Operations and intelligence personnel and they approved it. The US Navy SEAL Team 6 launched the operation and killed Osama, he mentioned in the article.
He mentioned that decisions made in capitals and not in the embassies. What he meant was that embassies and ambassadors just execute decisions made by governments. He was not alone. Government spends over 12 billion rupees in maintaining around 126 missions abroad and if the performance of missions is so dissolute and they cannot promote the national cause and rather jeopardise national security, it is better to close down such missions.
Haqqani’s claims were totally disowned by the PPP. But Haqqani’s claims might not go as simple as thought by the PPP. They have to respond to all claims made by him to clarify their positions. The PPP just cannot disown him and make him a scapegoat. Haqqani’s confession has been developing into a serious issue related to Pakistan’s security. Things just cannot go delayed indefinitely. They have to be settled. It is time to settle the Memogate and Abbottabad Commission to make an end to all sorts of speculations.