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Pak envoy to US offers to resign

world Updated: Nov 18, 2011 01:35 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani, offered to resign from his post on Thursday following intense military pressure on the government of President Asif Ali Zardari after it was confirmed that the envoy had helped draft a memo asking for US help to stave off a military takeover.

Haqqani said in a statement that he had not drafted any such memo but would step down "to end the vilification campaign against the government."

President Zardari has so far not accepted Haqqani's resignation but has instead summoned him to Islamabad.

Over the past week, following confirmation of the existence of the memo, the Pakistan army chief held two closed door meetings on successive days with the president. This unprecedented flurry of meetings led to speculation of tensions between the civilian and military leadership.

It may be recalled that a Pakistani businessman alleged in a column in the Financial Times last month that a senior Pakistani diplomat asked for assistance in getting a message from Zardari to Admiral Mike Mullen, at the time chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The author, Mansoor Ijaz, alleged that Zardari feared a military takeover following the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May.