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Memogate's first casualty: Haqqani gets marching orders

Pakistan's envoy to the US Husain Haqqani on Tuesday was forced out of office over his suspected role in a secret memo seeking American help to prevent a possible coup in Pakistan, which had angered the powerful army. Imtiaz Ahmad reports.

world Updated: Nov 23, 2011 01:01 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times
Husain Haqqani,Yousuf Raza Gilani,memogate

In what is being seen as a victory for Pakistan’s security establishment, ambassador of Pakistan to the US, Husain Haqqani, resigned from his position on Tuesday.

The resignation came after Haqqani met with the army chief and the head of the ISI on Tuesday.

The resignation came in the wake of the memogate scandal in which it was alleged that Haqqani drafted a memo seeking US help to reign in Pakistan’s military and intelligence sources.

Analysts say that the resignation will pave the way for better relations between Zardari and the military. It is expected that talks between Zardari and the military will resume this week.

Envoy Husain Haqqani said in a Twitter message that he had sent his resignation to the prime minister. State television said his resignation had been accepted.

“I have much to contribute to building a new Pakistan free of bigotry & intolerance,” Haqqani said on Twitter. “Will focus energies on that.”

Haqqani became entangled in controversy after the appearance of a column in the Financial Times on October 10.

In the column, businessman Mansoor Ijaz said a senior Pakistani diplomat had asked that a memo be delivered to the Pentagon with a plea for US help to stave off a military coup in the days the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Ijaz later identified the diplomat as Haqqani.

No evidence has emerged that the military was plotting a coup and Haqqani denies involvement in the memo.

(With Reuters input)

First Published: Nov 22, 2011 20:34 IST