Haqqani Meets Pak Leadership to Explain 'Memogate'

Rezaul H Laskar/Islamabad
Haqqani Meets Pak Leadership to Explain 'Memogate'
Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani today met the country’s top civilian and military leadership to explain his position on a controversial secret memorandum that was purportedly sent by the government to seek American help to prevent a military coup.

The meeting between the envoy and the leadership was underway at the Prime Minister's House, TV news channels reported.

President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha were present at the meeting, the reports said.

It was initially reported that the meeting would be held at the presidency but presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar told the media that no such meeting had been scheduled during the day.

Confusion surrounded the reports about the meeting.

One news channel quoted its sources as saying that Haqqani had been confronted by the ISI chief with evidence regarding the memo.

There was no official word whatsoever about the meeting.

Haqqani has been at the centre of a controversy since Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed he had drafted and delivered the memo to former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen in May on the instructions of the envoy.

Haqqani has dismissed Ijaz's claims and said he was considering legal action against the businessman.

The memo made public by Ijaz said the Pakistan government had sought US help to stave off a military coup in the wake of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2.

The memo further said the government would revamp Pakistan’s national security set-up by removing elements with links to militants.

Haqqani has said he was ready to resign to defuse the crisis.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter today said his country was prepared to help in any investigation into the memo if it was asked to do so.
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