WASHINGTON: Ambassador Husain Haqqani, a compulsive communicator, has been sending updates on his Twitter since arriving in Islamabad to explain to the country's top civilian and military leaders his role in the so-called memogate scandal.His accuser, Mansoor Ijaz, has not been silent either. He too has been appearing on TV shows, sending email messages and talking to journalists, telling them how he was interviewed by DG ISI Lt-Gen Shuja Pasha two days after he had written his now much-publicised article in the Financial Times.
In that article, which appeared on Oct 20, Mr Ijaz alleged receiving a message from President Asif Ali Zardari, through Amb Haqqani, seeking US support for reining in the Pakistani military.
In his last Twitter message sent at 6:45 P.M. on Sunday, Mr Haqqani quoted Faiz's couplet which translated into English says: “All I did in madness was useful, although it caused great pains to my heart.”
In an earlier message, he quotes a verse from a Ghazal by Iftikhar Arif saying: “In our love for this land, we the defiant had to pay the debts that we never owed.”
“Is it true that Husain Haqqani wrote an article in 2000 asking Lashkar-e-Taiba to attack Bangalore IT Sector?” asked a Twitter follower.
“I only asked what might be the consequences if they did,” Mr Haqqani responded, with a smiling face attached to the response.
When one of his admirers wrote: “I hope one day a general has to cry on TV and mention deceased relatives in civilian burial grounds as proof of his patriotism,” Mr Haqqani liked this message and forwarded it to those following him on the Twitter.A day before he left Washington, Mr Haqqani broke down during a TV interview and said that his relatives had defended Pakistan and were buried in military graveyards.
One admirer wrote that he did not believe the allegations against Mr Haqqani, and finished his message with a prayer: “May God help you.”
“All support and prayers for you — you're our pride!” wrote a third admirer.
Mr Haqqani's responses clearly showed his unhappiness with being called to Islamabad to explain his position.
In a number of messages, he urges his admirers to watch the TV shows that had interviewed him to know his views.
“Memo from Mansoor Ijaz that he claims (& I deny) came from me,” he wrote.
“Do you think (the media) verified authenticity of BBM transcripts with their usual zeal for accuracy?” he asked in another message. “How can anyone prove that they are real?”
Mr Haqqani thanks another admirer who wrote an email to an American journalist who had questioned the memo's authenticity. “Thank you. You raised some good points,” he wrote.
“Already contradicted. IT never contacted me or any one I know. Raises Qs abt their credibility,” he wrote about the BBM messages Mr Ijaz had released.
In another message, he thanks an American journalist for describing him as a “patriot without honour in his country”.
In one message, he rejects the rumours surrounding his return to Pakistan as “nonsense of the kind that float around” in such situations in the Pakistani media. “I do not fear arrest & will go home,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Mr Ijaz has confirmed meeting the ISI chief on Oct 22 and giving him transcripts of his communications with Mr Haqqani.
“It is time for Pakistan's people to learn the whole truth about the leaders they have chosen,” he wrote in a message sent to the media.
“Should the formal inquiry ask me to appear and give evidence, I am prepared to travel to Pakistan and in an appropriately secured environment and give the evidence in my possession, allow forensic examination of my records and ensure that the truth which I hold is aired in the fullest manner possible,” he wrote.
“I am prepared to face Amb Haqqani, to debate him, to challenge him on his recollection of the facts and to make absolutely sure that neither he nor his superiors are able to distort a truth that was of their own conception.”
In the same message, Mr Ijaz praises Mr Haqqani's services for Pakistan, saying: “The ambassador has served his country ably and should be proud of his record in helping American lawmakers and officials understand one of the world's most complex political, military and religious environments.”
But his achievements did not give the envoy “licence to distort the truth in a matter as grave as this. Amb Haqqani has been a champion of that democracy, and it is now time for the transparency to which he has subscribed in public so often to demonstrate itself — the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” he concludes.