In this picture taken on August 19, 2010 shows Pakistan's Ambassador in Washington Husain Haqqani, right, walks with Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari in Multan. Pakistan's envoy to the United States says he has resigned over claims he wrote a memo to Washington asking for its help in reining in the country's powerful military. -AP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's envoy to the United States resigned Tuesday, losing a battle with the country's powerful generals to keep his job over allegations he wrote a memo to Washington asking for its help in reining them in.

Husain Haqqani told The Associated Press he stands by his denials, insisting he had nothing to do with the memo that was sent to then-US military chief Adm. Mike Mullen in May.

He said he was ''happy to face an inquiry'' into the affair. The affair underlined the tense relations bewtween the US and Pakistan, a key ally in its struggle against Islamic militants, and the internal struggle between civilian politicians and the military in Pakistan.

Haqqani is a key ally of President Asif Ali Zardari. He was generally well regarded in Washington, where he had a difficult job representing Pakistan during several crises, including the aftermath of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May.

The memo accuses Pakistan army chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani of plotting to bring down the government in the aftermath of the raid on Osama bin Laden on May 2. It asks Mullen for his ''direct intervention'' with Kayani to stop this.

In return, it promises a raft of policies long asked for by Washington and likely to enrage the army.

It says the government will allow the US to propose names of officials to investigate bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, facilitate American attempts to target militants like al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri and Taliban chief Mullah Omar and allow the US greater oversight of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

The scandal, dubbed ''memogate,'' has highlighted the tensions between the weak government and the army, as well as the role that the United States plays in them.

Despite being under nominal civilian control, the army wields immense political and economic clout in the country. It has seized power in at least three coups and has helped dislodge other civilian governments.

Given that background, the affair has also led to pressure on the Zardari government, which some have speculated may have also known about the alleged memo.

Critics in the media, many viewed as proxies for the military establishment, have been calling for the president to be investigated, suggesting the memo could be treasonous.

A statement from the prime minister's office said an investigation into the affair would be conducted ''at an appropriate level'' and would be ''carried out fairly, objectively and without bias.''

Haqqani has long been viewed by critics as too close to America, regarded by many here as a hostile force, and to Zardari, who is also unpopular at home. Haqqani was a critic of the army's role in Pakistan but was also an eloquent defender of the country in Washington.

It was not immediately known who would replace him.



02 Dec 2021

Funding for polls

THE PTI government’s autocratic mentality is again on full display, even as it feigns adherence to the law....
02 Dec 2021

Soaring prices

PRICES are surging. And they are increasing at a much faster pace than anticipated, burdening millions of...
Ali Wazir’s bail
Updated 02 Dec 2021

Ali Wazir’s bail

IT has been a long time coming, but MNA and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Ali Wazir has finally been granted bail...
Covid funds controversy
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Covid funds controversy

A COMPREHENSIVE and detailed report by the auditor general of Pakistan on the utilisation of Covid-19 funds by the...
01 Dec 2021

Sindh LG law

THE Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, introduced by the PPP to roll back the Musharraf-era local bodies system in ...
Monster of circular debt
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Monster of circular debt

The crisis facing the energy sector cannot be tackled sustainably without taming the many elephants in the room.