Several people I spoke to yesterday claim that Husain Haqqani was sacrficied by his friends in Washington DC to appease Pakistani military. Cynics claim that it is almost a trade – Husain Haqqani for Haqqani Network. I don’t know if there is any truth to that.
But here is what I know.
Memogate controversy began with an op-ed piece in a reputable European daily but in Pakistan this agenda was explicitly pushed by the Chief Editor of The News, Shaheen Sehbai. This is not the first time Shaheen Sehbai and Mansoor Ijaz have collaborated.
When Shaheen Sehbai ran his website SATribune.com I had written few articles for him. I also briefly assisted him with getting advertisement when he converted his online presence to print. During those days, Shaheen Sehbai had mentioned that Mansoor Ijaz is one of the ‘funders’ for his publication. I didn’t think it was such a big deal. But now after memogate controversy, I can’t but wonder if MI and SS still collaborate.
Before leaving for Pakistan, Husain Haqqani had said: “I fail to understand why Mr. Ijaz claims on the one hand to have helped the civilian government by delivering his memo and on the other insists on trying to destroy democracy by driving a wedge between elected civilians and the military in Pakistan with his persistent claims.” Well – I get it. It is not about army/democracy – it is about an exit out of Afghanistan.
I feel sorry for Husain Haqqani – but he was playing with fire. I am hoping that he will survive this controversy as he had said in a Twitter response to me before leaving for Islamabad: “@husainhaqqani
@IbrahimMalick Thank you for your concern. We have been at this crossroads before :)” And, I sure do hope that he will not stop defending democracy/civilian rule.