Pakistani Court: Former Ambassador Authored Controversial Memo

Posted June 12th, 2012 at 8:25 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan's Supreme Court says the country's former ambassador to the United States unquestionably authored a memo last year seeking U.S. help in reining in the military.

The court ruled Tuesday that Husain Haqqani wanted to make himself “indispensable to the Americans” and committed acts of disloyalty to Pakistan. It directed Haqqani to appear before the court in two weeks.

A judicial commission set up by the court released the findings of its more than six month probe. The panel found that in the memo, Haqqani wanted to lead a civilian national security team set up with U.S. help, questioned the security of the country's nuclear arsenal and said Pakistan's military intelligence agency maintained ties with the Taliban.

Haqqani told a Supreme Court commission in January that he had “no role in creating, drafting and/or delivering” the memo to Admiral Mike Mullen, the top U.S. military official at the time.

The former Pakistani ambassador also posted on Twitter Tuesday that the commission's findings “are political, not legal.” Haqqani said his lawyers would challenge what he called the “one-sided proceedings.”

The scandal heightened tensions between Pakistan's government and military.

It emerged in October of last year when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz wrote a column in The Financial Times accusing Haqqani of writing the memo. The request was reportedly sent to Mullen last May, following the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison Pakistani town of Abbottabad.

The new developments also come as the United States and Pakistan remain locked in a standoff over Islamabad's refusal to reopen supply routes for international forces in Afghanistan and Washington's insistence on continuing its drone strikes in Pakistan's northwest.

U.S. officials credit the unmanned aerial assaults for killing many Taliban and al-Qaida-linked fighters in the semi-autonomous area, where militant violence remains common.

On Tuesday, Pakistani police said a suicide bomber targeted the vehicle of an anti-Taliban militia commander near the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing two of the leader's bodyguards and wounding two others. Police said the presumed target, Muhammad Fahim, was not in the vehicle at the time of the attack.