'Memogate': Haqqani leaves for Pak to explain his position

Posted By: Pti
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Washington, Nov 19: Amid a raging political storm back home, Pakistan's envoy to the US Husain Haqqani has left for Islamabad, where he would explain his position with regard to the controversy over a secret memorandum in which his country's civilian leadership purportedly sought American help to stave off a possible military takeover.

Before leaving for Islamabad, Haqqani met Special US Representative for Af-Pak region Marc Grossman at the State Department and the issue of the memo is believed to have been discussed. "On way to motherland Pakistan," Haqqani tweeted last night after his meeting with Grossman.

The Pakistani Ambassador had offered to resign after a secret memo purportedly written by him on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari was delivered to Admiral Mike Mullen, the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by an eminent Pakistani-American businessman, days after Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid in Abbottabad. Haqqani has strongly denied that he had anything do with that memo, which is now doing the rounds of the media domain.

In the secret memo, Zardari purportedly sought Mullen's assistance against a possible military takeover and talked about creating a new national security team. After initial reluctance, Mullen has acknowledged having received such a memo, but says he did not act on it and did not take it seriously.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little yesterday told reporters Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is aware of the issues related to the memo. However, he said that "no review" has been ordered when asked why the serious allegations in the memo were ignored by the office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


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