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Husain Haqqani summoned to Islamabad, embassy confirms

16 November, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani has received official intimation to come to Pakistan and brief the ruling leadership on certain aspects of Pak-US relations.

This was confirmed by embassy spokesman, Imran Gardezi, while talking to The News (a local newspaper). He added that the dates of the ambassador's travel plans could not be finalised at this point owing to already scheduled commitments with congressmen and other US officials. However, he confirmed that the ambassador will be 'traveling soon' to Pakistan.

The summoning of Ambassador Haqqani comes in the midst of the high-temperature controversy created by US based millionaire of Pakistani origins, Mansoor Ijaz, who has exposed the alleged presence of an incriminating memo, which many believe was somehow linked with Ambassador Haqqani. Though Mansoor never revealed the identity of the man he accused of entrusting him to pass the memo to Admiral (R) Mike Mullen, he left little doubt that the mystery man in equation was none other than Pakistan's ambassador to the United States.

Another top functionary of the embassy, apparently trying to give a last minute spin to the affair, insisted that the ambassador's intended travel was a routine affair and had no linkage with the raging controversy back home. "It's a routine that Pakistani ambassadors visit Islamabad after every two to three months to brief the leadership on the issues confronting the nation," he said.

Islamabad observers however are linking this sudden summoning to the one-to-one meeting between President Zardari and COAS Gen Kayani in the earlier half of Tuesday. The earlier unscheduled late night meeting between President Zardari and US Ambassador Cameron Munter the same evening further fuelled speculation that Ambassador Haqqani's summoning was indeed linked to the memo issue and that some tough decisions may already have been taken by Islamabad.

According to reliable sources, the government has decided to summon Haqqani following a demand aired at the PPP top leadership's meeting held at the Presidency a day earlier. This meeting was chaired by the president with Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and a select group of ministers and senior leaders in attendance. It was claimed by a highly informed insider that the decision to summon Ambassador Haqqani was taken only after the one-to-one between the president and General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

The contents of the partially released messages by Mansoor Ijaz have strained the already tense relations between the civil and military leadership, and normalcy is expected to return only after a thorough explanation is offered by Haqqani and more importantly, accepted by Rawalpindi.

Observers however are increasingly of the opinion that a diplomatic innings may be coming to a close. According to a government adviser, the unceremonious removal of a trusted friend could come with the danger of retaliatory whistle blowing and therefore any final decision would not be taken in haste regardless of institutional pressures.

Courtesy: The News

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