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Views of Hussain Haqqani published in US newspaper,vindicate stance of Pakistan state institutions: ISPR

30 March, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Army broke its silence on the controversy triggered by revelations made by Pakistan's former ambassador's to the US on the issuance of visas to CIA operatives, saying Hussain Haqqani's article vindicated the position of the country's state institutions.

"Views of Hussain Haqqani published in a mainstream US newspaper, especially his account on issue of visas, vindicate stance of Pakistan state institutions," the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Wednesday.

"The veracity of concerns about his role in the entire issue also stands confirmed."

In an article published in The Washington Post earlier this month, Haqqani had defended US President Donald Trump's team's contacts with Russia during and after the 2016 US presidential elections, saying he also had established similar relations with members of the Obama campaign during the 2008 elections.

Haqqani wrote that the friends he made in the Obama campaign team were 'able to ask, three years later, as National Security Council officials, for help in stationing US Special Operations and intelligence personnel on the ground in Pakistan'.

Explaining how he responded to those requests, the former ambassador wrote, "I brought the request directly to Pakistan's civilian leaders, who approved. Although the United States kept us officially out of the loop about the operation, these locally stationed Americans proved invaluable when Obama decided to send in Navy SEAL Team 6 without notifying Pakistan."

The security forces have maintained all along that the envoy could not have worked alone, without keeping the civilian government in the loop.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in his policy speech before the Senate indicated that the Interior Ministry, through a letter dated July 16, 2010, had allowed Haqqani to issue diplomatic visas to American nationals without referring their cases to the ministry or security agencies for clearance.

As many as 2,487 visas had been issued between July and December that year, amounting to a 50 per cent increase over figures for previous six months.

PPP said although Haqqani was empowered by the prime minister to issue visas, it did not mean that due process within the Embassy, involving representatives of other relevant departments, had been circumvented. Although, the ISPR statement did not elaborate further, the emphasis on vindication of Pakistan state institutions' stance appears to refer to the 'memogate'.

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