‘Memo-gate’: Alarm bells as Mullen confirms secret memo

Published: November 18, 2011
WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani said on Thursday that, in Pakistan, a single person’s claims can create crises. Whether the claims are true or not, the crisis has well and truly been created.  

The controversy over a secret backchannel memo sent purportedly from the civilian leadership of Pakistan to the then US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen regarding an offer to rein in Pakistan’s powerful army and its spy agency continued to unfold dramatically on Thursday.

Though his name has not been openly taken, the man said to have played a crucial role in the purported memo is none other than Ambassador Haqqani, who is alleged to have contacted another middleman to get the message to Mullen.

Mullen confirms memo

Hours after Ambassador Haqqani offered to resign, the website of a prestigious US-based publication, which had printed a denial on the matter by Mullen a few days ago, dropped a bombshell by claiming that the former chairman US joint chiefs of staff had confirmed receiving the alleged memo.

The Cable, a blog at Foreign Policy, published a statement from former Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s spokesperson who acknowledged that the now retired officer did receive a memo, but didn’t believe it was credible.

“Adm. Mullen had no recollection of the memo and no relationship with Ijaz. After the original article appeared … he felt it incumbent upon himself to check his memory. He reached out to others who he believed might have had knowledge of such a memo, and one of them was able to produce a copy of it,” John Kirby said. “That said, neither the contents of the memo nor the proof of its existence altered or affected in any way the manner in which Adm. Mullen conducted himself in his relationship with Gen. Kayani and the Pakistani government. He took no note of it.”

Alarm in Islamabad

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Categories: Asia, Pakistan

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