November 24, 2011


Tuesday night and Wednesday morning were dominated by the rumoured-for-a-few-days-and-now-finally-real resignation of Ambassador Husain Haqqani.

After a few hours of sympathetic noises by me and others, a Pakistani-American expatriate observed that few others were fans of his. Here’s what I said in reply:

“He proved himself to be an intelligent and hardworking civil servant working to do the job he was given: to serve the interests of Pakistan in the US, and to serve us as Pakistani expats as our government’s representative. Even the PPP/Zardari-allergic (and I say that with all due respect for his point of view, and share some of his critiques) Awab Alvi (Pakistan’s most prominent blogger) gives him that.

At another level, any middle-class intellectual and activist that stays engaged with the Pakistani system (unlike you and I, who have voted with our feet and, frankly, taken the easy way out) and tries to make a difference has my respect; and I openly say that about HH, Shaikh Rasheed, and many more. (Read a Newsline blog post on this at “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”)

Now politics and other shenanigans we can discuss.”

And let’s.

From what I have seen of the man and the professional, I doubt Mr Haqqani would participate in an amateur effort such as what Memogate is reputed to be. But maybe that is just plausible deniability. But even if we are to accept at face value the allegations made, just like the operative item in Zulfiqar Mirza’s accusations against the MQM, it seems what was supposedly going on was requesting help from a global hegemon in reining in the unhealthy parts of our own body politic. The only thing I can fault in that is the stupidity of thinking global powers would do that if it was not at that moment in their own establishment’s interests.

Having said that, what gets lost in the personality and the he-said-she-said is that this is apparently, I am tempted to say obviously, again a “PsyOp” by Pakistan’s security establishment to neutralize a challenge to their own hegemony. And that can’t be said enough – especially given that it is almost completely missing from the mainstream chattering, on the media and out.

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