Saturday, November 26, 2011

An eventfull week -- Questions abound -- Pak-US relations, MemoGate, IjazGate ....

Over a week back the MemoGate scandal broke making headlines around the world. Ijaz Mansoor accussed Pakistans then Ambassador to the United States Dr. Husain Haqqani as the princple architect of the memo.The Ambassador denied Ijaz's claims, was summond by President Asif Zardari to present a briefing on the Memo to Islamabad, and after a series of high level meetings Haqqani requests Prime Minister Gilani to accept his resignation, or so how it was presented to the public.

After much deliberation by the PPP-P leadership former federal minister Sherry Rehman was appointed as Ambassador to succeed Husain Haqqani as Pakistans envoy to Washignton D.C. The new Ambassador having barely settled in, let alone hasm't yet departed for Washington and the countries faced with a situation on the Afganistan-Pakistan border. Last night (U.S. PST) NATO allegedly launches an unprovoked attack on a Pakistani border check post killing 28 Pakistan Army soldiers include civilians.

In the immediate aftermath of NATOs attack Islamabad shut down NATO supply routes through Pakistan and sent notice to the United States to vacate Shamsi Air Base , which is allegedly the launch pad for NATOs unmanned drones in the province of Balochistan within 15 days.

Based on sketchy media reports and tweets found under #Pakistan and #NATOAttack hashtags it would appear like the unprovoced attack was a result of mis-communication between NATO and Pakistani forces. Which is believable. Not related but there was a similar incident of friendly fire between U.S. forces a couples weeks back resulting in lose of life.

Additionally earlier today their was a tweet shared that reported senior White House officials have apologized to Pakistan, and vowes to conduct a detailed probe into the attack. Which was confirmed by an ABC News report on the Obama Administrations formal apology to Pakistan. On the face of things the situation appears like it's under control, however the sentiment on the ground hasn't changed, sabre rattling and anti-America stance is abound. To make matters worst Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan addressing a scheduled rally today adds further fuel to the popular sentiment.

With the Obama adminstrations appology the onus now rests on the Gilani (civilian) government to issue an equivalent and measured statement, as General Kiyani has already issued a statement ordering an "effective response" to the attack, whatever that's suppose to mean.

So now what? Appears like its a closed and shut case. Well not entirely. As there is still the issue of The Memo and Mansoor Ijaz. On the face of things it would appear to be seperate and isolated issue. However the timing of events is suspect, and a clear give away of a deeper plot in the works.

Having said that who is it thats behind the Memo? Why did Mansoor Ijaz decide to break his silence now? Is Ijaz acting independently, or does he have support? If he infact has support then who could it be, are they internal or external to Pakistan? It would seem whoever was behind the Memo and the suspected broader plan precieved Ambassador Haqqani as a threat, and his removal was / is critical to the future success of the Plan.

The events of the past several days have done nothing other than further weaken the civialian apparatus in Islamabad with the resignation of it's most imporant spokesperson In Washington at the behest of the military establishment. Though I don't doubt the incoming Ambassador-select Sherry Rehman's abilities,  I do wonder if her boots are able to measure up to Husain Haqqani's footprints. Rehman is stepping into a hot seat, all eyes will be upon her to quell misunderstandings, as she chalks out a renewed US-Pak partnership.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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