Secret memo exists, says Pakistan Army chief

December 16th, 2011 - 1:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Dec 16 (IANS) A secret memo to Washington that said President Asif Ali Zardari feared a military coup, in fact, existed and was an attempt to lower the morale of the army, Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said in a submission to the Supreme Court.

Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz had revealed that the secret memo, leading to the resignation of Pakistan’s envoy to the US Hussain Haqqani. Coup rumours resurfaced strongly following the abrupt departure of Zardari to Dubai over a heart ailment Dec 6.

Kayani in his submission to the Supreme Court said he was informed about ISI chief General Shuja Pasha’s meeting with Mansoor Ijaz Oct 24 and Pasha was of the opinion that there was enough evidence to validate the authenticity of the memo, reported Geo News.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief said there was evidence to show Ijaz was in touch with Haqqani between May 9-11.

On Oct 28, Kayani said, the foreign ministry and presidency spokespersons denied the memo.

Kayani said on Nov 13 he met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and told him the memo contents were very sensitive and that a decision had to be made on its being real or not.

The army chief insisted that the prime minister summon Haqqani to Pakistan so he can brief the country’s leadership about this matter.

Two days later, General Kayani met President Zardari, who told him that the decision to summon Haqqani had already been made.

Kayani said that Nov 22, he took part in a meeting in which Gilani, Zardari and General Pasha were present. At that meeting, Haqqani briefed them and Prime Minister Gilani asked for Haqqani’s resignation and ordered an investigation.

The army chief said there should be full review to evaluate the circumstance and facts behind the memo.

General Kayani said that the memo tried to lower the morale of the army but failed to do so.

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