Defending undefendable

The row over the article written by Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani in which he claimed to have issued controversial and questionable visas to CIA operatives with full knowledge and permission of the PPP Government is deepening with the passage of every day. The issue is assuming new dimensions as PPP is trying to disassociate itself from the scandal while documentary evidence speaks otherwise.
The PPP had been maintaining that Haqqani acted on his own and that the then PPP Government had nothing to do with the issuance of these visas. However, the PPP leadership has come under immense pressure following publication of a secret document dated July 14, 2010 in the media. The letter signed by Principal Secretary to then Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani authorized Hussain Haqqani to issue visas to American nationals bypassing all security protocols. Finding itself in an indefensible position, the PPP is now trying to politicise the issue by highlighting the point that ‘the real mystery surrounded the circumstances under which Usama bin Laden came to be in Pakistan’ and that the issue is being hammered by the Government to divert attention of the people from Panama Papers. These assertions by the former Prime Minister are unfortunate if not shameful given the ground realities. Previously, the PPP was trying to distance itself from the issue of controversial visas and once this has been established that these were issued on the direction of the Prime Minister the red-faced party is now trying to hide behind frivolous excuses. No one is talking these days about UBL while the Supreme Court has heard the Panama case and is about to deliver its judgement. Otherwise too, the PPP has no locus standi to talk about corruption and accountability in the backdrop of heaps of corruption allegations. The attempt to malign national institutions is fraught with serious consequences and must be condemned by all. There is a hell of difference between violation of the sovereignty of a country in an operation like Abbottabad and facilitating under cover foreign agents to stay legally in the country for an extended period of time. Similarly, the latest controversy is between Haqqani and PPP and there is absolutely no justification to link it to national institutions or dub it as a conspiracy by Govt to defame party.

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