News & Views
Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday claimed in the National Assembly that a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States (US) was lobbying against his own country and creating hurdles for the government. He did not name Hussain Haqqani, but it is not difficult to understand whom he was referring to. Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani is Director for South and Central Asia at Hudson Institute. Seth Oldmixon, the founder of Liberty South Asia, has written an article carried by website of ‘southasiaathudson.org’, in which he tried to create doubts about success of China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) and China’s sincerity. He quoted Hussain Haqqani having stated last year that despite announcing plans for more than $24 billion in investment into Indonesia since 2005, a decade later China had invested only $1.8 billion there.
He went on to state: “In many African countries, the influx of Chinese products has had a devastating effect on local manufacturing…There are questions about how CPEC will affect Pakistan’s internal stability.” The author stated that “separatist groups were not the only ones troubled by CPEC’s implementation but Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government also accused the federal government of depriving the province of its due.” He referred to the apprehensions of the civil society in Balochistan, and civil society groups in Sindh also raised objections over how the project was being implemented. Referring to $46 billion Chinese investment, he concluded: “But full price of this investment includes more than just labor and materials; and if Pakistan fails to properly adjust for economic realities and social resentment, the civil and military leadership may find that price turns out to be much more than they bargained for.”
Hussain Haqqani is indeed lobbying against Pakistan, and uses the platform of Hudson Institute to denigrate Pakistan. During an interview to NDTV on Sept26 2015, Hussain Haqqani former Pakistan’s ambassador to the US ‘advised’ Pakistan to stop competing with India; and that Kashmir issue should not be linked with other issues. He was optimistic about India’s inclusion in UNSC after G-4 summit, which was hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York. In fact, not only G-4 countries – India, Brazil, Germany and Japan – but the US also cannot influence the majority of the members of the United Nations General Assembly to make India permanent member of the UNSC. Hussain Haqqani should have that much common sense to understand that five permanent members of the UNSC would not like to share veto power with any other country, regardless of fact how important or big it might be.
Hussain Haqqani was Pakistan’s ambassador to the US when he had written a memo to then chairman joint chiefs of the staff Mike Mullen in which he had accused then Pakistan army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani of planning to bring down the government in the aftermath of the raid on Osama bin Laden on May 2. Mike Mullen was requested to use his influence to stop it. In the Memo, it was also stated: “The government will allow the US to propose names of officials to investigate bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, facilitate American attempts to target militants like Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and Taliban chief Mullah Omar; and allow the US greater oversight of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons”. The question remains as to why Hussain Haqqani was appointed as an ambassador to the US when everybody knew that he had written a book titled ‘Pakistan between mosque and military’.
At Hudson Institute in United States, a debate was hosted by Hussain Haqqani to paint Pakistan in poor light. Pakistani Researcher and Journalist Dr. Mohammad Taqi was provided the platform of the institute where he alleged that Taliban and other terrorists were being trained at three madrassas inside Pakistan near military installations. Afghan ambassador to the US Hamdullah Mohib and Pakistani researcher and journalist Dr. Mohammad Taqi participated. Dr. Mohammad Taqi alleged that Haqqaniah and Panjpeer madrassas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Jamat-Ul-Binuriya madrassas in Karachi are the three main training centers of terrorists in the country. In this debate, the Afghan ambassador said the intellectual roots of terrorism lie in Haqqaniah madrassa located in Akora Khattak encircled by military units and garrisons. And Pakistan wants Afghan to be its fifth province and keep India out and wants to control its foreign policy.
Hussain Haqqani said: “Mullah Mansour had been eliminated in Pakistan while traveling in an area not far from cantonments. Moreover, while Afghanistan and the US considered him an impediment to peace, Pakistan government says that his elimination is going to set peace process backward. There is a perception that Pakistan holds back the peace process and that is the reason why US decided to up the ante by killing Mullah Mansour.” The event was stage-managed and Hussain Haqqani was the architect of the event; however, Indian influence was visibly active behind. Afghan Ambassador, Hamdullah Mohib though diplomatic in his statements, had a visible tilt towards India and was speaking their language. While Hussain Haqqani maintained his usual anti-Pak rhetoric, Dr. Taqi was highly critical of Pakistan military, and his thrust was towards the alleged involvement of Pakistan in terror acts in Afghanistan.
As a matter of fact, Hussain Haqqani, then ambassador in the US, was unhappy over firm positions that the Pakistan military leadership had taken on certain issues vis-à-vis Kerry-Lugar Law, Raymond Davis episode and particularly resistance to a military operation in North Waziristan. Such bold decisions had put Washington in a huff, as it expected unarguably not defiance but obedience from Pakistan’s every state arm. Of course, then Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and then ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha had the spine to say ‘No’ to CIA’s dictates, which was why the CIA had gone berserk, and strived every nerve to denigrate Pakistan’s military and premier intelligence agency. Attack on army headquarters in Rawalpindi and Mehran Base were part of plan to demoralise military and to lower prestige of armed forces in eyes of people of Pakistan.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.