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It is well-known that Mr. Husain Haqqani, who served as Pakistan's ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011, has a long history of  opportunism.  He has switched loyalties many times since he began his career in Karachi, Pakistan in 1980s.

Does former Ambassador Haqqani's latest Washington Post Op Ed titled "Yes, the Russian ambassador met Trump’s team. So? That’s what we diplomats do" signal yet another shift in his ever-changing loyalties?

Is the Washington Post Op Ed an attempt by Mr. Haqqani to ingratiate himself with President Donald Trump by defending the Trump campaigns' controversial contacts with Russia? Is he doing what his current employer Hudson Institute, a conservative right-wing think tank, expects him to do?  Is he also reminding the Trump administration of the valuable services he rendered to the United States while working as Pakistan's ambassador in Washington by confessing that "I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives" in Pakistan?

Haqqani's Shifting Loyalties:

Husain Haqqani began his career in 1980s as General Zia ul Haq's loyalist when he was affiliated with Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), a right-wing student group with close ties to the Jamaat-e-Islami, a political party in Pakistan.

On August 21, 1988, Husain Haqqani covered Gen Zia's funeral as coanchor of PTV, the state-run television network. After the funeral, Haqqani spoke with Los Angeles Times correspondent Mark Fineman and said as follows:

 "When Zia was alive, they (Zia's supporters) didn't have to come out. In fact, on most recent Fridays, when I went to prayer, my maulvi (Islamic preacher) has been blasting Zia as a phony and un-Islamic....Yesterday (after Zia's death), he was crying. The basic division in our society is between the Islamicists and the secularists, and this crowd today is saying that the highly religious segment of society cannot be ignored now that Zia is gone."

After the death of the general in a fiery air crash,  Haqqani joined Prime Minister Sharif's right-leaning Muslim League and served as his press secretary followed by ambassadorship in Sri Lanka.

When Nawaz Sharif lost his job, Husain Haqqani joined left-leaning Pakistan People's Party and became Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's spokesman.

In a piece published in 1999 by Asian Wall Street Journal, Haqqani explained his changing loyalties in the following words: "Over the last three decades, I have alternated between being attracted to and repulsed by political Islam". The fact is that Mr. Haqqani has always been attracted to whoever is in power.

Currently, Haqqani is doing what is expected of him by his bosses at the right-wing Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank funded by the extreme right groups in the United States. Gatestone Institute, an offshoot of the Hudson Institute, is actively engaged in funding and promoting Islamophobia in America.

Washington Post Op Ed:

Ambassador Husain Haqqani has said in his Washington Post Op Ed that  "I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives" in Pakistan.

Here's an excerpt from it.

"Among the security establishment’s grievances against me was the charge that I had facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives who helped track down bin Laden without the knowledge of Pakistan’s army — even though I had acted under the authorization of Pakistan’s elected civilian leaders."

Since the Op Ed claims to tell the world "what diplomats do" as part of their duties representing their nations abroad, it raises the following questions:

1. Is it part of an ambassador's job to send foreign intelligence agents into his or her own country without the knowledge and consent of his country's intelligence folks?

2. Can an ambassador trust that foreign intelligence operatives will only do what they promise in the ambassador's home country?  Could it be that Bin Laden hunt was just an excuse to let in "large numbers of CIA operatives "who most likely have a far wider wider agenda, including tracking Pakistan's nuclear assets and spying that could risk Pakistan security?

3. Can an ambassador trust foreign intelligence agents more than his country's intelligence professionals?

4. How can an ambassador make sure that undercover foreign agents unknown to Pakistan's intelligence agencies would stick to doing only what they say they will do?

Husain Haqqani's Grudge:

Since his dismissal as Pakistan's ambassador in Washington, Mr. Husain Haqqani is nursing a grudge against Pakistan that is evident from his "research recommendations" for US policy on Pakistan.

In 2012, barely a year after he was let go as Pakistani ambassador, Mr. Haqqani recommended that the United States "divorce" Pakistan.

For example, in a 2015 Wall Street Journal piece, he questioned "why are we sending this attack helicopter to Pakistan?" The "we" here is noteworthy given that he is currently a citizen of Pakistan. Mr. Haqqani's main worry was that "American weapons will end up being used to fight or menace India".

In 2016, Mr. Haqqani argued against US sales of F-16s to Pakistan and agreed with the Indian lobbyists that the F-16s would be used against India, not for fighting terror as Pakistan said.

Pakistan People's Party's Role:

Pakistan People's Party leaders have rejected Husain Haqqani's claim that he "acted under the authorization of Pakistan’s elected civilian leaders" when he "facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives" in Pakistan.

The PPP parliamentary leader Mr. Khursheed Shah has denounced Haqqani as a traitor and said “This man is issuing statement in an effort to gain attention of new US administration.”


Mr. Husain Haqqani has a long history of changing loyalties. He has often recommended US policy positions that are seen as detrimental to US-Pakistan ties, especially since his 2011 dismissal as Pakistan's ambassador in Washington.  He has recently said he "had facilitated the presence of large numbers of CIA operatives" in Pakistan when he served as Pakistani ambassador in Washington from 2008 to 2011. His claim that he did so with Pakistani government's authorization has been rejected by the leaders of the Pakistan People's Party that governed the country at the time.

Here's a video of Riaz Haq rebutting Husain Haqqani:

Related Links:

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Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims

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700,000 Indian Soldiers Vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Gen Petraeus Debunks Allegations of Duplicity Against Pakistan

Blackberry Transcripts Sealed Haqqani's Fate in Memogate

Debunking Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative About Pakistan

Debunking Mr. Haqqani's Op Ed "Pakistan's Elusive Quest for Parity"

Doval Doctrine

Views: 163

Comment by Riaz Haq on March 19, 2017 at 11:02am

A non-issue

By M Ziauddin

Hussain’s public career is too public for anyone to take him for granted. He has done it all. A Jamiat boy at Karachi University. Took up journalism as career after graduation. Started political career as a supporter of Ziaul Haq. In 1990 he became Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif’s special assistant. From 1992 to 1993 he served as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. From 1993 to 1995, he was spokesman for PM Benazir Bhutto (BB).

After the ouster of PM Nawaz in 1999, he lobbied for a job in the Musharraf government winning some consulting contracts through the good offices of then finance minister Shaukat Aziz and then was interviewed by General Aziz for the post of Information Secretary but failed to get the job. After having lost any hope of getting into the Musharraf regime he went to the US to join a think tank where he once again revived his contacts with BB and assisted her in lobbying power brokers in the US establishment. And when the PPP came to power after the 2008 elections he successfully lobbied for the post of US ambassadorship. Interestingly, it was not Zardari but President General (retd) Musharraf who appointed him to the coveted post in April 2008, of course on the recommendation of the former who had to wait for another five months to enter the presidency. Meanwhile he has authored two very interesting books both open indictments of Pakistani establishment for what he claims the ‘harmful’ consequences of its policies.

Three persons from the PPP side have responded to the claims made by HH in his Washington Post piece. Two of them, Sherry Rehman and Syed Khurshid Shah, do not appear to know what they are talking about. Their statements sounded more like whistling in the dark fearing perhaps another round of PPP bashing by the media. But Farhatullah Babar’s response was measured and perhaps the right one at the right time. Babar said all visas issued to US nationals under the PPP tenure were given in accordance with the laid-down procedure involving various state agencies and no irregularity whatsoever was committed.

Comment by Mehmood Malik on March 21, 2017 at 6:24am
A typical Pakistani politician with very little loyalty to Pakistan or the Pakistani people. People like him are the reason why Pakistan, despite being blessed with a hardworking motivated population and tremendous amount of natural resources, is languishing near the bottom of the pile. Our 'democratically' elected leaders put their own interests before the betterment of the nation. Our present and the previous Prime ministers have filled their own pockets at the expense of the people.
A sad state of affairs.
Comment by Riaz Haq on July 6, 2017 at 10:09am

Husain Haqqani Defends #India, Asks #Trump to Get Tough With #Pakistan to Win in #Afghanistan

Islamabad’s response was to argue that Pakistan does, indeed, support insurgents in Afghanistan, but it does so because of security concerns about India, which is seen by generals and many civilian leaders as an existential threat to Pakistan.

But that excuse is based on exaggerations and falsehoods. India has no offensive military presence in Afghanistan and there has never been any evidence that the Afghans are willing to be part of India’s alleged plan for a two-front war with Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, recently asked India to train Afghan military officers and repair military aircraft after frustration with Pakistan, which failed to fulfill promises of restraining the Taliban and forcing them to the negotiating table.

Pakistan’s leaders question Afghanistan’s acceptance of economic assistance from India even though Pakistan does not have the capacity to provide such aid itself.

It seems that Pakistan wants to keep alive imaginary fears, possibly to maintain military ascendancy in a country that has been ruled by generals for almost half of its existence. For years Pakistani officials falsely asserted that India had set up 24 consulates in Afghanistan, some close to the Pakistani border. In fact, India has only four consulates, the same number Pakistan has, in Afghanistan.

Lying about easily verifiable facts is usually the tactic of governments fabricating a threat rather than ones genuinely facing one. As ambassador, I attended trilateral meetings where my colleagues rejected serious suggestions from Afghans and Americans to mitigate apprehensions about Indian influence in Afghanistan.

While evidence of an Indian threat to Pakistan through Afghanistan remains scant, proof of the presence of Afghan Taliban leaders in Pakistan continues to mount. Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s leader, reportedly died in a Pakistani hospital in 2013 and his successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, was killed in an American drone strike in Baluchistan Province in Pakistan last year.

The United States should not let Pakistan link its longstanding support for hard-line Pashtun Islamists in Afghanistan to its disputes with India.

Both India and Pakistan have a lot of blood on their hands in Kashmir and seem in no hurry to resolve their disagreement, which is rooted in the psychosis resulting from the subcontinent’s bitter partition. The two countries have gone through 45 rounds of summit-level talks since 1947 and have failed to reach a permanent settlement.

Linking the outcome in Afghanistan to resolution of India-Pakistan issues would keep the United States embroiled there for a very long time. The recent rise in Islamophobia in India and a more aggressive stance against Pakistan by Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not detract from recognizing the paranoiac nature of Pakistan’s fears.


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