Memogate: Husain Haqqani fears for his life

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 18:36

London: Pakistan`s embattled former ambassador
to US, Husain Haqqani, fears he will be murdered if he leaves
his sanctuary in the official residence of the Pakistan Prime
Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, a media report on Wednesday said.

Haqqani who is at the centre of the memo scandal said the
allegations against him are part of a "psychological war"
against Pakistan`s civilian government by "certain powerful
quarters."

Haqqani said he has been branded a "traitor" and a
"Washington lackey" by "powerful quarters" a reference to
the country`s powerful ISI intelligence agency and that he
now fears he will be murdered like his friend, the late
governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who was shot dead by one of
his own security guards last year after being branded a
"blasphemer", The Daily Telegraph said in its report.

Haqqani was forced to resign late last year after
Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed he had
asked him to pass on a memo, on behalf of Pakistan President
Asif Ali Zardari, to the American government calling for their
help to oust Islamabad`s military leadership.

Both Haqqani and Zardari have rejected Ijaz`s claims.

Haqqani told the daily that the allegations against him
are false and part of a "psychological war" against the
government of Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani by
"certain powerful quarters." The daily said Haqqani was speaking after his lawyer,
Pakistan`s top human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir, revealed he
had taken refuge in the prime minister`s residence for fear
that the ISI intelligence agency would force him to make a
false statement on the affair.

"I`m a guest of the Prime Minister with whom I have had a
long-standing political association. There are clear security
concerns given the hysteria generated against me. Staying at
the prime minister`s house is the safest option.

"My good friend Salman Taseer was killed by a security
guard because he heard in the media that the governor had
blasphemed. I`m being called a traitor and an American lackey
in the media with the clear encouragement of certain powerful
quarters even though I`ve not been charged legally with
anything," he said.

Haqqani said he had left the Prime Minister`s home to go
to "the Supreme Court once to meet my lawyer with very heavy
security, and one day to the dentist, when I had a toothache,
and to the Abbottabad Commission (into the American raid which
killed Osama bin Laden), with massive security.

"If required I will appear before the inquiry commission
with the necessary security. It is not what I would like to
do. I`d like to be able to go to a restaurant or visit my
family," he added.

Haqqani said the president and prime minister are firmly
standing behind him and that the government is not going
anywhere.

"This is psychological warfare against the government," he
said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 18:36

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