Memogate raised critical questions about Pak: Hina

Pakistan`s minister has admitted the Memogate controversy raised questions about Army`s preponderant role in the nation`s life.

Last Updated: Nov 26, 2011, 15:05 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has admitted the "Memogate" controversy raised questions about the strength of the country`s civilian government and the Army`s preponderant role in the nation`s life.

It is alleged that the then Pakistani ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, had sought US assistance on behalf of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari through a memo to avert a military takeover following al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May.

Haqqani, however, denied being the author of the unsigned memo which was allegedly delivered to Admiral Mike Mullen, then Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the same month.

In an interview with BBC, the Foreign Minister admitted the Memogate controversy creating an impression that the Army was pulling the levers of power in Pakistan.

"Sadly it does," she said. "I cannot deny that, and that`s an unfortunate part that something as ludicrous as this could raise more questions. It doesn`t take much to be able to raise those questions."

Khar said: "The inquiry would be at the highest level, something which satisfies all parties, all people, all constituencies, who have raised concern about this entire issue."

"And we would hope that... this is where it should and will stop", she added.

Khar said any suggestion that the President was linked to the memo was "ridiculous".

Asked who held the upper hand between the civilian government or the Army, Khar said it was "an evolutionary process".

"You cannot change things overnight. The Army has had a larger-than-life role to play in Pakistan`s history. However, you do have a democratic set up."

On Pakistan`s role in ensuring peace in Afghanistan, Khar said her country could help in the search for peace in Afghanistan, but it had not brokered any more meetings between envoys of the Haqqani group, the Afghan insurgents, and US representatives.

Khar said she was not concerned about the fact that some in the US Congress wanted to cut off billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan, if it failed to take military action against the Haqqanis.

"We could do without it, and if the feeling in the US Congress is that we have done too much for Pakistan, the feeling in Pakistani Parliament is that you have done too less," she said during the interview.

IANS