Pak leaders should act as per Constitution: US

Amidst raging `memogate` controversy in Pakistan, US hopes that its leaders would act in accordance with the Constitution.

Last Updated: Nov 22, 2011, 11:37 AM IST

Washington: Amidst raging `memogate` controversy in Pakistan, the United States has hoped that its leaders would act in accordance with the Constitution of the country.

"We always expect that Pakistan`s leaders will act in accordance with Pakistan`s Constitution and in a manner respectful of its democratic institutions," State
Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at a news conference.

Nuland was responding to questions about the controversial memo which according to a Pakistani-American businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, was drafted by Pak Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari.

The memo was delivered to Admiral Mike Mullen, the then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by former US National Security Advisor James Jones.

Haqqani has refuted his role in the drafting or delivery of such a memo, which expresses concern about an imminent military coup in Pakistan in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader.

Haqqani has since tendered his resignation, which has not been accepted. Haqqani is currently in Pakistan to explain his side of the story to the top leadership of the country.

Nuland, however, refrained from making any comment on this issue.

"Our understanding is that Ambassador Haqqani is home on consultation. So I would refer you to the Pakistani government with regard to his consultations and what he is specifically up to. You know, so beyond that, I don`t have any specific comments on this issue," she said.

Earlier in the day, Pentagon officials said Admiral Mullen never met Ijaz and does not know him.

"I am not going to speak to Gen Jones participation in it and if he is speaking that is certainly his account. I have said this before and am saying again today," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt John Kirby told reporters.

"Nothing about that letter had the imprimatur on the Pakistani Government. It was not signed. And the contents of it Admiral Mullen did not find credible. So he took no action on it," Kirby told reporters.

Kirby was the Press Secretary of Admiral Mullen when the latter was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from where he retired a few months ago.

"He (Admiral Mullen) knew who was giving this (memo) to him. You go back and look at it (the memo). There is nothing in this that indicates that this was communication from President Zardari," Kirby said in response to a question.

"He (Mullen) knew that he (intermediary) was passing it to him," he said but declined to comment if the individual was Gen Jones.

"He (Mullen) knew who the third party was who was giving it (this memo) to him. He does not know Mr Ijaz. He never communicated with Mr Ijaz. He did not know that Ijaz was the author of this alleged memo. He simply got the memo from a third party, read it and decided to do nothing with it because he did not find it at all credible," Kirby said.

Kirby reiterated that Mullen does not know Ijaz. "He never communicated with Mr Ijaz then or now. There has been no communication between the two men," he said.

PTI