Pakistan’s army chief and the head of the country’s spy agency acknowledged the existence of a memo seeking U.S. help to prevent a military coup and called for a thorough investigation, Dawn newspaper reported.
The memo, allegedly written by Pakistan’s then-envoy to the U.S., had affected the country’s national security and was an attempt to lower the morale of the military, the newspaper cited army chief General Parvez Ashfaq Kayani as saying in a statement to the Supreme Court.
Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz has alleged he helped Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to Washington, to deliver a message to top U.S. military officials requesting help in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing in May. Both Haqqani and the government of President Asif Ali Zardari deny the allegations.
The Supreme Court on Dec. 1 barred Haqqani from leaving Pakistan and sought replies from the government and the army as it investigates the memo scandal. It is scheduled to begin hearing the case on Dec. 19.
In their statements to the country’s top court, Kayani and General Shuja Pasha, the head of the intelligence service, said they were satisfied with the evidence provided by Ijaz to support his claims, Dawn reported.
Ijaz wrote an opinion piece in the Financial Times alleging the memo offered that Pakistan’s civilian government would replace military and intelligence officials with officers compliant with U.S. demands to sever the military’s ties with the Taliban and other Islamic militant groups.
Pakistan’s army was embarrassed by the strike deep inside the country to kill bin Laden, which the Obama administration has said was carried out without informing Pakistani officials.
To contact the reporter on this story: Haris Anwar in Islamabad at firstname.lastname@example.org