Pakistan’s ambassador to US Haqqani resigns

Departure follows so-called Memo-gate scandal that has highlighted divide between weak civilian government and military.

Haqqani USA
Pakistan’s state television says  Haqqani’s resignation has been accepted by the prime minister [AP]

Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, has said he has resigned over claims he wrote a memo to the US asking for its help in reining in the country’s powerful military.

Haqqani denied on Tuesday any role in writing or delivering the memo.

The affair has highlighted the divide between Pakistan’s weak civilian government and the military, as well as the role the US plays in the affairs of the country.

After the allegations were made last week, Haqqani was summoned to Islamabad to meet the army and intelligence chiefs.

Haqqani said on Tuesday evening through his Twitter account that he had sent his resignation to the prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani.

“I have much to contribute to building a new Pakistan free of bigotry & intolerance,” Haqqani said on Twitter. “Will focus
energies on that.”

Pakistan’s state television said his resignation had been accepted. A spokesman for the prime minister’s office said Haqqani was asked to resign. 

Inquiry welcomed

Haqqani’s resignation follows a meeting with President Asif Zardari, the nation’s powerful army chief and its
intelligence head.

A spokesman for Gilani’s office said Haqqani was asked to resign and there would be an investigation into the memo.

Haqqani is close to Zardari but estranged from Pakistan’s military.

He became entangled in controversy after the appearance of a column in the Financial Times.

In that column, Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistani-American businessman, said he delivered a memo to the Pentagon containing a plea for US help to stave off a military coup in the days after the May 2 raid conducted by US elite forces that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

“I have resigned my services as ambassador and am happy to face an inquiry,” Haqqani told the Associated Press news agency.

Source: News Agencies