A Pakistani judicial commission found the nation’s former ambassador to the U.S. sent Pentagon chiefs a secret memo seeking help to avert a possible coup in May last year amid turmoil after the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani, has offered to resign to defuse a controversy in Islamabad over an alleged appeal to top U.S. military officials to prevent a coup in Pakistan earlier this year.
The ouster yesterday of Pakistan’s envoy to Washington marks a victory for the nation’s military and spy services in a power struggle with elected leaders that may strain U.S. relations, former U.S. officials said.
President Asif Ali Zardari returned to Pakistan as the Supreme Court opened hearings to determine whether he asked the U.S. in May to intervene against a possible army coup, an account that has widened a rift between civilian and military leaders.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court began contempt of court proceedings against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for failing to obey its order to pursue corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari, a step that may lead to Gilani’s dismissal.
The businessman who claimed that Pakistan’s president sought U.S. help to avert a possible coup last year testified before the commission probing his account, which sparked a power struggle between elected and army leaders.
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.
Pakistan’s U.S. ambassador, Husain Haqqani, will fight claims that he secretly asked for American help to block his country’s military from any move to overthrow its government, his wife told reporters yesterday.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court barred the nation’s former ambassador to the U.S. from leaving the country as it investigates claims he sought U.S. help in heading off a feared military coup earlier this year.