‘Memogate’ scandal deepens as American accuser threatens to tell all

The Guardian reports: The controversial American businessman at the centre of the “Memogate” scandal threatening to bring down the government of Pakistan has told the Guardian he plans to fly into the country to tell what he describes as the “unaltered truth” before the courts.

The allegations made by Mansoor Ijaz reach all the way up to President Asif Zardari, and could end up with treason charges against the country’s former US ambassador, Husain Haqqani, or even the president himself. But critics say that the charges are a fantastical and thinly-veiled attempt by the military to hound the government from power, aided by the hostile courts that have taken up the case with alacrity.

Ijaz claims that in May, just after Osama bin Laden was found in Pakistan, Haqqani, whom he described as a friend, dictated to him an explosive memo that he was to deliver to the US military leadership. Haqqani allegedly told Ijaz that he was acting on the instructions of “the boss”, whom Ijaz took to mean Zardari.

The anonymous missive pleaded for American help against the Pakistan army, offering to rein in the military and in particular its Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency, which has ties to the Taliban and other jihadist groups.

Ijaz later revealed the existence of the document in a newspaper column, igniting the firestorm that has been raging in Pakistani politics.

“The memo issue has brought the schism between the military and the civilians out into the open,” said Arif Nizami, editor of Pakistan Today.

“You could say what we’re seeing is a slow and gradual coup taking place, eating into the moral authority of the civilian government.”

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