Civil-Military Divide Deepens In Pakistan

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Context

Pakistan faces a civil-military divide, as the two, clash over a confidential memo. Islamabad’s relationship with the US is believed to be behind the hostilities. The military is in a furor over reports which claim the government asked for Washington’s assistance through a back door channel, to help prevent a potential military coup after Navy SEALs killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The allegations have led to the offer of resignation of Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani.

The Ambassador allegedly drafted the memo and then had it delivered to Admiral Mike Mullen through a confidant. The memo provided by Pakistani-US businessman and the main interlocutor Mansoor Ijaz, stated the civilian government had in return for US intervention, agreed to terminate any “active service officer” who was found to be an accomplice in hiding Bin Laden. The memo also said that the US would be allowed to carry out operations on Pakistani soil. Additionally, Islamabad would hand over Al-Qaeda leaders including Taliban leader Mohammad Omar and Sirajuddin Haqqani to Washington. Section S of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, a unit that handles relations with insurgent groups would also be closed according to the memo.

The release of this report has worsened relations between the government and army.