Thus spake Mansoor, again…
Mansoor Ijaz’s claim regarding the alleged memo was taken extremely seriously by the establishment, opposition parties and the Supreme Court. The DG ISI traveled all the way to London to meet and personally quiz Ijaz. PML(N) leaders appearing in talk shows fumed and frothed while the party’s top leadership, unwilling to wait for a parliamentary enquiry, took the issue to the Supreme Court. The SC ominously referred to the Watergate trial that had prematurely ended the Nixon presidency and appointed a one-man committee ordering it to complete the enquiry in 15 days. The government summoned ambassador Haqqani to Islamabad where he was told to resign while the SC clamped a travel ban on him. Responding to a query, Ijaz has now detailed the background of another alleged plot. According to him, he had been told by a senior CIA official that the DG ISI had traveled to a few Arab countries to gauge their reaction “in the event they had to remove Zardari from power and so forth.” Many are likely to consider Ijaz’s second charge as serious as the one against Haqqani and Zardari and would expect that the SC gives the statement equal importance as it proceeds with the memo case.
What Prime Minister Gilani said in the Senate on Wednesday carries a premonition of the government being overthrown and parliament sent home. Gilani called on the parliamentarians to save the system, maintaining that if the government was removed in an unconstitutional way, the parliament too would not be spared and they must not forget that “there would be no polls in our lifetime”. Gilani’s critics might reject the warning as self-serving. What surprises one is that the concern was expressed by a man who has all along insisted that all institutions were working in harmony and there was no threat to the government from any quarter, least of all from the army.
Such is the sad state of affairs in Pakistan that a statement from a foreign citizen with doubtful credibility can threaten the entire system while another can give birth to doubts about the fidelity of the top military officers to their oath.