Pakistani Leader Warns Of Conspiracy Amid Scandal
December 27, 2011 by staff
Pakistani Leader Warns Of Conspiracy Amid Scandal, Pakistan’s president urged his countrymen to guard against what he called anti-democratic conspiracies Tuesday, in apparent reference to strains between his government and the army over a secret memo sent to Washington earlier this year.
President Asif Ali Zardari said that doing so would be a fitting tribute to his wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, on the anniversary of her assassination by suspected militants on Dec. 27, 2007. He said her death was a conspiracy against Pakistani democracy.
“I therefore urge all the democratic forces and the patriotic Pakistanis to foil all conspiracies against democracy and democratic institutions,” said Zardari in a statement sent to reporters.
The current crisis involves a memo allegedly sent by Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, to a senior American military official asking for help to stop a supposed army coup in the wake of the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May.
The operation angered Pakistani officials because they weren’t told about it beforehand and humiliated the army because it was not able to stop the nighttime raid near Pakistan’s equivalent of West Point.
Haqqani has denied any connection to the memo but resigned in the wake of the scandal. Zardari has also denied claims that the memo was sent with his support.
The memo outraged the army, which denied it ever planned to stage a coup and bristled at the attempt to go around its back to Washington.
There is long-standing tension between the civilian government and the army because the force has staged a series of coups and ruled the country for much of its 64-year history.
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