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The blue eyed passenger hasn’t set his feet on Pakistani soil, but it seems that the foundations of many sky scrapers (Political) have started rattling. It takes no out of this world wisdom to sum up team Gillani and Zardari policy of dealing with this controversy and Mr Mansoor Ijaz (MI) as one based on absolute panic and fear. MI was no one, nor any claim associated with him carried mass but not anymore.

From the day MI made his claim public through an article written in Financial Times, the government has been on the wrong side. The 1st half of their policy can be tagged as “Cold Shoulder”. In layman terms, it’s when an approaching sand storm is faced by an ostrich by digging its face inside the sand, assuming that the storm will pass by. Of course it passes but buries the ostrich deep into the soil itself. MEMOGATE (MG) never existed; MI is a Western agent and so on was the part of this denial. To be precise, it took over a month before official statement was issued signifying that his Highness has spared time to look into MG. Media screens and political speeches from opposition had for long placed this issue on hot wire, only those responsible were waiting for the unknown.

The 2nd half of the policy on MG is purely based on retreat and appeasement. With Admiral Mullen office accepting the existence of MG, the executives reluctantly pulled the cord which at this stage could only do one thing, and that was the unveiling of “Pandora Box”. A tug of war had started with back to back meeting between boys in uniform from Rawalpindi and the executives from Islamabad. The hush up saw former Ambassador Haqqani called back, followed by his resignation after the evidence was provided by DG ISI. It was already late as the Supreme Court has taken things into its own hands, in light of the revelations made by MI and the leaked contents of MEMO. The last opportunity went begging with government choosing to contradict the version of its own security apparatus, regarding the MEMO. Haqqani, a resident of President and later PM House with the aid of his counsel presented an affidavit from Gen James Jones to counter the replies submitted by COAS Kayani and DG ISI Pasha regarding the authenticity of the MEMO, which in my perception acted as the last nail in the CBM/ Reconciliation coffin between the military and the executives. CJ’s reply that for the court the words of our own COAS sums up all was enough, and that’s exactly what rationality demanded. From then onward all efforts on MG from the elected representatives have meant little to those concerned. The parliamentary commission in haste even failed, as all eyes are set on Supreme Court to decide the fate of all linked with this episode.

The 3rd phase, the one we are experiencing now is of sheer panic and unproductive defiance. The PM on floor of the parliament inquiring that after an year or so he has a question in mind, that how can OBL live a stone throw from a military cantonment without someone’s consent was a mockery of the entire state, followed by his claim in front of Chinese media that replies submitted to SC from COAS and DG ISI were unconstitutional, at a time when COAS was himself in Beijing. Of course this new found defiance proved nothing less than a flare in a dark night, which is bound to extinguish in a minute or so. But these sorts of act widened the gulf between military and civilian leadership so much that ISPR, the media wing of military for the 1st time went public to criticize and repel the claims made by the PM. Of course, the sand has well passed the neck of the ostrich and now all it remains is the wrap up.

I believe all of you have gone through media screens flashing with statements from Interior Minister Rehman Malik and his colleague’s onslaught on MI. Mr Malik has been passing floaters like MI can be arrested, placed on ECL, might be tried for treason and so on…………………impressive. This is all part of the 3rd phase I have tagged as the policy of sheer panic. It resembles a boxing game when two boxers are after each other’s head. One of them has taken enough, though his ego makes him stand after every count, though trembling. The coach, knowing well his boy’s ability finally throws in the towel to call off the day……………………………it’s a defeat but the defeated boxer always tells his buddies that I could have knocked my opponent out but my coach saved his day. This rhetoric from Mr Malik and his team have in my view given the victory card to MI before he has even appeared before the honorable judges, designated to verify his claim. His lawyer has occupied the center stage with clear signs that his client has all the reason not to step into Pakistan, in light of the threats and repercussions coming from the ruling party. This has been a height of immaturity from the ruling cadre………….or I should say they have by their acts proved to be the catalyst in MG end game. What remained a perception has now been sounded by MI and his team, that the government and its machinery is all out to distort the evidence he has with himself, once he arrives in Islamabad. To take it even further, the distrust is so much that AG has been reminded once again that MI security should be looked after by the armed forces solely, with interior ministry itself becoming a party in the case, thanks to the statements expressed lately.

Even if MI decides to call off his trip as he did earlier, his attendance can be made possible via video link. Is Mr Malik doing it on his own will be the question in every mind. The game has been played without any rules right from the start. So now the blame game has also gone further from Mr Malik. MI has last night through a press release claimed that he has even evidence against Interior Minister along with one linking top cadre to MG. The boss consent for MG till date was a subject not highlighted, but now it seems very hard to delink this aspect. The next 48 hours leading to the proceeding will have a lot of twists and turns, to open up a layman mind like mine and yours.

The President, I honestly expected would have lead from the front the day his name intentionally or unintentionally was dragged into MG. He would have told Mr Malik to back off, and submitted before the court that as this matter relates to national security, the top office and Supreme Commander will leave no stone unturned to solve this. An official request to RIM (Canada) would have been made to obtain every bit of data, and in case of their non compliance BB service would have been suspended. On his behalf, Mr MI would have been invited to present his case before the court so that the real conspiracy becomes clear. Having said this…………………………………….all these steps count when MG is to be fairly and transparently sorted out, else in the other case the three phases explained above play their part…………………………….whether for good or for bad will be decided later!!!!!!!!


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