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‘Zardari was ready to hand over 26/11 culprits to India’

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Asif ali zardari_l

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was so scared of a military coup after Osama bin Laden’s death that he was ready to create a “new security team” favourable to Americans and promised the US to hand over Pak-based 26/11 perpetrators including those from its intelligence agency to
India.

The promises were part of a secret memo to the then chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.

The secret memo from Zardari, was apparently handed over to Mullen by Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistani-American businessman, in May this year in the aftermath of the May 2 killing of bin Laden in a safe house in Abbottabad.

The information about this secret memo was first leaked by Ijaz himself in an op-ed in the Financial Times last month.

According to this memo, Zardari, leading a civilian government wanted to create a new national security structure.

Ijaz has claimed that this memo was drafted by the Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, who has denied these allegations, but has tendered his resignation to Zardari over the same.

Capt John Kirby, who was Mullen’s spokesman, told Pentagon reporters on Thursday in a statement.

“Neither the contents of the memo nor the proof of its existence altered or affected in any way the manner in which Adm Mullen conducted himself in his relationship with Gen Kayani and the Pakistani government,” he said.

“He (Mullen) did not find the memo at all credible and took no note of it then or later. Therefore, he addressed it with no one,” Kirby said.

The content and a copy of the said sacred memo was posted by The Foreign Policy’s blog Cable on Thursday night.

The memo further said, “Request your direct intervention in conveying a strong, urgent and direct message to gen Kayani that delivers Washington’s demand for him and Gen Pasha to end their brinkmanship aimed at bringing down the civilian apparatus-that this is a 1971 moment in Pakistan’s history.”

“Should you be willing to do so, Washington’s political/military backing would result in revamp of the civilian government that, while we weak at the top echelon in terms of strategic direction and implementation (even though mandated by domestic political forces), in a whole sale manner replaces the national security adviser and other national security officials with trusted advisors that include ex-military and civilian leaders favorably viewed by Washington, each of whom have long and historical ties to the US military, political and intelligence communities.

“Names will be provided to you in a face-to-face meeting with the person delivering this message,” it said.

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