Some facts are clear. There was a memo. It was written by an affluent Europe based US citizen of Pakistani origin whose self stated loyalties are to the US and not Pakistan. It was delivered to Admiral Mike Mullen when he was the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff in May 2011 by a retired four star general of the US Army on the request of the Pakistani American author. The author of the memo had been in extended contact with Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States and they had discussed the content and thrust of the memo as well as its destination. Almost five months later the memo was deliberately resurrected by public exposure in a newspaper article written by the author of the memo. After its publication the chief of Pakistan’s intelligence agency personally contacted and subsequently met the author of the memo as part of an investigation and later briefed Pakistan’s Army Chief on his findings. The Army Chief briefed the President and as a result Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US resigned and ‘memogate’, as it began to be called, became the subject of two separate investigations—one by a Parliamentary Committee ordered by the government and one by a judicial Commission set up by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in response to a petition filed by the opposition political party. These investigations are ongoing and are the subject of much speculation—mostly in a segment of the local Pakistani media.
There are some grey areas. Was the memo the brain child of the Pakistani Ambassador and did he use the Pakistani American to write the memo and have it delivered or was the memo the idea of its author who used the Ambassador to discuss his ideas thereby involving him inextricably? Did the Ambassador act on his own in his interaction with the Pakistani-American gentleman or did he get the matter approved from his superiors? Did the Ambassador provide input and give encouragement if the memo was not his own idea? These are the questions to which the investigative bodies have to get answers in order to reach a final conclusion. This is by no means an impossible task.
There is one important factor that overshadows everything else. The accusations being hurled at each other, the efforts to undermine credibility, the deliberate obfuscation of facts and the attempts to kill the memo all combine to hide the fact that there is a basic convergence in the long held and often stated views of the two main protagonists. Both have a pathological hatred of the Pakistan military and its intelligence agency. Others share this view because they see these two institutions as being the center of gravity in Pakistan that must be undermined— and it is these ‘’others” who are busy explaining the memo as a plan to undermine the democratically elected government by the military/intelligence establishment. There are many in Pakistan who, foolishly, are furthering such an agenda. This makes the result of the investigations most important—-the memo is dead, long live the memo.