Monday, May 14, 2012

Do I Hate Husain Haqqani?

A US-based Pakistani Aqil Nadeem is sympathetic to Husain Haqqani, the disgraced former ambassador of Pakistan to United States.  So he asked me a couple of questions on Facebook. My answers were brief and I'm sharing them here.

I am doing this because this is a subject I've written a lot about, professionally, since there's nothing personal at play.

Mr. Nadeem accused me of hating Mr. Haqqani. And then he accused the judicial commission probing Haqqani's role in writing a treasonous anti-Pakistan memo to US military of leaking the conclusions of forensic experts who believe Haqqani is guilty as charged.

I have no hatred or grudge against Mr. Husain Haqqani. Never met him or crossed path with him and so I have no personal agenda or feelings for him.  However, I do have very clear feelings and ideas on the need to curb the growing trend of Pakistanis being recruited to work for foreign governments. This has happened after 2002 with US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and the subsequent destabilization of the region.  The United States and Israel have treated treason harshly and we should be no different. Those who do harm to this nation and people must be pursued and tried.

The alleged acts committed by Haqqani are very serious. See this following link if you want to get a clear idea about what Haqqani did wrong in this particular case: . I also have a very clear idea on what will happen to Pakistan if we don't get tough on treason, especially when we have seen massive covert operations and recruitment by CIA inside Pakistan, activities that have little to do with the war on terror and everything to do with other strategic American goals regarding Pakistan. See this link to understand this point better: .

On the second point.  Mr. Nadeem is partially right.  It is unusual that the Memo Commission is yet to make its conclusions public but a report quoting unnamed sources is already out claiming the commission's judicial experts are sure Haqqani is guilty of treason.

This leak is not unusual. But I am not sure there is deliberate leaking of information by Memo Commission.

If you live in Pakistan, you'd know there are hardly any secrets here. When GHQ and ISI requested closed-door meetings to brief the parliament last year, a lot of the info leaked out to TV and papers by evening and next day. When the forensic testing was taking place in London in Haqqani's case, there were diplomats and employees of the Pakistan High Commission in the building, their assistants, local Pakistani journalists, members of the commission, their support staffers, the forensic experts and their assisting teams. Anyone could have leaked the info.  It is incorrect to accuse the Memo Commission itself of doing this.

If the commission was leaking, it should have happened before too but didn't.

Then there are the diplomats in London. Haqqani doesn't have any allies or friends in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They hate him en masse over there. So anyone could have leaked this info about Haqqani's culpability in writing the anti-Pakistan memo. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

$5 Billion Or US Passport?

I don't understand what's the big deal about Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renouncing his US citizenship to dodge tax on $5 billion dollars he stands to earn after facebook IPO. 

Talk about a smart tax move. 

If you stand to earn $5 billion without having done any real hardwork [except maybe a really smart investment decision at a very young age] and Uncle Sam will take half of it upfront, and you're living outside the US anyway, wouldn't you do what Saverin has done? 

Why sacrifice $2.5 billion for a passport that wasn't yours to start with? [Saverin is Brazilian-born.]

Isn't this the American Dream? 

Farhad Manjoo, a brilliant American journalist, wrote a piece criticizing Saverin's move, reminding him that he owes his money and fame to America and that his action proves he's ungrateful.

That may be true but Saverin has been smart enough to milk the American Dream like any smart American, even if it means easing himself out of the country's citizenship!

And this is, really, what makes America a great place.

Well done to Saverin for pursuing the American Dream it in its most crudest form!