Deconstructing Husain Haqqani – by Aamir Mughal and Sarah Khan

Husein Haqqani's headache

From the days of General Zia ul Haq, the Islamofacist dictator of Pakistan, one name never seems to die out. Like a roach, it has survived the test of time and come back to haunt the scene once again in the form of Husain Haqqani.

Let’s have a quick look at Mr Haqqani’s [currently the Ambassador of Pakistan to the USA] questionable past while he was part and parcel of the Mullah Military Axis (Generals plus Jamaat-e-Islamic plus Jihadis), known at one stage as IJI, which is riddled with scandals and corruption.

The following is one of the credentials of Mr Haqqani as listed in his profile published in the Pakistan Embassy’s online portal:

“Organized the parliamentary election campaign in 1988 for the IJI alliance led by Mr. Nawaz Sharif.”

Guess who formed the IJI? Who distributed illegal money to Messrs Nawaz Sharif, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi etc and their advisers? Indeed, it was Pakistan’s ISI which created the pro-Mullah IJI. Haqqani was chosen as its adviser.

A detailed CV of Husaain Haqqani is provided at the end. [1]

General Zia-ul-Haq’s martial law, the darkest period in Pakistan’s history, served as an ideal nursery for creatures such as Hussain Haqqani.

With the jihadi brainwashing on the one hand and erosion of academic freedom on the other, university campuses (once temples of learning and enlightenment) were turned into centres of rowdyism and repositories of deadly weapons. Students belonging to various religious, regional and ethnic groups, particularly the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (the student wing of Jamat-e-Islami – IJT), played havoc with educational institutions. Liberal professors were in particular a target of the victimization carried out in that period. Members of the IJT launched a concerted campaign against all professors known for their liberal views.

The situation was no different in Karachi where Hussain Haqqani was a known activist of the IJT. He was one of the first student leaders who introduced Klashankov culture in mainstream universities of Pakistan,being surrounded by armed bodyguards at Karachi university campus.

Guns boomed at the Karachi University Campus for the first time in 1979 when, according to Imran Shirvanee, Raja Javed, a supporter of IJT, used a sten gun ‘to tackle the opposition.’ When the pen and free expression are throttled, the only means open to tackle opposition is a firearm. At that time, the IJT was the ruling party in Karachi University politics with Hussain Haqqani, Raja Javed was his close aide.

Haqqani is notorious in Pakistani politics for his lack of political commitment and affiliation. He is the classic example of a ‘lota’, a derogatory term in Pakistan politics for a fair-weather friend.

The former Far Eastern Economic Review correspondent was the media advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Nawaz Sharif when Benazir Bhutto was the Prime Minister of Pakistan {1988-1990}.

In his capacity as the media advisor to IJI, the Islamofacist alliance which was also offered support by Osama Bin Laden, Haqqani developed and spread hateful and misleading propaganda against Benazir Bhutto and her mother Mrs Nusrat Bhutto.

It has been recently revealed by an old colleague of Haqqani (Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad) that Hussain Haqqani forged a letter in the name of Benazir Bhutto in 1990 to her Harvard friend and then member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Peter Galbraith. The forged letter was claimed to be written by Mrs Bhutto in which she had requested the USA and India to act against Pakistan Army and Pakistan’s interests.

Consistent with his politically expedient (lota) nature, Haqqani switched sides to serve caretaker Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi in 1990, and then switched back again to serve Sharif when he was elected Prime Minister.

In 1992, he was sent to Sri Lanka as Pakistan’s High Commissioner.

On the eve of Nawaz Sharif’s dismissal on 18 April 1993, he jumped the sinking ship and joined President Ghulam Ishaq Khan’s bandwagon. Immediately, he was rewarded by being made a special assistant to the caretaker Prime Minister Mir Balakh Sher Mazari with the rank of Minister of State. Asked by BBC if he now deserved a mention in the Guinness Book of Records for switching loyalties so often, his reply was classic: “I was always with the President.’” [2]

Right from this student politics with the Jamaat’s student wing, the dreaded Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba, at Karachi University there is much that Mr Haqqani is answerable for.

The violence at the university and the brutal suppression of free speech that the IJT imposed on the campus in those days was done with Mr Haqqani very much an active player. Many still say that he was the architect of the IJT’s policy of using brute force to suppress opposition opinion.

We next saw him on PTV (Pakistan Television) – which was a kind of a launching pad for him -during the 1985 partyless elections. It was an election which destroyed Pakistan’s politics in more ways than one and much that we see wrong with Pakistan’s politics today dates back to that election. It was because of the destructive potential of the election that every liberal and progressive party in the country boycotted those elections. Yet there was Mr Haqqani at his most articulate, lauding the farcical exercise as if it was the best thing that had happened to the country since its birth.

Indeed, his laudatory commentary on the 1985 elections won him a front seat in the club of those who make a career out of legitimizing dictatorships. Having become General Ziaul Haq’s “favourite soldier of Islam”, he next spearheaded the ugliest election campaign in the country’s history.

In 1988 as a paid advisor to Nawaz Sharif, he was the architect of the nasty smear campaign against Benazir Bhutto – which ranged from branding her as a ‘risk to Pakistan’s national security’ to air-dropping leaflets showing mostly fabricated photographs of Benazir Bhutto relaxing by a poolside in a revealing swimming costume. He also distributed similar forged pictures and other literature against Nusrat Bhutto (dancing with President Nixon) and other members of the Bhutto family.

Mr Haqqani was instrumental in bringing down an elected government – through the good offices of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) – by turning the Punjab against the Centre. By doing so, he helped lend further legitimacy to the 8th Amendment which in time proved to be the death blow for democracy in Pakistan.

It is a known fact that for the first two years of General Musharraf’s dictatorship, Mr Haqqani was happily running a lucrative consultancy with major government departments as his clients. Anyone who knows Pakistan knows that such contracts are only obtained through political connections which Mr Haqqani obviously had.

Haqqani was accused by Musharraf of blackmailing the government, to become a Minister for Information. When refused he turned his pen against them.

And when he was sent to jail, it was over some fall out with his business associates who clearly had better connections than him. As far as going to jail for political convictions is concerned, we all know where Mr Haqqqani stands. Bhutto’s attempts at releasing political prisoners – some of them having served 10 years under Zia for committing absolutely no crime – were fiercely resisted by Mr Haqqani. Everyone in Lahore knows the lengths to which he went in branding those political prisoners “criminals” and attributing the deteriorating law and order situation in the Punjab (under Mr Haqqani’s employer Mian Nawaz Sharif) to their release. That is how much he cares for political convictions.

In the words of veteran journalist Cowasjee, Haqqani is a ‘weaver of lies, the most prominent weaver and damage-doer in Pakistan’s history‘. Cowasjee further writes:

“After Zia’s heavenly flight, democracy was reborn in Pakistan and we had Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif alternating at the top, both adding to our woes. During Nawaz I and Benazir II the most prominent weaver and damage-doer was Husain Haqqani. From 1988 to 1990, Husain was Punjab Chief Minister Nawaz Sharif’s special assistant, becoming his press assistant when Nawaz became prime minister in 1990, until in 1992 he was sent off to Sri Lanka as high commissioner. As soon as Nawaz was forced to step down, Husain joined Benazir’s camp and from 1993 to 1994 was Secretary to the ministry of information and broadcasting, until Benazir also shunted him out to head the House Building Finance Corporation….Husain was born and schooled in Karachi, went to Karachi University where he was a Jamaat student leader. He then became a professional journalist and for some years was with the ‘Far Eastern Economic Review,’ both in Hong Kong and here in Pakistan, until he was picked up by Nawaz. After his experiences with both ‘leaders’ he claims he is a chastened man, who has learnt a lot and who now recognizes both as being marginally as bad as each other. He writes columns for various newspapers, both in English and in Urdu and all largely critical of this government. He has formed his own political party, the Urban Democratic Front. He considers himself capable, with the necessary help, of climbing up the greasy pole and leading the 140 millions to glory.”

According to Boston Globe (cited by Anjum Niaz in 2009): “Haqqani hasn’t returned to Islamabad for eight months.” One “friend” describes Haqqani-bashing as “brutal.” Michael Krepon of the Henry L Stimson Center, who has penned many Pakistan-centric articles lambasting our security agencies, has known Haqqani for long…The ambassador has already received a “welcome back” message from Boston University’s spokesman Colin Riley. Haqqani currently wears two hats: Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington and Boston University’s professor. According to the Globe, he has “maintained ties with BU” and “continues to advise a student pursuing a doctorate who is defending her dissertation this month.” Can an envoy of a country serve two masters? Well, Haqqani is blatantly doing it, and also drawing two salaries?

Curriculum Vitae of Husain Haqqani[3]

Date and Place of birth: Karachi (Pakistan) July 1, 1956.

Education: M.A. (International Relations) University of Karachi 1980, with Distinction. B.A. University of Karachi, 1977, with distinction.

Government and Politics

• Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Punjab— 1988-1990. During this period, served as main opposition spokesman. Represented the opposition at international forums, including in negotiations with the U.S. government. Got an opportunity to witness Pakistan’s transition from direct military rule to sharing of power between military and the civilians.

Organized the parliamentary election campaign in 1988 for the IJI alliance led by Mr. Nawaz Sharif.

• Special Assistant to Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi— 1990. Served during the First Gulf War and accompanied the Prime Minister during his Middle East visit following the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.

• Special Assistant and Principal Spokesman to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif —1990-1992. Represented the Prime Minister in talks with the U.S. government over imposition of sanctions in retaliation for Pakistan’s nuclear program. Attended several international meetings, including the Commonwealth Summit at Harare, Zimbabwe. Accompanied the Prime Minister in official visits to Saudi Arabia, France, Britain, India and Bangladesh. Undertook ‘trouble shooting’ to India.

• Pakistan’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka—1992-93.Youngest person to serve as Pakistan’s Ambassador abroad. Was closely involved in expanding the role of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Attended the SAARC summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

• Spokesman to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, with the rank of a Minister of State, and Federal Secretary for Information and Broadcasting —1993-95. Accompanied the Prime Minister in official visits and negotiations in Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Turkey, Britain, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Switzerland.

• Also served as Chairman, House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC)— 1995-1996.


1- Upset Nahid Khan opts out of polls By Rauf Klasra, Asim Yasin & Dilshad Azeem [1] Monday, December 17, 2007, Zill-Haj 6, 1428 A.H.

2- The Web of Censorship by late. Zamir Niazi published by Oxford University Press.

3- Husain Haqqani Career Curriculum Vitae of Mr. Hussain Haqqani.]



Benazir Bhutto’s letter to Peter Galbraith
(A forgery by Hussain Haqqani)

For the last two decades, the following letter from Benazir to Peter Galbraith (former US ambassador with posts in the UN and first Bush administration) has been circulating in the Pakistani media. The intention is obviously to smear Benazir’s name, but the content of the letter is especially meaningful – among other things she asks Galbraith to persuade the Indian Prime Minister at the time, V.P. Singh to engage with the Pakistani army on the border so that they ‘do not impede my way’. Of course, if would not be possible to smear Benazir’s good name if she did not make it so very easy. The letter, which is copied below is dated 24-09-1990 one month after Benazir’s first government was thrown out of office.


Mrs. Benazir Bhutto

Bilawal House


Dear Peter Galbraith,
I don’t know how to thank you for yoru so many favours to me and my
family. As you know that the orders of my dismissal were drafted in
the JAG Branch of the GHQ, and it was not possible for me to pull
along with the army and they subverted my government.
I have already communicated to Various friends in the congress and
especially Stephen Solarzn: to use their good office with President
Bush, so as to put maximum pressure on President Ishaq, and the army
in Pakistan, that they do not disqualify me from the elections as it
will be unjust and negation of all democratic principles for which we
have struggled.
It would be most appropriate if military as well as economic
Assistance to Pakistan is Stopped and all the International agencies
like the world Bank, IMF are told to Squeeze the Government of
Pakistan, and if possible all supply to Pakistan should be disrupted
so that normal life in Pakistan comes to stand still
As long as I was the Prime Minister, I kept a check on the Nuclear
device, but now I do not know what are the plans of the Government.
The suspension of F-16 and its spares will bring the army to its sensens (sic).
Dear Peter, Please use your influence on V.P Singh the Indian Prime
Minister, to engage the Pakistan army on the borders, so that they do
not impede my way.
I wish Rajiv Gandhi had been the Prime Minister of India, things would
have been easier.
Thank you and with warm regards,
Sincerely yours,
Benazir Bhutto

Dated 24-09-1990
National Democratic Institution for International Affairs
1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Suite 504, Washington D.C. 20036
(202) 328 3136 Telex 5106015068 NDIIN Fax (202) 3166


The letter above is a classic case of Haqqani style forgery as has been recently revealed by an old colleague of Haqqani (Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad). Here is an article in the New York Times from 1990 that discusses this.

“But the frenzied efforts to portray Ms. Bhutto as a tool of the Americans are beginning to backfire. This week, an adviser to Nawaz Sharif, president of the Islamaic Democratic Alliance and the leading candidate for Prime Minister if Ms. Bhutto’s party is defeated, circulated a letter purporting to be written by Ms. Bhutto to Peter Galbraith. Mr. Galbraith, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff, is a friend of Ms. Bhutto’s from college days at Harvard.

The letter, however, is so patently a forgery that it has made the Islamic Democratic Alliance look foolish.

Apart from the inexplicably formal salutation, ”Dear Peter Galbraith,” the letter misspells as Solarzs the name of Representative Stephen J. Solarz, the chairman of the House subcommittee on Asian affairs, It asks Mr. Galbraith to ”please use your influence on V. P. Singh the Indian Prime Minister, to engage the Pakistan Army on the borders, so that they do not impede my way.” ” 1A966958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print

Video: Husain Haqqani, in service of ISI-sponsored IJI led by Nawaz Sharif (a friend of Osama bin Laden):

“By and large there are two things, there is a common vision of Pakistan being basically a conservative Muslim state and the difference is essentially on its details, but the basic principle which is acknowledged is that it is will not be a secular state, it has to be an Islamic state. Most of the components of the IJI are parties or individuals who suffered during PPP era at the hand of party policies and its rather high-handed approach to politics”.




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