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Al Jazeera English | Jan 17
Pakistan's government has reached a deal with the firebrand cleric who has led days of huge protests in the capital. Tahir ul-Qadri hailed the sett...
It’s got all the trappings of a modern spy novel, and the alleged story goes like this. The Pakistani president is worried about a military coup. So he tells the Pakistani ambassador to the US to get a message to the Americans asking for help. The ambassador asks a DC insider to secretly deliver the memo to the US government. The DC insider, who happens to be a Pakistani-American businessman, delivers the memo. But then he does something else. He goes public. Now Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is being investigated by the country’s Supreme Court. Our contributor Wajahat Khan tells us more about the scandal that’s being called Memogate.
If the Supreme Court decides that the allegations are true, then President Zardari will become the first man in Pakistan’s political history to be tried for treason for seeking American support to disarm the country’s military leadership. Obviously, as is to be expected, emotions and commentary are running high on social media, but no one has been debated more than this man…
Hussein Haqqani, the debonair former envoy to Washington, who is taking sanctuary in the home of the prime minister but considers it virtual arrest, and is still on Twitter, his only access to the outside world, as he defends his position and explains his legal strategy.
His wife is also tweeting about stories covering his plight and mentioning prominent journalists to read them.
One of the user comments, punctuated by phonetic slurs in Urdu by Waqar Miraj, express satisfaction that Haqqani will not survive. He says, "Even your father will not save you," topping it off with an expletive.
And the country’s top journalists, while muting their commentary on mainstream media, are asking difficult, even dangerous anti-system questions on Twitter.
A local journalist risks contempt of court by alleging that the commission hearing the Memogate case could be rigged.
Expected, and Facebooked, were the multiple posts of various TV talk shows debating the issue, pretty much as they aired.
Also expected was the "Blame America" school of thought, in this case represented by a blogger, whose popular article alleging a CIA connection to the scandal was frequently retweeted.
Even the uninspired had something to say, in this case a sad sigh of a tweet, saying "Nothing will ever change in Pakistan."
As the case is still being heard in the courts, commentary by analysts, activists, observers, journalists, etc is mute on mainstream media in Pakistan, because they don’t want to risk contempt of court proceedings against them. However, it seems all the action, and even all the attitude, is being seen, felt and heard on Pakistani social media when it comes to Memogate.
From Islamabad, Pakistan, for LinkAsia, this is Wajahat Khan.
On the ground in Pakistan, there are rumors that a military coup is imminent.