Hussain Haqqani (Politician)

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Article Upload Date: Wed 21 Mar 2018
2018-03-21 06:12:38Hussain Haqqani
Hussain Haqqani is a Pakistani scholar and public figure who most recently served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2008-2011. He is widely credited with managing a difficult partnership during a critical phase in the global war on terrorism.
  • Personal
  • Name:

    Hussain Haqqani

  • In Urdu:

    حُسَین حقّانی‬

  • Famous As:

    Politician, Journalist

  • Nationality:


  • Education:

    Haqqani received a B.A. degree with distinction in 1977 and a MA degree in International Relations in 1980 from the University of Karachi

  • Religion:


  • Profession:

    South Asia expert, journalist, diplomat, academic and political activist

  • Born
  • Date:

    1 July 1956

  • Place:


  • Family
  • Spouse:

    Farahnaz Ispahani

  • Children:

    3 daughters 1 son

  • In Office
  • Role:

    High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka

  • Dates:

    11 May 1992 – 28 June 1993

  • Preceded By:

    Tariq Mir

  • Succeeded By:

    Tariq Altaf

  • In Office 2
  • Role:

    24th Pakistan Ambassador to the United States

  • Dates:

    13 April 2008 – 22 November 2011

  • Preceded By:

    Mahmud Ali Durrani

  • Succeeded By:

    Sherry Rehman


Hossien Haqqani
Hossien Haqqani
Born on July 1,1956 in Karachi, Haqqani acquired traditional Islamic learning as well as a modern education in International Relations. Husain Haqqani received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in International Relations from the University of Karachi.  His specializations include: Diplomacy, Muslim Political Movements, International Journalism, Intercultural Relations, South Asia, Central Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle-East, and U.S.-Pakistan Relations. [1] profile  


Haqqani and his wife
Haqqani and his wife
In March 2000, Haqqani married Farahnaz Ispahani, a former producer at CNN and MSNBC, member of the Pakistani National Assembly, and the granddaughter of Mirza Abol Hassan Ispahani, Pakistan's first ambassador to Washington. The Pakistan Ambassador's residence in Washington was purchased and donated by her grandfather. Haqqani has lived in the United States since 2002. 

Foreign Policy Global Thinker 2012

Husain Haqqani was named among Foreign Policy magazine's Top 100 Global thinkers for 2012 along with his wife Farahnaz Ispahani "for pushing tough love for their troubled country." The magazine wrote that "Husain Haqqani and Farahnaz Ispahani have spent their careers fighting the slow-motion radicalization of Pakistan—even as it became increasingly obvious that the deck was stacked against them."


With Benzair bhutto
With Benzair bhutto
A trusted adviser of former Pakistani Prime Minister, Ms Benazir Bhutto, Ambassador Haqqani is known as a Professor at Boston University and former Director of the Center for International Relations. He is also the Co-Chair of the Hudson Institute’s Project on the Future of the Muslim World as well as editor of the journal ‘Current Trends in Islamist Thought’ published from Washington DC. 

Academic career

From 2004–08, Haqqani was an associate professor for international relations at Boston University. In addition, he co-chaired the Project on Islam and Democracy at the Hudson Institute in Washington, and was co-editor of the international scholarly journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology. Among his numerous writing credits are "Pakistan Between Mosque and Military" for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; "Islam's Medieval Outposts" for the journal Foreign Policy, and "The Role of Islam in Pakistan's Future" for Washington Quarterly. From 2012-14 Haqqani was Professor of the Practice of International Relations and Director of Boston University's Center for International Relations. During Fall 2015, Haqqani was a Resident Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.


An experienced journalist
An experienced journalist
Haqqani started his journalism career with work as East Asian correspondent for Arabia – The Islamic World Review and Pakistan and Afghanistan correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review . During this period he wrote extensively on Muslims in China and East Asia and Islamic political movements. Covering the war in Afghanistan enabled him to acquire deep understanding of the militant Jihadi groups. Haqqani came to the U.S. in 2002 as a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC and an adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. He is a leading journalist, diplomat, and former adviser to Pakistani Prime ministers. His syndicated column is published in several newspapers in South Asia and the Middle East, including Oman Tribune, Jang, The Indian Express, Gulf News and The Nation (Pakistan). Haqqani has contributed to numerous international publications, including The Wall Street Journal , The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic and The Financial Times . He regularly comments on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Islamic politics and extremism on BBC, PBS, CNN, NBC, Fox News and ABC. 


Haqqani-ex ambassador to USA
Haqqani-ex ambassador to USA
Haqqani also had a distinguished career in government. He served as an adviser to Pakistani Prime ministers Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Nawaz Sharif, and Benazir Bhutto. From 1992 to 1993 he was Pakistan’s ambassador to Sri Lanka.  Mr. Haqqani’s 2005 book ‘Pakistan Between Mosque and Military’ has been praised in major international journals and newspapers as a path-breaking book on Pakistan’s political history. The book received favorable reviews in Foreign Affairs, Wall Street Journal , Boston Globe, and academic journals and has sold more copies than any other book on Pakistan in the last decade. [2] career  

Washingtons ambassador to Pakistan

Washington's ambassador
Washington's ambassador
His tenure was not without controversy in Pakistan where he was called "Washington's ambassador to Pakistan," a play on his role of Pakistan's Ambassador in Washington, due to his pro-Western views. As a "pro-American ambassador in Washington," Haqqani provided visas for a large number of US operatives to enter Pakistan, under instructions from Islamabad, in the lead up to the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. He claimed that his ‘connections’ with the Obama administration enabled the United States to target and kill Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. [3] washington 

Washingtons post article

In an article published in The Washington Post , Mr Haqqani defended the Trump team’s contacts with Russia during and after the 2016 US presidential elections and said he also had established similar relations with members of the Obama campaign during the 2008 elections. Those contacts “led to closer cooperation between Pakistan and the United States in fighting terrorism over the 3 1/2 years I served as ambassador” and “eventually enabled the United States to discover and eliminate bin Laden without depending on Pakistan’s intelligence service or military, which were suspected of sympathy toward Islamist militants”. Mr Haqqani wrote that the friends he made in the Obama campaign team were “able to ask, three years later, as National Security Council officials, for help in stationing US Special Operations and intelligence personnel on the ground in Pakistan”. Explaining how he responded to those requests, the former ambassador wrote: “I brought the request directly to Pakistan’s civilian leaders, who approved. Although the United States kept us officially out of the loop about the operation, these locally stationed Americans proved invaluable when Obama decided to send in Navy SEAL Team 6 without notifying Pakistan.” 

Memogate controversy

Haqqani and Memogate scandal
Haqqani and Memogate scandal
The memogate controversy (also Mullen memo controversy) revolves around a memorandum (addressed to Admiral Mike Mullen) ostensibly seeking help of the Obama administration in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid to avert a military takeover of the civilian government in Pakistan, as well as assisting in a civilian takeover of the government and military apparatus. The memo was delivered in May 2011; Mansoor Ijaz wrote a Financial Times article in October 2011 bringing initial public attention to the affair. The memo, which at first was questioned to even exist, was published in November, leading to the resignation of Ambassador Haqqani and the continuing Pakistani Supreme Court investigation. [4] memogate  

Central actors

Central actors in the plot include Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who alleged that long-time friend and former Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani asked him to deliver a confidential memo asking for US assistance. The memo is alleged to have been drafted by Haqqani at the behest of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari. The memo was delivered to Mike Mullen through then National Security Advisor James L. Jones.

Relationship with Pakistans Military

Husain Haqqani has long had a difficult relationship with Pakistan's military. Haqqani had made enemies among some in Pakistan's military due to his criticism of the Army. In 1999, he was kidnapped by Pakistani intelligence agents who roughed him up and held him for two months until a court ordered his release. The ISI tried to stop Haqqani from being appointed Ambassador to the United States, and kept him under regular surveillance during his tenure due to his criticism of the military.

Inquiry by SC

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has opened a broader inquiry into the origins, credibility and purpose of the memo. On 19 April 2012 a petition was submitted in the Supreme Court to arrest former Pakistan ambassador to US Husain Haqqani through Interpol for his refusal to return to Pakistan. On 12 June the supreme court commission released its findings and found that after testimony by all parties and verifying the forensic results of Ijaz's BlackBerry conversations with Haqqani it was "incontrovertibly established" that Husain Haqqani had written the memo and was being called back to Pakistan to face likely charges of treason. He resigned in 2011 due to the memogate controversy.

PPP disowned Haqqani

PPP disowned Haqqani
PPP disowned Haqqani
The Pakistan People's Party disowned former Pakistan ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani in a report published in 2016 . The then PPP's spokesperson Farhatullah Babar, in a statement, said his party does not agree with Haqqani's opinion or analysis and connecting his work with the PPP is wrong. Reacting to the PPP spokesperson's statement, Hussain Haqqani, in a series of tweets said he is glad and he can now focus on research and writing without having to worry about ties to the PPP or its policies. "Political parties cannot be expected to own scholarly research or analysis just as scholarly work cannot be constrained by party policies," said the former diplomat. He, however, reminded PPP about his services to the party by saying that he joined the party's slain leader Benazir Bhutto in 1993 and stood by her and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari in tough times. "That political contribution to Pakistani politics is sufficient," said Haqqani. [5] PPP  

Supreme Court hearing the Memogate case

SC ordered Haqqani's arrest
SC ordered Haqqani's arrest
The Supreme Court, while hearing the Memogate case on 8 February 2018, asked what measures the government had taken to bring back Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States. During the hearing of a case concerning the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had been prompted to inquire about Haqqani's whereabouts and order the resurrection of the controversial Memogate case. [6] Supremecourt  

Should we also give him the right to voteWhy dont we issue him a notice and summon him to face the Memogate case Chief justice asked AAG

Reviewing previous progress on the case, the bench observed that, following his resignation, Haqqani had left the country on the assurance that he would return, but never did. Additional Attorney General (AAG) Rana Waqar reminded the court that it had previously ordered a former interior secretary to bring Haqqani back and ensure his safety in Pakistan. "What measures did the interior ministry take on the court's orders?" Justice Nisar asked in response, to which AAG Waqar conceded that none had been taken according to his information. The CJP then summoned the interior and foreign secretaries, as well as the director general (DG) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), to apprise the court of what actions could be taken to bring the former diplomat back. 

Haqqanis statement and SCs remarks

Barrister Zafarullah, one of the petitioners in the case, informed the three-member bench that Haqqani had already said that he "would not return on the orders of Baba Rehmatay " — a term the chief justice had himself used recently to refer to the Supreme Court. The AAG and the petitioner also alleged that Haqqani frequently abuses the courts of the country. The CJP responded that he would not react to the remarks made by the former ambassador, but the Memogate matter concerned the country's honour and would be pursued diligently. At the AAG's assurance that he would inform the court of measures taken by the relevant departments towards ensuring the court's orders are followed, the hearing was adjourned for one week. The court also discarded a petition previously filed by the former ambassador seeking a review of court orders to bring him back.

Books by Haqqani

Book by Haqqani
Book by Haqqani
Haqqani has authored three books on Pakistan. 
  • The first, Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military, was published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2005. In the book, Haqqani examines the relationship between Pakistan's armed forces and Islamist groups as a function of Pakistan's search for identity and security.
  • Haqqani's second book, Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding, was published by PublicAffairs on November 5, 2013. In this book, Haqqani reviews the history of U.S.-Pakistan relations. Magnificent Delusions was included in a list of the "best books about the rest of the world" by The Daily Beast, who called it "compulsory reading for members of Congress and officials at the State Department.".
Haqqani published his third book in May 2016. Titled India vs Pakistan, it is a short history of the India-Pakistan relationship published by Juggernaut Books. [7] books

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