The South Asia Channel

What's behind the furor in Pakistan?

Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz has set off a political firestorm in Pakistan with his claims that he was brokering an offer from Pakistan's civilian leaders to the Pentagon to unseat the leadership of the Pakistani military.

Those accusations forced the resignation on Tuesday of Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, who Ijaz says orchestrated this proposal, which was delivered in a unsigned memo in May to Adm. Mike Mullen, then-U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state that is home to a number of Taliban groups that attack U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan and also is home to what remains of al Qaeda's "core" organization.

Haqqani helped smooth over many tense moments in the important U.S.-Pakistan relationship, including the shooting in January of two Pakistanis by CIA contractor Raymond Davis and the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in northern Pakistan in May.

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Peter Bergen is the director of the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation, where Andrew Lebovich is a policy analyst. They edit the AfPak Channel.