Pakistan Inquiry Says Former Envoy Sought Help From U.S.

A judicial commission has ruled that Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States secretly approached the Obama administration last year requesting help to stave off a possible military coup.

Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A judicial commission has ruled that Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States secretly approached the Obama administration last year requesting help to stave off a possible military coup.

After months of politically charged hearings that stoked tensions between Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders, the commission submitted its findings to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

It found that the former ambassador, Husain Haqqani, sent a secret memo to Adm. Mike Mullen, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in May 2011 in the acrid aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden, seeking American help to avert a possible military takeover.

Mr. Haqqani has denied any link to the controversial memo and challenged the legality of the commission. Speaking by phone from the United States, he described the findings as “political and one-sided.”

“I am being hounded for the perception that I was pro-American,” he said. “The inquiry commission is not a court and those claiming it has determined guilt or innocence are wrong.”

He said that the commission’s findings were intended to distract attention from corruption accusations surrounding the son of the chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, which recently came to light.

The accusations stem from Mansoor Ijaz, an American businessman of Pakistani origin who claims to have the delivered the memo on Mr. Haqqani’s behalf.

The allegations caused an uproar among Pakistan’s military leaders and led to Mr. Haqqani losing his job.

But during the hearings Mr. Ijaz refused to come to Pakistan to testify, citing security threats, and instead gave his testimony by video from London.

Intrigue revolved around Mr. Haqqani’s BlackBerry handset, which Mr. Ijaz claimed contained vital evidence, but which was never produced before the commission. Shuja Pasha, a former director of the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, also gave evidence.

As the hearings wore on, criticism of the proceedings grew in the Pakistani press, where many said the commission was pursuing a partisan political matter that should have been dealt with in Parliament.