Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the UN Maleeha Lodhi sent a message to the US State Department on behalf of Ex-COAS Parvaiz Kiyani on January 21, 2011. This was revealed through emails of Hillary Clinton that were released by the State Department following a court order. The content of the message has been redacted and is shrouded in mystery. One line of conjecture can lead one to assume that it may have something to do with the drone attacks being carried out by the US on Pakistani soil. Drone attacks abruptly stopped on January 23, 2011, just two days after this message was sent. However, given that so much time has passed, this message may not be connected to the issue at all. The message was printed by Hillary Clinton on January 30, 2011, just two days after Raymond Davis was arrested by Pakistani authorities for gunning down two people. This implies that the message became more relevant after the issue and Ms Clinton wanted to show it to someone else or use it as a reference point.

Maleeha Lodi was not Pakistan’s Ambassador at the time the message was sent, but at the same time, questions arise over why she was chosen to deliver this message. What business did she have to deliver this message? Why did the Army choose to trust a civilian? Her ties to the US can be clearly established based on her two stints as Ambassador to the country in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, but her connection to the Army, and the extent of that relationship is still unclear. Hence another issue is the obvious one of where Ms Lodhi’s loyalties lie, and the whole issue puts a cloud over her good reputation. Will the PML-N government in fact, summon her to explain what this means? The government knows that it has to tread carefully on any matters that involve the army. Maybe the PPP government – in power in 2011 – can shed more light on this matter. Based on past experiences however, it is likely that this ‘revelation’ will soon be swept under the rug and forgotten.