This refers to the article ‘Zardari, not Musharraf’ by Muhammad Umar in The Nation, May 13 2016. 

The author repeats the pattern of assuming conspiracy in Pakistan’s inability to stop the India-US nuclear deal at the IAEA instead of acknowledging the harsh political realities of today’s world. 

The India-US nuclear deal went through not because Pakistan could not stop it but because the US and India have greater international clout together at the moment. 

While building his case for a Pakistani public always willing to believe conspiracy theories, the author repeats the charge made by former ambassador Zamir Akram suggesting that I somehow stopped Pakistan’s Foreign Office from blocking the India-US nuclear accord. 

Mr. Akram first made the claim last year —seven years after the event and attributed me greater authority than Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States enjoys. 

I wish I had as much influence as the uber hawkish Mr Akram and Mr. Umar attribute to me. Then, Pakistan and all its neighbours would be better off with less conflict. As things stand, I was only Pakistan’s ambassador to the US and our ambassador to the US cannot single-handedly shape policy. 

Demonizing me has become fashionable for those wedded to foreign policy ideas that are less relevant in a changing world. 

The fact is that Pakistan simply did not have votes in IAEA to stop the US-India deal seven years ago. China does not have a veto in IAEA that Pakistan could invoke. As ambassador to US, I only conveyed the US perspective on the matter to the Pakistan government, as was my duty. 

To claim that Pakistan could have ‘blocked’ the deal but chose not to is an attempt to ignore changed global alignments and to feed hyper-nationalist frenzy at home. The International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors made the decision in August 2008 with consensus. 

Interestingly, China and the US have been reported to be working now to build consensus to deny India full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Again, global alignments and not some mischievous, conspiratorial Pakistani ambassador, are at work though this time doing something that might please Pakistan’s hawks. 

HUSSAIN HAQQANI, Former ambassador to the United States,  

Washington DC, April 15.