Rameeza Majid Nizami 'Memogate' as it has been dubbed, is all anyone can talk of nowadays. Theories abound of the origin of the memo, who authored it, where itssupport came from and what it tells us about the power tussle betweenthe army and the civilian government. Analysts feverishly pore overBBM transcripts and interviews, in-between drafting opinion pieces and prophesying on late-night talk shows. But, just what is it that we are now sure of? Not much, really. If anything, the memo's revelationsonly compound confusion with the discrepancies in its logic and timing. The memo opens with a description of a threat of an imminent militarycoup after the May 2 raid that killed Osama bin Laden. However, anyonewho was witness to those events and later can testify to theplummeting of goodwill towards the armed forces in the populace as well as the drop in morale within the ranks. It is not hidden that thearmys top leadership faced blistering criticism during several of thesessions that the Army Chief himself held with his soldiers, as wellas scathing taunts from a population, which devotes nearly half of itsentire budget towards military spending, instead of education, health, etc. Some of the very persons, who are now referring to the recently surfaced memo as 'treasonous', were themselves asking for heads to roll within the top ranks of the army and intelligence after the OBL raid. It is inthis backdrop that Admiral Mullen is supposed to have received the scandalous memo, which was at first denied and then admitted to in a statement through a spokesman. The memo was not termed 'credible', perhaps for the very reasons described above. Added to this, the feeling of betrayal within the brass after the OBL raid, Admiral Mullen would have been the person General Kayani was least likely tolisten to, contrary to what the authors of the memo wrote. It would beunthinkable for the army, perhaps most unpopular among even itsstaunchest supporters since 1971, to take such a bold step which therewas no semblance of support for in those days. The unsigned memo, delivered through an anonymous (whose name will be revealed in the coming few days) interlocutor to three also anonymous interlocutors onthe US side, on the behest of shadowy supporters at best, thusreceived no attention from Admiral Mullen. This leads to the question: Why did he admit to having received it - now that he is retired and, at this point in time, when such an admission essentially unceremoniouslypulls the rug out from under Mr Hussain Haqqani and Mr Zardari's feet. Both of whom have been perceived to be viewed with favour in Washington in previous years. The memo also belies the view that the US has been 'forcing'Pakistan's government to accede to its demands on dealing withterrorism. If anything, after the revelations from Wikileaks, it showsa ready willingness to provide compliance on this front. In fact, thememo seems to take as given the veracity of claims that AymanAl-Zawahiri, Mullah Omar and other Al-Qaeda top leadership are inPakistan. It also accepts that the perpetrators of the Mumbai attackswere Pakistani and to be found occupying positions of importance inthe intelligence agencies and Pakistani government. An intent to dealwith terrorism is different from asking or requesting permission fromthe US to do so. The promise of conducting inquiries with the objectof returning findings "of tangible value to the US government and theAmerican people" combined with phrases such as "your interests andours" have not been received well, to say the least. Another intriguing facet of the memo is its allusion to nuclear assetsand an 'acceptable framework of discipline' like the one 'under theprevious military regime'. What was it that General Musharraf wasdoing differently, that was apparently viewed with such favour? Hasour nuclear security strategy significantly changed since the ArmyChief hat changed heads? Mansoor Ijaz, is one of the central characters in this farce. It isdifficult to believe that he was so overcome with indignance atcriticism of Admiral Mullen in Pakistani press that he jumped todefend his honour and subsequently (and conveniently) opened the Pandora's box that this memo is proving to be for the civilian setup. Ambassador Haqqani wears the look of a man caught by surprise. Hisoffer to resign in the face of Admiral Mullen's confirmation will beread as "I did not expect to get caught, but I did", even though theAmbassador, even now, denies involvement with the memo. The latestrabbit out of Mr Mansoor Ijaz's hat are email and blackberry messenger conversations with the Ambassador, which have been offered up to validate his claim that Mr Haqqani was the senior diplomat on whose instructions the memo was carried forward, with the approval of "the boss", aka the President of Pakistan. In a reversal of fortunes, the President and his government, which at the time of the OBL raid seemed to have extended a dast-e-shafqat over an army accused of 'complicity or incompetence', now stands accused itself of conspiring to sell the house out from under them, through this incredible memo. The timing of these revelations, with Senate elections in a few months and general elections expected at the end of 2012, appears to put at risk the Zardari government's dream of being the only elected civilian government to deliver its fifth consecutive budget. One only hopes that the sacrifice to the gods that be for this memo is not the civilian government, no matter how bad its governance. We've tried other things and they don't work. If only those lamenting the 'good old days' in drawing rooms' didn't have such short memories. Email: rnizami@nawaiwaqt.com.pk