"Treachery, though at first very cautious, in the end betrays itself." Titus Livy Every issue in Pakistan assumes scandalous proportions due to the 'management skills (read mismanagement) of certain government officials. Meanwhile, another factor that contributes to the situation is the oppositions attitude that tries to score points as soon as they feel that an opportunity exists for such a posture. Presently, the country has been caught up in a severe crisis due to a devastating memo delivered to Admiral Mike Mullen through former National Security Advisor General James Jones. He received it from an American businessman of Pakistani origin, Mansoor Ijaz, who is well known for his habit of writing high-sounding stories and emailing them to different people in the world. This scribe is also one of the recipients of these unsolicited emails. Normally, he is never taken seriously, but, in the present case, the memos contents are such that no one can afford to ignore. However, Ijazs assertions became dubious because uptill now he has issued several self-contradictory statements over the issue. Yet, this does not mean that it should be brushed under the carpet, since there are very cogent reasons to hold a free and fair inquiry. Nevertheless, it is a positive sign that Husain Haqqani has offered to hand over his BlackBerry and computer to investigators to assist in the probe, which, according to him, will help to establish his innocence. On the other hand, reportedly, the issue was taken up by the top brass after they had established that prima facie reasons existed that it should be investigated. According to the media, Ijaz, too, has provided enough evidence to senior military officials, who have passed it to the civilian government. Therefore, the memo mystery should be resolved as quickly as possible, since foot-dragging on it will result in politicising the whole affair that will not be in the countrys interest. Also, there is speculation that Haqqani may have erred in judgement by not discouraging Ijaz by giving him a shut up call. The Ambassador (now former) is a sharp person, who has worked with great caution, and, therefore, may come out of this mess. At this juncture, however, it is good that he has resigned creating a healthy precedent in the country. The government must ensure that all those who have been named in this sordid affair are provided a fair opportunity to defend themselves, while those who are found guilty should be severely punished. Media Adviser to the President Farahnaz Ispahani, who is also ex-Ambassador Haqqanis wife, has strongly hinted that the family may sue the newspapers in and outside Pakistan, along with the American business, under the relevant laws for bringing them into disrepute. As far as the opposition in Pakistan is concerned, they are gunning for President Asif Ali Zardari. Without concrete evidence, the PML-N has tried to portray him as if he was already guilty of masterminding the memorandum. Mian Nawaz Sharif, who has uptill now treaded very cautiously ensuring that the applecart of democracy is not disturbed, may find himself in an embarrassing position on this issue. Since Ijaz - the key player - is not a very trustworthy person, as his writing on various issues suggest. The opposition parties declared that they were considering either pursuing the issue in the Supreme Court or initiating a long march alongside accusing the President of being the prime suspect. However, living up to his reputation Ijaz, in a series of interviews given to various television channels, including a few in India, has now categorically stated that President Zardari had no knowledge about the memos contents. This and other statements have cast a shadow of mystery on it, thus, making it absolutely essential for the government to find out the truth as quickly as possible. The government should not dither, or try to defend anyone unnecessarily, and establish a bipartisan panel so that no fuss is created after the inquiry has been completed. In case Ijaz acted as a lone ranger with ulterior motives, or was working for those elements who want to weaken Pakistan's security apparatus, he must be taken to task and made an example for others. Hence, whoever inquires into this issue must have enough teeth so that they can inflict maximum pain on the offenders. Moreover, the opposition must wait for the verdict of the Inquiry Commission, which will be established soon; they should refrain from politicising this issue. It is also the duty of the opposition parties, as much as that of the government, to make an effort to find out the truth, and identify the culprits and expose their sinister designs against Pakistan. It will not be conducive to democracy, if anyone tries to pre-empt the governments efforts. Therefore, the best course for everyone in the present scenario remains the virtue that goes along with patience and tolerance because only then a proper decision can be taken on an issue, which has the potential to rock the boat of democracy in the country. As far as the military establishment is concerned, it would be appropriate if they conducted themselves in a more discreet manner and cooperated with the Commission to resolve the mystery. This can only happen, if it hands over the evidence, provided by Mansoor Ijaz, to the Commission. It can also provide its viewpoint, along with its analysis, so that there is an appropriate outcome of the probe, which will then be accepted across the country. Consequently, this inquiry will provide a vital example of bipartisan cooperation on all important national issues in the country. The writer has been associated with various newspapers as editor and columnist. At present, he hosts a political programme on Pakistan Television. Email: zarnatta@hotmail.com