Husain Haqqani (حُسَین حقّانی; born 1 July 1956, alternately spelled Hussain Haqqani) is a Pakistani journalist, academic, political activist and former ambassador of Pakistan to Sri Lanka and the United States.
Haqqani has written four books on Pakistan, and his analyses have appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy. Haqqani is currently a Senior Fellow and Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. and co-editor of Hudson’s journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology.
Haqqani worked as a journalist from 1980 to 1988, and then as political adviser for Nawaz Sharif and later as a spokesperson for Benazir Bhutto. From 1992 to 1993 he was ambassador to Sri Lanka. In 1999, he was exiled following criticisms against the government of then-President Pervez Musharraf. From 2004 to 2008 he taught international relations at Boston University. Husain Haqqani was appointed as Pakistan’s ambassador in April 2008, but his tenure ended after the Memogate incident, when the claim was made that he had been insufficiently protective of Pakistan’s interests. A judicial commission was set up by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to probe the allegations against him. According to commission’s report which was issued in June 2012, Haqqani was declared guilty of authoring a memo which called for direct US intervention into Pakistan, though Pakistan’s Supreme Court noted that the commission was only expressing an opinion. In February 2019, Pakistan’s Chief Justice suggested the entire Memogate affair was a waste of time, saying that “Pakistan was not so fragile a country that it could be rattled by the writing of a memo.”
EARLY LIFE AND CAREER of Husain Haqqani
Haqqani began his interest in journalism in high school. In 1973 he joined Karachi University. He frequently visited the library at the US consulate, reading volumes of American history. Later, when students wanted to attack the consulate as part of a protest against the United States, Haqqani refused. Haqqani received a B.A. degree with distinction in 1977 and a MA degree in International Relations in 1980 from the University of Karachi.
Haqqani worked as a full-time journalist from 1980–88. He covered the war in Afghanistan for Voice of America radio; served as the Pakistan and Afghanistan correspondent for Far Eastern Economic Review; and worked in Hong Kong as the East Asian correspondent for the London-based Arabia: the Islamic World Review as well as the Jamaat-e-Islami newspaper Jasarat. Husain Haqqani worked for the state broadcaster Pakistan Television during the general elections of 1985.