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Mr. Haqqani, one of the most popular ambassadors in Washington, returned to Pakistan in November to defend himself against charges he had conspired with a Pakistani-American businessman to remove top military officials from Pakistan’s government.

In the interview printed Wednesday, Mr. Haqqani complained that the Pakistani press has branded him a “traitor” and “American lackey” with the encouragement of “powerful quarters,” a reference to Pakistan’s intelligence agency.

Last year, businessman Mansoor Ijaz publicly accused the ambassador of recruiting him to deliver a secret letter from Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mr. Ijaz claimed the letter sought U.S. help if Mr. Zardari arranged for a removal of military officials who supported anti-American terrorists.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email The column is published on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.