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Court urges on complete inquiry into Memogate scandal

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 27, 2011 | Last Updated: 10 years ago
Posted: Dec 27, 2011 | Last Updated: 10 years ago

Staff ReportISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry said the judiciary honors the Parliament; but, the Constitution is supreme, adding, ‘We are observing fourth anniversary of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. What happened to the investigation into her murder case?’Heading the nine-strong bench hearing Memogate scandal case, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry said, ‘Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged; we are hearing his reference today.’‘Also, the mystery shrouding the murder of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan could not be unraveled as yet,’ he added.Asma Jahangir, counsel of former Pakistani ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani said the matter does not pertain to basic rights; hence the question regarding the maintainability of the issue is not relevant.Haqqani's privilege is being hurt by holding him guilty on the basis of his resignation, as he is innocent until his culpability is proved, Asma maintained.‘Media is proving my client as guilty,’ she added.Asma questioned as to who delegated power to the chief of a secret agency to institute inquiry against its government, stressing the personal interests are being declared as a matter of public import.The courts are merely to keep themselves to the law, as they are not tasked with security at the borders, Haqqani’s counsel argued saying there are institutions to safeguard the national frontiers. Justice Jawwad Khawja said media may utter something unfounded; but, the court cannot do so, adding, ‘If the memorandum is fake, it is imperative for us to ascertain it. We should not shy away from investigations into it.’Justice Shakirullah Jan noted, “You consider the memo just a piece of paper; but, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has declared it a threat to the national security.”Earlier, giving arguments before the bench, Attorney General of Pakistan Justice (retd.) Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq remarked this is the viewpoint of an officer of the federal government.The AGP said, “The petitions are non-maintainable, adding there are no restrictions on the courts to my reckoning,” adding, “No basic rights were affected in the memo issue.”“If the memorandum was just a piece of paper, then why were the meetings and investigations into the memo kick-started forthwith,’ the bench queried.Justice Khawja said Interior Secretary held the memorandum a computer printout.The CJ Chaudhry reacted to the stance of the federal government, ‘Why was the ambassador of Pakistan to the US sought to tender his resignation to begin an inquiry, had the memo been a sheer piece of paper?” The Attorney General said he (Haqqani) offered his resignation, which was approved a day afterwards, adding the Pakistan Foreign Office denied the existence of the memo on October 28. ‘This is an insignificant piece of paper, according to the federation,’ the AGP asserted adding it is a paper which was downloaded from the Internet.Justice Saqib Nisar said as to how the government instantly initiated investigations over ‘an insignificant piece of paper’ adding there is agreement on holding the investigations; the difference is just on the forum.Chief Justice said the Pakistani people are a living nation which does not put up with the sort of writings.The AGP said media is proclaiming the memo as a vital document; hence, it must be addressed and all aspects are being looked into.Despite all respect for the media, we do not pay attention to the reports being aired in this connection, Justice Khawja said.Going at variance with the government, the AGP said, ‘According to my calculation, the memo is matter of public significance.’ The Chief Justice said, “It means you are conceding that this is an issue of public importance.”Justice Saqib Nisar also asked about the jurisdiction of the court over an issue being mulled over by a parliamentary committee.Justice Chief Chaudhry said the entire nation is unanimous that no compromise is likely on national security.Every institution has its limitations and powers; hence there is no bar on judicial review of the matter. SAMAAPlease click ‘Video’ button to watch this news.

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