Reporting by Zulqarnain Iqbal and Shehzad Ali
The Supreme Court gave a month’s deadline to the government Wednesday to produce Husain Haqqani
The three-judge bench warned that strict action will be taken if the former ambassador to US is not presented before the court within a month. CJP Mian Saqib Nisar is presiding over the bench hearing identical petitions pertaining to the Memogate scandal. The other two judges are Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
Haqqani is accused of delivering a memo to former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen through Mansoor Ijaz in 2011. The memo had allegedly requested US for its support to Pakistani civilian government against its military establishment after the May 2 raid. On January 29 this year, the CJP, while hearing a case regarding the right of overseas Pakistanis to cast votes in the elections, had summoned details of the Memogate case.
An FIR was registered on March 10 on behalf of FIA, which said: “ ... accused Husain Haqqani during his posting as ambassador of Pakistan in USA (from May 2008 to November 2011) in collaboration with other concerned officers/officials misused his official position, committed cheating, criminal breach of trust and misappropriated approximately 2 million dollars of national exchequer of Pakistan per year dishonestly and fraudulently.” Subsequently, red warrants were issued for the former ambassador.
During the hearing on Wednesday, the CJP told the government to make efforts to bring Haqqani to the country. “You must try at least,” he said. “It is altogether different matter whether he comes or not.”
The FIA director-general, Bashir Memon, told the court that his arrest warrants have been forwarded to the relevant authorities. “I will go to the US after permanent warrants and will also hire services of lawyers there,” he said, requesting the court to grant them another month’s time.
The court granted the request, saying there will be leniency after the lapse of one month. The hearing was adjourned for a month.
Published in Pakistan
Story first published: 28th March 2018