‘What measures have been taken to bring back Husain Haqqani?’ SC asks

‘What measures have been taken to bring back Husain Haqqani?’ SC asks

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The Supreme Court, while hearing the Memogate case on Thursday, asked what measures the government had taken to bring back Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States.

Last week, during the hearing of a case concerning the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had been prompted to inquire about Haqqani’s whereabouts and order the resurrection of the controversial Memogate case.

“Should we also give him [Haqqani] the right to vote?” the chief justice had wondered aloud while hearing the case.

“Why don’t we issue him [Haqqani] a notice and summon him to face the Memogate case,” the chief justice had then said, initiating a new round of review of the case.

The ‘memo’ in question, allegedly delivered to American officials at Haqqani’s behest in May 2011, had exposed serious rifts between the PPP government and the army after a US-based businessman brought it to light.

Reviewing previous progress on the case, the bench observed that, following his resignation, Haqqani had left the country on the assurance that he would return, but never did.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Rana Waqar reminded the court that it had previously ordered a former interior secretary to bring Haqqani back and ensure his safety in Pakistan.

“What measures did the interior ministry take on the court’s orders?” Justice Nisar asked in response, to which AAG Waqar conceded that none had been taken according to his information.

The CJP then summoned the interior and foreign secretaries, as well as the director general (DG) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), to apprise the court of what actions could be taken to bring the former diplomat back.

Barrister Zafarullah, one of the petitioners in the case, informed the three-member bench that Haqqani had already said that he “would not return on the orders of Baba Rehmatay [wise man]” — a term the chief justice had himself used recently to refer to the Supreme Court.

The AAG and the petitioner also alleged that Haqqani frequently abuses the courts of the country.

The CJP responded that he would not react to the remarks made by the former ambassador, but the Memogate matter concerned the country’s honour and would be pursued diligently.

At the AAG’s assurance that he would inform the court of measures taken by the relevant departments towards ensuring the court’s orders are followed, the hearing was adjourned for one week.

The court also discarded a petition previously filed by the former ambassador seeking a review of court orders to bring him back.

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