Memogate scandal: Top court issues arrest warrants for Husain Haqqani

01:58 PM | 15 Feb, 2018
Memogate scandal: Top court issues arrest warrants for Husain Haqqani
ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday issued arrest warrants for Pakistan's former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani in the Memogate case.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar issued the warrants against the former envoy for violating the oath.

During the hearing, Bashir Memon, Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), said that a letter has been written to Interpol for the issuance of red warrants against Haqqani.

At the last hearing, the apex court summoned the secretaries of the interior and foreign ministers, and the Federal Investigation Agency director general to inform the court about possible measures to bring former ambassador Husain Haqqani to Pakistan.

During the hearing Advocate on Record (AOR) Chaudhry Akhtar and Asma Jahangir appeared before in the court and withdrew their Wakalatnaama.

On Wednesday, Husain Haqqani instructed his advocate on record and counsel to withdraw from further Supreme Court proceedings in the Memogate case, saying “these have no relevance in the eyes of the world at a time when the standing of Pakistan’s politicised judiciary is at its lowest.

Husain Haqqani's Reaction

Haqqani in reaction over the arrest warrant says, “Such political ‘warrants’ have not been honored abroad in the past, and will not work now,” adding, “Similar ‘Made for TV News’ warrants issued for Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in 2006 and former General Pervez Musharraf in 2012 did not work nor were they effective against Mr. Altaf Hussain”.

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He said, “I have read with mild amusement the Pakistan Supreme Court’s claim to have issued international warrants for my arrest for failing to appear before it”.

Questioning authority of the apex court, the former ambassador said: “Nowhere in the world do Supreme Courts issue warrants, that being a function reserved for trial courts. I have not been charged with any crime and have not been put on trial”.

Memogate Case

The Memogate scandal surfaced in 2011 when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz revealed that he had received a letter against Pakistan Army from Haqqani for the then-US joint chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.

Following Ijaz's claims, a judicial commission was set up to probe the memo, which mentioned a possible military take over in Pakistan following the killing of Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Abbottabad.

In the memo, assistance was sought from the US to save the then government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) giving an impression that PPP government is Pro-US.

Later, the judicial commission found that the memo was written by the former ambassador and was authentic.

The matter was taken to the Supreme Court by then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif after which Haqqani had resigned as an envoy.

'Pakistan’s politicised judiciary is at its lowest'

Haqqani in a statement yesterday said, “no expectation of justice or fair play from the Pakistani establishment, of which the Supreme Court is an integral part” and described renewal of the Memogate case after a hiatus of six tears as “an attempt to revive propaganda against me in anticipation of my forthcoming book ‘Reimagining Pakistan.”

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“For over six years no criminal charges have been filed or trial initiated against me because I committed no crime,” Haqqani declared, adding, “Indeed, the Supreme Court has yet to say what if any crime was committed and why it continues to act as court of the first instance instead of serving as court of final appeal.”