General

SC forms bench to resume memogate case hearing, issues notice to Hussain Haqqani

The Supreme Court on Thursday constituted a three-member bench to resume the hearing of the controversial memogate case involving former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.
The scandal, taken to the apex court by then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, had led to Haqqani’s resignation.
The SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, will resume the case hearing from February 8. In this regard, a court notice has already been issued to Hussain Haqqani and other respondents of the case — including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The name of Haqqani had echoed in the apex court on Monday when a three-judge bench was hearing a set of petitions moved by PTI chief Imran Khan and a group of citizens in connection with the right of overseas Pakistanis to participate in the democratic process.
The hearing instantly reminded the chief justice of the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani, as he asked about the latter’s whereabouts. “Should we also give him the right to vote?” the chief justice wondered.
“Why don’t we issue him [Haqqani] a notice and summon him to face the Memogate case,” said the chief justice.
In 2011, the publication of a secret memo asking Washington for help reining in the Pakistani military had ignited a scandal threatening the then Pakistan’s US ambassador and exposing the rift between its shaky government and the country’s powerful generals.
Haqqani, however, had denied having anything to do with a memo delivered to the US military chief asking for help with the military because of the domestic turmoil triggered by the US raid that killed al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.
In 2012, the judicial commission tasked with probing the memogate scandal submitted its report to the apex court which held Haqqani guilty of authoring the controversial memorandum, adding that the former US envoy was not loyal to the country.
In December last year, three people had separately lodged FIRs against Hussain Haqqani in two police stations of Kohat for delivering hate speeches and writing books and articles against armed forces and the sovereignty of Pakistan.
The complainants alleged that Haqqani was responsible for memogate scandal and had issued visas to CIA and Indian agents while serving as Pakistani ambassador to the US. They argued that Haqqani maligned Pakistan in the books he wrote, which proves that he was a traitor.
The cases were registered under Sections 120b (hatching a criminal conspiracy) and 121a (waging a war against Pakistan) of the Pakistan Penal Code.