Memogate: Interior, Foreign Ministers Summoned In SC

The Supreme Court (SC) has expressed dissatisfaction over steps taken by the federal government regarding the repatriation of former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Husain Haqqani.
The top court summoned Foreign Affairs and Interior secretaries on Wednesday at a court hearing on the Memogate scandal.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar during the hearing remarked, “We are not satisfied with the progress.”
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Waqar Rana submitted that an FIR has been registered against Haqqani over the misappropriation of funds at the embassy during his tenure.
However, the bench shared its dissatisfaction over the inefficiency of the government to bring Haqqani back to Pakistan and said that they will reach out to Interpol if progress isn’t observed.
On February 15, the apex court issued arrest warrant for Former Pakistan Ambassador to United States Hussain Huqqani in Memogate scandal case.
The DG FIA said that they had issued red warrant of Haqqani in order to bring back the culprit.
Earlier, the court, while hearing the Memogate case on Thursday, asked what measures the government had taken to bring back Husain Haqqani.
The SC was however assured by the additional attorney general (AAG) that all efforts will be made to bring back him to Pakistan.
The Memogate scandal erupted in 2011 when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have received an ‘anti-army’ memo from Husain Haqqani, the then-Pakistan envoy in Washington DC, for US joint chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.
As the Supreme Court began hearing the Memogate case, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar summoned the secretaries of the interior and foreign ministers, as well as the Federal Investigation Agency director general to appear in court immediately.
When the senior officials appeared in court, the chief justice directed them to furnish a report on Haqqani’s return in one week.
The additional attorney general assured the court that all efforts will be made to ensure Haqqani is brought back, adding that Haqqani hurls abuses at Pakistan.
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.
During the hearing, the court inquired from the registrar why the hearing of the case was not held after 2013.
Moreover, during the hearing, the recent statement of Haqqani terming the Memogate proceedings a ‘political stunt’ was read out.The hearing was then adjourned for a week.
Earlier, during the hearing, Chief Justice Nisar inquired from senior advocate Akram Sheikh what he is doing in the courtroom, to which Sheikh responded that he is representing Ijaz, the only witness in the case. However, the chief justice remarked that they are not taking up Ijaz’s role in the case at the moment.
The chief justice also observed during the hearing that they first want to understand the issue.
The bench also includes Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Umar Ata Bandial.On January 29, while hearing a case related to voting rights of overseas Pakistanis, Chief Justice Nisar had summoned details of the Memogate case.
In a statement reported on Feb 5, Haqqani said there were four chief justices after chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry but none touched the case, adding that six years ago a nine-member bench had heard the case and wondered why just a three-member bench is taking it up now.
“It has been six years since I submitted a review petition to correct legal mistakes in the case. Will the court hear this case too?” he wondered.Moreover, in a likely reference to Chief Justice Nisar, Haqqani claimed he will not come to Pakistan on “Baba Rehamtay’s” direction, as his orders do not extend beyond Pakistan.
The memo sent by Haqqani in 2011 allegedly mentioned a possible army coup in Pakistan following the US raid in Abbottabad to kill Osama bin Laden.
It sought assistance from the US for the then-Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government for ‘reigning in the military and intelligence agencies’.
A judicial commission tasked to probe the case had concluded that the memo was authentic and authored by the former envoy.The commission said the purpose of the memo was to convince American officials that Pakistan’s civilian government was ‘pro-US’.
The scandal, taken to the Supreme Court by then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and several others, had led to Haqqani’s resignation and subsequent exit from the country as the hearing was under way.