General

CJP directs Ahmer Bilal Soofi to assist court in bringing back Husain Haqqani

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar appointed noted international law expert and former federal law minister Ahmer Bilal Soofi as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the Memogate case.
Hearing the case against Pakistan’s former ambassador in the US, Husain Haqqani, in the Supreme Court today, the chief justice observed, “I have heard that the issuing of red warrants against Haqqani has been denied”.
According to media reports, a recent statement by Interpol had said that “as of today [April 18, 2018], Husain Haqqani is not subject to an Interpol Blue Notice or diffusion and is not known in Interpol’s data basis”. 
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General Bashir Memon informed the court today that he has contacted US officials in this regard, adding that the Americans say “you too have our man”, without explaining further. 
The FIA chief stated further that he has shown US officials the warrants against Haqqani as well as informed them of the matter of Rs0.1 billion worth of alleged misappropriation by him.
He claimed that the US authorities are cooperating with Pakistan on the issue.
The court then appointed Soofi amicus curiae to assist the court regarding Haqqani’s return to the country.
The hearing was then adjourned indefinitely. 
Chief Justice Nisar reopened the case in January this after a hiatus of several years and in February issued arrest warrants for the production of the former ambassador. 
At the last hearing on March 28, the court had given the authorities a month to ensure Haqqani’s return from the US. 
Haqqani, who resides in the US, denies the charges and has termed the recent proceedings a ‘political stunt’. 
Memogate 
The Memogate scandal erupted in 2011 when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have received an ‘anti-army’ memo from Haqqani, then the Pakistani envoy in Washington DC, for US joint chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.
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.