General

SC tasks NAB to bring back Husain Haqqani

The Supreme Court on Thursday tasked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to bring back to Pakistan the country’s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, who is accused in the Memogate scandal.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nasir heard the Memogate scandal.
During the hearing, Justice Nisar remarked that NAB has agreements with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) pertaining to the return of suspects.
According to amicus curiae (friend of the court) Ahmer Bilal Soofi, NAB can bring Haqqani back to Pakistan, the CJP said.
“NAB chairman can issue warrants for the former ambassador’s return,” Justice Nisar added and tasked the accountability bureau to bring him back.
The bench observed that there are difficulties owing to a lack of repatriation agreements between Pakistan and other countries.
The top court recommended that laws be drafted for bringing back suspects to the country and directed the Parliament to make legislation on repatriation agreements with other countries within a month.
Further, the FIA submitted a progress report regarding the case in the apex court.
An interim charge sheet against Haqqani has been submitted in the trial court, the report stated.
The suspect is absconding and residing in the United States as confirmed by Interpol, it added.
Procedure is under way to block Haqqani’s Pakistani passport and requests to issue red warrants against him are under consideration, the report further said.
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.