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Rights activist and former SCBA president Asma Jahangir. — Photo by AFP

LAHORE: Asma Jahangir, counsel for former ambassador Husain Haqqani, has expressed reservations over a report presented by the memo commission to the Supreme Court and accused the panel of being biased.

Talking to reporters at the Lahore High Court here on Tuesday, she questioned the commission’s jurisdiction in relation to its several findings and said “under what law the commission can declare anybody a traitor”?

She said the commission acted in two capacities — complainant and adjudicator. The inquiry report should have been shown to the counsel of the parties before it was presented to the Supreme Court, she added.

Ms Jahangir said the commission declared that Mr Haqqani had forced Mansoor Ijaz to write the memo, but failed to establish any evidence to the effect.

She alleged that the commission was totally prejudiced and the report had exposed it. It did nothing but fought the case of Mr Ijaz, she said.

The lawyer said the SC had taken up the case of Mr Haqqani without intimating the counsel and it was not mentioned in the “cause list” issued on Monday. “I came to know about the hearing of the Haqqani case through news aired by television channels which is highly regrettable,” she added.

Ms Jahangir said it was shocking that the court intimated Mr Haqqani who was outside Pakistan, but failed to inform her.

She said: “I will follow Supreme Court rules and will not appear before court without proper intimation.”

She said if she were the attorney general she would never appear before the court on a notice received late at night. She strongly objected to the fixing in haste of the Haqqani case for hearing. Whether the purpose of doing so was to divert the attention of the media, she asked.

Asked if Mr Haqqani would return to the country following SC’s directions, Ms Jahangir said she had not seen the commission’s report because she had not received it.

She said the commission recorded Mr Ijaz’s evidence through video conference but denied the same facility to Mr Haqqani. “This politics should be stopped now. It will not boost judiciary’s sanctity,” she added.

The lawyer pointed out that ANP leader Khan Abdul Wali Khan and poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz were declared traitors and said there was a possibility that she would also be declared the same.

She said the judiciary should mend its ways and make good history. “Disgracing people is not justice,” she concluded.


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