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SC orders Hussain Haqqani to appear within four weeks

Updated June 04, 2013
Pakistan's former Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani.—File Photo
Pakistan's former Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday ordered former Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani to appear before the court within four weeks time.

A bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing the 'Memogate scandal' case here Tuesday.

Haqqani was first named in the 'memogate' controversy by US businessman Mansoor Ijaz who accused the former ambassador of asking him (Ijaz) to deliver a contentious memo to Washington, asking for its help in reining in Pakistan's military days after the May 2, 2011 US raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

Haqqani later resigned as ambassador over the controversy, and later left the country last year.

Putting forth her arguments during today's hearing, Haqqani's counsel Asma Jahangir said that the situation in Pakistan was very different now as compared to when the former ambassador had left the country for the US.

She said that one of the complainants in the case was about to be sworn in as the country's prime minister.

The bench, however, ensured Jahangir that regardless of who leads the government, the court would ensure just treatment to Haqqani according to the law.

No action would be taken (against Haqqani) contrary to the law, said Chief Justice Chaudhry.

Justice Asif Saeed said that the report of the commission investigating the memo case has been released, and that the court can order the federal government to conduct a trial.

Jahangir said that she has asked her client to appear before the court, however, he should also be allowed to testify through video-link like witness Mansoor Ijaz.

Adjourning the hearing, the apex court formally ordered the Interior Secretary to ensure Haqqani's return to the country within four weeks time.