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Ex-ambassador Haqqani waits for his passport

Updated Aug 21, 2016 11:24am


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Husain Haqqani
Husain Haqqani

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, applied for a new Pakistani passport 11 weeks ago but has not yet received it, he has told Dawn.

But an official at the Pakistan Embassy, Washington, dispelled the impression that the government had decided not to issue a passport to the former ambassador for his alleged anti-Pakistan views.

Since the introduction of a new computerised system, “the embassy only forwards applications to Islamabad. All decisions are made there,” the official said.

Mr Haqqani said he applied for an urgent passport on June 8, which should have been issued in two to four weeks, “but almost 11 weeks have passed and I am still waiting for a decision”.

Mr Haqqani said he personally went to the embassy and completed the required procedure, which includes filing data into the computer, being pictured and fingerprinted and paying the fees for an urgent passport.

“In the electronic filing system, the computer refuses to accept an application if it has any objection but in my case, the computer showed no objection, no issue,” he said.

“So I do not understand this delay. Is it bureaucratic incompetence or a political decision?” he asked.

The embassy official, however, said he had no reason to believe that the government did not want to issue a passport to Mr Haqqani. “The application has been received and a passport will be issued when the process completes.”

Mr Haqqani said he was a born Pakistani citizen and he also submitted a copy of his green card as evidence that he “only has one citizenship, that of Pakistan”.

“My name is not on the exit control list either and my papers are complete. I should be issued a passport as soon as possible, as I have only one passport,” he said.

Mr Haqqani also said that no law allowed the government to withhold the passport of a citizen because he disagreed with the government or with national policies.

The former ambassador explained that the Judicial Commission that investigated the so-called Memo­gate scandal had refused to declare him a traitor.

During the 2012 Memo­gate scandal Mr Haqqani was accused of inviting a retired US general to interfere in Pakistan’s internal affairs, a charge he vehemently denies.

While examining the commission’s report, the Supreme Court observed that Mr Haqqani was neither an accused nor did he face a formal trial. “So there’s no judicial ground for denying me a passport either,” Mr Haqqani said.

There has been no hearing of the case since July 12, 2012.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2016


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Comments (84) Closed

Ayub Aug 21, 2016 09:01am

He is a Pakistani national and the issuance of Pakistani passport is his right.

Desi Dimag Aug 21, 2016 09:04am

Hussain Haqqani is not anti-national but speaks the truths which Pakistan doesn't like.

Saini Aug 21, 2016 09:08am

He is one the best ambassador that Pakistan produce. People like him can not sing the same tune that Pakistan army wants everyone to sing.

Zak Aug 21, 2016 09:30am

Keep him outside of pak. If he comes in he will destabilize pakistan with India and US support !!!

Tariq Gee Aug 21, 2016 09:36am

His statements on various talk shows and interviews clearly shows which side of the equation he is, not Pakistan for sure!

Alex Aug 21, 2016 09:44am

This guy has worked against the interests of this country. I reckon he should stay where he is - that is - either in the US or India as it suits him.

Gabbar is back Aug 21, 2016 09:46am

first of all Mr. haqqani has an american passport secondly he is already out of Pakistan so why his name should be on exit control list is beyond my understanding. If he is so keen on visiting Pakistan why doesn't he apply for a Pakistani visa on american passport.

DIL DIL PAKISTAN Aug 21, 2016 10:49am

Govt of Pakistan should issue his passport.

ali Aug 21, 2016 10:52am

I am sure the Indian Consulate in DC will be glad to issue you a passport. why dont you apply there?

Uzair Azam Aug 21, 2016 11:24am

Good decision by the embassy. Don' t issue him passport at all

Maqsood Aug 21, 2016 11:42am

He should bear the consequences if have some nagative views.

Indian1971 Aug 21, 2016 11:55am

Don't worry you will get a passport.

A Gijjar Aug 21, 2016 12:25pm

Speaking against the interest of Pakistan just to get appreciated from other countries should not be deserved any connection to Pakistan, therfore his citizenship should be revoked, that's what I do

Not again Aug 21, 2016 12:31pm

Mt H needs to calm down and be patient. We all have to wait in the line to be served.

Zak Aug 21, 2016 02:37pm

@Gabbar is back well said. He even lied that he only has Pakistani passport.

Dr. Shahzeb Khan Aug 21, 2016 03:16pm

Why his story is here? There are many people in our country who go through this delayed and broken official procedures. Is it just because he was powerful?

Taimoor khan Aug 21, 2016 03:24pm

When one commit treason to motherland, it is given that he/she fortifying rights provided by the state. Top government ministers on the floor of parliament have made clear that Mr Haqqani is working against interests of Pakistan.

M Wasim K Aug 21, 2016 03:34pm

@Gabbar is back - very well said.

Khan Aug 21, 2016 04:48pm

@Ayub Call him in Islamabad for court appearance first.

Putho mamon, karachi Aug 21, 2016 05:19pm

What is his immigration status in the US?, If he holds a US passport, how could he be an ambassador of Pakistan?

Masood Aug 21, 2016 06:04pm

@Gabbar is back : Do you really think that he will get a Pakistani Visa ? Secondly if he is a born Pakistani, then he has every right to get a Pakistani passport. Now if he travels to Pakistan on a Pakistani passport, he could be arrested at the airport for (and if) making anti-Pakistani statements. Now without any passport, he cannot travel to any other country.

Shehz Aug 21, 2016 06:26pm

Altaf Hussain was denied a passport as well, why should he expect a difcerent treatment for himself?

SYED A. MATEEN Aug 21, 2016 06:49pm

HH has a green card. He should apply for US passport to become Pakistani-American so that he should have atleast one passport in hand.

Whenever GOP will approve his Pakistani passport, he will have another passport to travel.

Hope he must be having a valid NICOP.

In Pakistan the question for HH arises: Is he a patriot?

Anwar baloch Aug 21, 2016 07:33pm

Hussein Haqqani needs to determine where his loyalties lie before claiming the sanctity of the green passport!

MAD Aug 21, 2016 07:47pm

He can use his American passport

Maqsood Baloch Aug 21, 2016 07:48pm

Passport is his basic right period....

Exlim Aug 21, 2016 08:09pm

Mr. Haqani speaks the truth. We need more educated people like him, saying things like they are, and not just give us empty patriotic slogans.

Ahsan Gul Aug 21, 2016 08:21pm

Passport is national right. Scrutinize him after his arrival. People like him Pakistan don't need enemies.

Taiful Aug 21, 2016 08:30pm

He can sue government of Pakistan to obtain his passport instead of creating media hype.

Abdulla Hussain Aug 21, 2016 09:17pm

He should not be given Pakistani passport, he influenced america to take action against our beloved armed forces, he don't deserve to be a Pakistani

gothmog Aug 21, 2016 09:50pm

He should be tried for high treason after the damage he has done to national security.

Shabbir Ahmed Aug 21, 2016 10:07pm

It is not agreeing or disagreeing with the Govt policies. It is through and through betrayal bordering on treason. He was the ambassador of Pakistan, in which capacity he betrayed Pakistan's national cause and worked against it. Let him stew in his own soup.

AW Aug 21, 2016 10:13pm

Difference of opinion or opposing government policies should not be construed as unpatriotic. Suppression of thoughts, ideas and expression is not in the interest of any nation which desires to develop & progress.

Faisal Aug 21, 2016 10:41pm

He played his role in blocking F-16 deal. He attended all anti deal meetings and tried to convince congress to block it. Forget about rules... Such people should be disowned.

Pakistani Aug 21, 2016 11:31pm

Pakistan should cancel his nationality

Sunny Paul Aug 22, 2016 12:53am

Why he need passport urgently?

AK Aug 22, 2016 01:00am

Maybe he realises that he might not get a US passport after all because Americans know he is not a dependable and trustworthy person.

Hence his application for a Pakistani passport

imran Aug 22, 2016 01:12am

He probably has either an American or Indian passport by now both of which are countries that he has true allegiance with. Therefore he should use one of those passports and simply apply for a Pakistani visa. Problem solved.

asim Aug 22, 2016 02:37am

Mr. Haanif Should get the passport of the country whose interests, he was serving while drawing salary from Pakistan.

Smart Solution Aug 22, 2016 02:47am

Was he not return to Pakistan a while back? What happened to all that?

Raj Patel Aug 22, 2016 03:22am

People of Pakistan are super human. They are Judge, Judiciary and executors. They themselves decide who is culprit and decide punishment also. Jai ho Pakistan. Lage raho Pakistani bhai.

Tahir Aug 22, 2016 05:57am

@Faisal not disowned but punished for the treacherous actions

Tariq Aug 22, 2016 07:47am

Paspport is not a legal right. It is a privilege.

Tariq Aug 22, 2016 07:49am

@ Masood passpory is not a right but a privilege

kanwarch Aug 22, 2016 08:21am

@Maqsood Baloch No it is not.

Roshan Aug 22, 2016 08:32am

Salute one of the sane Pakistani which itself is a rarity.

neutral Aug 22, 2016 12:55pm

Mr. Haqqani is a true Pakistani. He has articulated a vision of Pakistan that is at odds with the vision of hate and revenge. This guy is ahead of his times and ultimately his vision of peace and prosperity for Pakistan will be realized. There cannot be any other way. Hope he gets his passport soon. Good luck Mr. Ambassador.

Sudhir Neyalasinger Aug 22, 2016 03:20pm

@imran He can't have Indian passport as India doesn't permit dual nationality. Also a person should have lived in India for a minimum of five years to be eligible to apply for citizenship.

ZAFAR Aug 22, 2016 03:21pm

Right on. Mr. Haqqani. It is this presence of mind and smartness, which makes you the best diplomat to come out of Pakistan. No wonder your opinions hold the highest value in international circle,

jalil yousaf Aug 22, 2016 03:35pm

If people of his status are treated this badly when it comes to issuing passport, one can imagine the problems faced by ordinary citizens in overseas.

A Pakistani Aug 22, 2016 03:46pm

@Gabbar is back

He says that he has one passport - Pakistani.

If someone has proof of dual nationality - they need to come forward with proof.

Mere talk will not do.

While I may disagree with him on some points, no one has the right to deny him his passport.

A Pakistani Aug 22, 2016 03:49pm

@Taimoor khan

fortifying = Strengthen (a place) with defensive works so as to protect it against attack.

Forfeiting = lose or be deprived of (property or a right or privilege) as a penalty for wrongdoing.

This is why correct spelling is important.

KKumar Aug 22, 2016 04:02pm

@Gabbar is back Mr Haqqani does not have US passport, just a green card that allows him to work in US. As he is born in Pakistan, he has right to Pakistani passport.

KKumar Aug 22, 2016 04:06pm

@Tariq Not true. No one can take away citizenship of native born. Passport is a right of every citizen.

KKumar Aug 22, 2016 04:10pm

@Shehz Two wrongs do not make right. It was mistake to deny passport to Aftab (?) and it will be mistake to deny one to Haqqani. Arrest him when he comes to Pakistan and put him trial for imaginary crimes.

kanwarch Aug 22, 2016 04:21pm

@KKumar Why are you so worried brother about a Pakistani?

mirza Aug 22, 2016 04:37pm

Let him come in, if govt wish to question or want to put him on exit list fine. But cannot n should not delay his passport - until govt itself feel un-safe

Msiddiqui Aug 22, 2016 05:04pm

Big time opportunist I know him from my college life.

Saleem Aug 22, 2016 05:11pm

@Msiddiqui Yes indeed!

jawaid Aug 22, 2016 05:17pm

He serves the interests of enemies of Pakistan. Why he needs Pakistani passport, when he has such shelter, strong liking and support of these countries.

khanm Aug 22, 2016 05:26pm

@Desi Dimag... indeed you can take away my passport but you cannot take the right to speak...Those who are are scared to issue him the passport are those patriots is in their conviction that this country is superior to all others because their were born in it. Remember loyalty to you country always but loyalty for the government if they deserve it...

asgher Aug 22, 2016 05:33pm

Sirtaj Aziz made a statement that HH was lobbying against F16 case which we lost with US. Memogate Scandal is an old story with indirect impact.

I have ear to ear smile on my face!!

MUHAMMAD USMAN KHAN Aug 22, 2016 05:47pm

See his interview and judge yourself whether he is patriotic Pakistani or not.

meeza Aug 22, 2016 05:50pm

This guy is very Bad and he has issue 500 visa in one go to us national to come in and make a hell in the country. why did he issue we all knows .

Haroon Raja Aug 22, 2016 06:07pm

Please keep him out of Pakistan. He should stay in US his beloved country.

Nasir Aug 22, 2016 06:27pm

He is a Pakistani national, and he should be given Passport regardless of he is pro or anti Government.

POLITY Aug 22, 2016 06:49pm

most unprofessional and ungrateful diplomat in the history of mankind.

Kabeer Aug 22, 2016 07:25pm

@Zak "Keep him outside of pak" constitutionally you cannot keep any Pakistani outside secondly he did not loot the country on the contrary you have elected those people who have hollowed the country inside out. he has his own views which is his innate right

Kabeer Aug 22, 2016 08:26pm

@Tariq "passpory is not a right but a privilege" my dear we are living in 21st century where passport is right not a privilege I think we have democracy and constitutional government in Pakistan we are not living under any kingship

Omar Aug 22, 2016 08:38pm

Let his come to Pakistan ( if he wants to). The govt. cannot deny his rights as a citizen to visit his country. This is an immature behavior by the govt. to refuse his legal request. Unfortunately, we never pursue action against offenders in court,we merely talk about it in public and leave it at that.

Abdulla Hussain Aug 22, 2016 09:02pm

Best punishment for his behind the scene anti Pakistan activities is to disown him, no passport for him.

Indian Aug 22, 2016 11:43pm

@Dr. Shahzeb Khan No, its because he has been victimised..

Truth Aug 23, 2016 01:46am

Haqqani and Sethi are two of the most sensible pakistanis. Both have courage to accept the wrongs done by pakistan. Pakistan will improve a lot if they listen to people like Haqqani. He is a true pakisani.

Mohammed Hund Aug 23, 2016 03:15am

The Passport authority should ask him to appear in person in Pakistan to get his passport.

Mudassar Aug 23, 2016 03:41am

He must come to Pakistan and apply in person. As he ran out of the country claiming he is going abroad for medical treatment. Since he is able to travel i guess that's why he needs a passport so he must travel his homeland first and apply and collect his over due passport.

Muhammed Asim Aug 23, 2016 09:17am

@Desi Dimag - WRONG - how can you say that ... if he is right - he should come to Pak and defend charges against him ....

syed Ali Aug 23, 2016 09:41am

Obviously he does not care about Pakistani passport.

chandrashekhar gupta Aug 23, 2016 11:31am

It's very common problem for every intellectuals, who live pakistan, hindustan or anywhere in world. If they speak truth, they become anti national, but another hand they always speak truth and seeking for solution. Please rethink about them.

A. Mangal Aug 23, 2016 04:48pm

That's the best classic "feudal" form of government at work where vendetta against any opposition is to declare unpatriotic, freeze their property, deny right to bear a passport etc. yet croocked politician can checkout with their wealth overseas easily without any accountability!

AHA Aug 23, 2016 05:02pm

Where is the freedom of speech? There is nothing called democracy in Pakistan.

AHA Aug 23, 2016 05:04pm

Truth is always bitter

Ahsan Gul Aug 23, 2016 09:01pm

Pakistani public is extremely forgiving. It is not good. Shows absence of confidence. Why would you forgive a character like Altaf Hussain or Haqqani for diatribes against Pakistan? Haqqani is a PPP product. He was financed and supported morally by people party. Issue him the passport but question him on his return to Pakistan. Pakistan cannot afford to have people like Haqqni disclosing business once they held a high position dealing on behalf of our country.

Not a zealot Aug 24, 2016 09:32am

@Zak : There Mr. Haqqani, ZAK has cleared the air for you with 271 recommends! Your matter is settled and you will get the cold shoulder in homeland of honour! Just remember the names of the free thinkers who have "gone" before!

waqar Aug 24, 2016 01:33pm

@ali well said Mr Ali