Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

SC issues arrest warrant for Husain Haqqani

Updated February 15, 2018

Email

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for former envoy Husain Haqqani, DawnNews reported.

The SC had directed Husain Haqqani to appear in the Memogate case but the latter failed to comply with the court orders.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has asked Interpol to issue a red warrant for Haqqani, Additional Attorney General Rana Waqar told the top court.

Earlier today, AAG Rana Waqar told the bench that they had spoken to officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Interior Ministry, as well as the FIA chief regarding the matter.

Subsequently, a committee had been constituted to take up the issue with the relevant authorities in the United States, Waqar said, adding that it had done so.

Furthermore, he said that the FIA had approached Interpol and formally asked them to issue a red warrant.

The AAG told the bench that according to the standard operating procedure, the FIA needs an arrest warrant issued by the court.

In response, the apex court issued an arrest warrant for Haqqani.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, who was heading a three-member bench, remarked that Husain Haqqani had submitted an undertaking in court before leaving for the US that he would appear before the SC but he had not followed through.

Recent developments

On February 1, the SC had constituted a three-member bench to resume hearings of the controversial Memogate case involving the former ambassador to the US.

The case, first taken to the apex court by then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, had forced Haqqani's resignation.

In December last year, three people had separately lodged FIRs against Hussain Haqqani in two police stations of Kohat for delivering hate speeches and writing books and articles against the armed forces and the 'sovereignty of Pakistan'.

The complainants alleged that Haqqani was responsible for the Memogate scandal and had issued visas to CIA and Indian agents while serving as Pakistani ambassador to the US. They had argued that Haqqani maligned Pakistan in the books he wrote, "which proves that he is a traitor".

The cases were registered under Sections 120(b) (hatching a criminal conspiracy) and 121(a) (waging a war against Pakistan) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

More recently, Haqqani's name had echoed in the apex court while a three-judge bench heard a set of petitions moved by PTI chief Imran Khan and a group of citizens in connection with the right of overseas Pakistanis to participate in the democratic process.

The case had reminded the chief justice of Haqqani.

“Should we also give him the right to vote?” the chief justice had wondered.

"Why don’t we issue him [Haqqani] a notice and summon him to face the Memogate case," the chief justice had then said.

Later, while reviewing previous progress on the case, the bench had observed that, following his resignation, Haqqani had left the country on the assurance that he would return, but never did.

Background

The 'memo' in question, delivered to a high-ranking American official allegedly at Haqqani's behest in May 2011, had exposed serious rifts between the PPP government and the army after a US-based businessman brought it to light.

It was delivered to a high-ranking official and asked for help for the civilian government against the military because of the domestic turmoil triggered by the US raid that killed Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

Haqqani, however, had denied having anything to do with the memo.

In 2012, a judicial commission tasked with probing the matter had submitted its report to the apex court, holding Haqqani guilty of authoring the controversial memorandum and adding that the former US envoy "was not loyal to the country".