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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to use its channels for extradition of the former ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani, for defaming the country through the 2011 Memogate scandal.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who was heading a three-judge bench, observed that Hussain Haqqani could not be brought back to the country directly through diplomatic terms between Pakistan and the US as there was no extradition treaty for exchange of accused persons between them.

The court was of the view that Hussain Haqqani could be extradited through NAB being a signatory of a United Nations convention.

Senior lawyer Ahmer Bilal Sufi was appointed amicus curiae (friend of the court) in this case to assist the bureau how the accused could be brought back to the country so that he could face justice.

“There are hurdles in [bringing wanted persons back to the country] due to a lack of extradition treaties between Pakistan and other countries,” the chief justice said.

He, however, said there was a need to explore NAB’s agreements with the UN Security Council under which the extradition of accused persons was possible.

The chief justice also ordered parliament to legislate on the matter of bringing wanted Pakistanis back home and extradition agreements with foreign countries within a month.

The bench ordered NAB to submit a written reply in one week about steps it will take to bring Hussain Haqqani to Pakistan.

The hearing was adjourned for a week.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2018