The Parliamentary Committee on National Security, which will investigate the memogate affair, is headed by Senator Raza Rabbani. —File Photo

LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) headed by Senator Raza Rabbani will investigate the memogate affair and interrogate former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani who will not leave the country till the proceedings are completed.

This was stated by a deputy attorney general in the Lahore High Court on Monday when he appeared before Justice Umar Ata Bandial in connection with a petition seeking to place Mr Haqqani's name on the exit control list (ECL) and initiate high treason proceedings against him.

The law officer said there was no need to place the former ambassador's name on the ECL.

The petitioner's counsel Javed Iqbal Jafree also did not stress the plea for an order to this effect.

The deputy attorney general said the secretaries for interior and foreign affairs would be in a better position to apprise the court of the situation.

The judge asked the petitioner's counsel to include both the secretaries in his petition and adjourned the hearing till Dec 9.

The petitioner, Iftikhar Rajpoot, has accused Mr Haqqani of having sent a derogatory letter to former US military chief Mike Mullen through Mansoor Ijaz, a US businessman of Pakistan origin, against the army and ISI.

He accused Mr Haqqani of tarnishing the image of the country and its armed forces and trying to pledge Pakistan's sovereignty to the United States. He said the former ambassador held Pakistani and US nationalities.

He had been appointed ambassador to Sri Lanka by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in violation of merit. Later, the petitioner alleged, Mr Haqqani changed his party and joined the 'Zardari group' and became ambassador to the US, again in violation of merit.

He accused Mr Haqqani of having wasted $5 million in unsuccessful defence of Dr Aafia Siddiqui in US courts.

The petitioner said Mr Haqqani and other leaders should undergo lie-detection tests. He requested the court to ask all respondents to declare their national and foreign assets and submit affidavits.

The Prime Minister's Secretariat has also announced that the government has handed the responsibility of the investigation to the parliamentary committee.

The terms of the reference for the PCNS envisage “to probe into the memo purportedly written and sent by Mansoor Ijaz” and “to give consequential recommendations”. “Secretaries of the cabinet division and law and justice are to ensure implementation of the order,” it said.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had said in an interview to a TV channel that the scandal would be thoroughly investigated by the 17-member parliamentary committee.

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