ISLAMABAD: Former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani is in no mood to give up without a fight.
This was evident on Saturday when through his firebrand lawyer and human rights activist, Asma Jahangir, he challenged the Supreme Court office’s decision of the previous day in which the registrar had rejected Haqqani’s petition against the court’s Dec 1 order in the memo case.
In the first hearing of the case on Dec 1, the SC had appointed a commission to probe the scandal and had stopped Haqqani from leaving the country. In addition, it had asked the president, the army chief, the ISI head and Haqqani to submit their replies to the court. The SC began hearing the case because PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif had petitioned it to do so.
Two days ago, Haqqani had submitted his reply to the court, requesting that Nawaz Sharif’s petition be dismissed and asking for damages for the ordeal he had suffered. The former ambassador had also moved a petition challenging the Dec 1 order of the apex court on Nawaz Sharif’s petition on the memo scandal.
However, on the same day, the Supreme Court Registrar’s office returned Haqqani’s petition challenging the order. The registrar was of the opinion that a court’s order could not be recalled; it could only be reviewed. The registrar’s office had also objected that Haqqani in his petition had cited no specific grievance and that hence it was not clear whether he was critiquing the entire order or those portions that dealt with him.
On Saturday, Ms Jahangir challenged the registrar’s decision.
“We have pled that the Dec-1 order is not a final decision but an interim order. And interim orders cannot be reviewed,” said the former Supreme Court Bar Association’s president while talking to Dawn.
The new petition has also pointed out that no one could be deprived of his rights guaranteed under the constitution.
In such cases, a judge is asked to look into the matter.
Hence, it is likely that Haqqani’s appeal would be referred to some judge of the Supreme Court who would in his chambers decide whether the petition should be entertained or not.
In the main petition moved on Friday, which was rejected, Haqqani had contended that the SC order was influenced by the media hype in the country which was often motivated by ulterior motives and that it had been based on the accusations of a dubious individual.
In addition, he had argued that the petition had not mentioned any violation of fundamental rights and hence was not maintainable.
He had further pointed out that if the memo issue fell within the jurisdiction of the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973 or the Prevention of Anti-National Activities, 1974, then only the federal government or a provincial government could take cognizance.