ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Supreme Court of Pakistan rejected the petition praying for grant of exemption to Hussain Huqqani from appearance in the court, however, the court allowed last chance for his appearance within three weeks, otherwise, punitive action as cancellation of his Pakistani passport might be taken against him.
A nine-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising other judges, Justice Nasir-Ul-Mulk, Justice Jawwad s. Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Muhammad Athar Saeed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed was hearing the controversial Memogate case.
The court disposed of a plea of Haqqani for exception from personal appearance in the court. Asma Jahangir, the counsel of Haqqani had filed the application on behalf of the former ambassador.
The Supreme Court granted three weeks to Haqqani, ordering him to appear on the next hearing and warned of action in either case.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir informed the court that foolproof security would be provided to Husain Haqqani during his stay in Pakistan. sovereign guarantee of security was rejected by former Pakistan Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani’s counsel in the Memogate case even as the court ordered that he return to Pakistan within three weeks or face legal action.
Attorney general apprised the court about the security arrangements being decided for Hussain Haqqani, adding that he will be dropped to Serena hotel directly from airport through helicopter.
Asma Jahangir, counsel for Haqqani, said that she has informed her client about the security arrangements. However, he still doesn’t trust the state authorities.
The court expressed displeasure over the non-appearance of Haqqani, adding that he promised to return.
The chief justice said that a last chance is being given to Haqqani or else forced action will be taken under the law.
He said that Haqqani should inform his counsel within two week, asking the authorities to send a copy of directives to Pakistani embassy in US.
Former Pakistan ambassador in US, Hussain Huqqani’s lawyer Asma Jahangir had submitted a petition praying for the grant of exemption to her client due to security concerns, which the court rejected and ordered him to make his presence within three weeks in the court, otherwise his passport might be cancelled.
Asma Jehangir rejected this offer and said that they did not have faith in the government’s promise.
Jehangir further said Haqani had been receiving threats via social media and asked the concerned authorities to investigate the matter. Asima Jehangir said that Haqqani is facing severe kind of tension the court should order psychological check of Haqqani. Upon this justice Ijaz Afzal said that the court will not issue any order for psychological check up of Haqqani, adding that if Haqqani is facing psychological problems then he should take treatment.
The court has given Haqqani one last chance to be present at the next hearing, in three weeks time.
“Hussain Haqqani must be present at the next hearing under any circumstances, otherwise legal action will be taken”, said the chief justice. Chief justice said that the passport of Haqqani could be canceled and other legal actions would also be taken. The court in its order said that the last chance is being given to Haqqnai for return, adding that Haqqani should inform the court about his return through his lawyer in two weeks. The court adjourned the further hearing of the case till three weeks.
Earlier on Feb 12 during the last hearing, the SC had directed Secretary Khawaja Siddiq Akbar to provide fool-proof security to Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US , upon his return to the country.
The case was brought to light by Mansoor Ijaz, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, when he accused Haqqani of writing a memo to US army chief Admiral Mike Mullen seeking the country’s help against a possible military coup in Pakistan.