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Supreme Court decides to hear Hussain Haqqani case in chambers


News Analysis |

The Supreme of Court of Pakistan has accepted the state’s request to hear the case against Hussain Haqqani in the chamber. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the suo motu notice on Wednesday. According to media reports, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the suo motu notice on Wednesday.

As the hearing started, the CJP asked the state counsel about the progress made by the government for repatriation of Haqqani. Responding to the chief justice, Ahmer Bilal Sofi, amicus curiae in the case, said progress had been made on an official level, however, he would be able to discuss the matter in the chamber.

The memo also mentioned about the military’s weak position after Bin Laden saga and a “unique window of opportunity” for the Zardari-led PPP government to bring the men-in-uniform in control.

The court accepted the plea and asked the lawyer to present the progress report in the chamber.

Treason Case Registered against Mr. Haqqani

A treason case has been registered against Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani. Mr. Haqqani allegedly conspired against the state during his tenure as ambassador to the USA in 2008. A First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged against the former ambassador on the complaint of lawyer Maulvi Iqbal Haider in Perredy Police Station.

The FIR mentioned that the former ambassador made some derogatory remarks about Pakistan during an interview in the US. It is stated that Mr. Haqqani’s objectionable remarks have undermined the country’s national security and challenged her sovereignty. “Haqqani deliberately issued venomous remarks on Pakistan, its forces and the Kashmir cause,” read the FIR

Read more: Hussain Haqqani: A traitor?

Mr. Haqqani has also been held responsible by the complainants for the Memogate scandal and for issuing visas to CIA and Indian agents when he was in the office.

On February 15, the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued arrest warrants for Mr. Haqqani and asked what measures had been taken been taken by the government to bring him back. The court was assured by the additional attorney general (AAG) that the government was making all efforts to get Mr. Haqqani back.

Mr. Haqqani’s Political Career: A Brief Overview

Mr. Haqqani has been the member and head of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba, the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami during his stay as a student at the Karachi University. He has also been the supporter of military dictators Zia-ul-Haq and spokesperson of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1992. In 1993 he was the spokesperson of Benazir Bhutto.

Mr. Haqqani is known as “The Last Friendly Pakistani” and “an instinctive ally of the west” in the western media for his political position on various domestic and global issues.

Furthermore, he has served as Pakistan’s youngest ambassador to Sri Lanka from 1992 to 1993. During the government of Pakistan People’s Party in 2008, Mr. Haqqani was posted as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States. But because of his pro-America stance, he was often called as “Washington’s ambassador to Pakistan” in Pakistan.

Treason Case against a former Ambassador

It is alleged that a week after the Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, Mr. Haqqani who was serving as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States communicated with a Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz to convey a message to the Americans. The message was passed on the request of then-president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari. The message was that Pakistan’s military was conspiring against the civilian government to topple it down. The message was passed by Mr. Ijaz who later on shared all the details in a piece he wrote for the Financial Times in October 2011.

Read more: Why Hussain Haqqani is considered a traitor by Pakistanis?

It was also mentioned that the message was conveyed to Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US military. The memo also mentioned about the military’s weak position after Bin Laden saga and a “unique window of opportunity” for the Zardari-led PPP government to bring the men-in-uniform in control.

Amidst the controversy, Mr. Haqqani resigned from the ambassadorship but denied all the allegations leveled against him. He came back to Pakistan and was accused of high treason. The government initiated a parliamentary investigation to probe into the matter.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan, however, ordered that a judicial commission be formed on the basis of a petition filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Haqqani was initially not allowed to leave the country but later on, the SC allowed him to go abroad.

A First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged against the former ambassador on the complaint of lawyer Maulvi Iqbal Haider in Perredy Police Station.

The commission completed its investigation and found that Haqqani indeed wrote a memo and the underlying purpose was to ensure the United States that the civilian government in Islamabad was her ally.  It was also claimed in the report that the former ambassador was not loyal to Pakistan. The SC did not give any weigh to the report, terming it as mere opinions of the members.

Mr. Haqqani is known as “The Last Friendly Pakistani” and “an instinctive ally of the west” in the western media for his political position on various domestic and global issues.

Read more: Haqqani Style US Visas were No Longer Issued after 2014

It is yet to be seen that how will the SC deal with the ongoing case against Mr. Haqqani. Many analysts believe that the apex court will urge the government to bring back the former ambassador to the country and make him appear before the court.

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