Pakistan SC issues arrest warrant against ex-envoy to US


The Supreme Court Thursday issued an arrest warrant for Pakistan's former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani in the famous Memogate case. Such "political" warrants had not been honoured overseas in the past and it would not work now, he added.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar conducted proceedings of the Memo commission case during which the apex court passed the order.

Bashir Memon told the bench that if the court issued arrest warrants then it becomes easy for Interpol to issue the red warrant to which the chief justice replied,"The court will issue the arrest warrant".

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, who was heading a three-member bench, remarked that Husain Haqqani had submitted an undertaking in court before leaving for the USA that he would appear before the SC but he had not followed through.

The Memogate scandal erupted in 2011 when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have received an "anti-army" memo from Haqqani, the then-Pakistan envoy in Washington DC, for U.S. joint chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.

At the last hearing, the apex court summoned the secretaries of the interior and foreign ministers, and the Federal Investigation Agency director general to inform the court about possible measures to bring former ambassador Husain Haqqani to Pakistan.

"It has been six years since I submitted a review petition to correct legal mistakes in the case". Haqqani, who served as Ambassador from 2008 to 2011 in the U.S., was removed from office for his alleged role in the issue, the Dawn newspaper reported.

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According to a report in Pakistani newspaper Dawn, the Supreme Court had directed Haqqani to appear before it in the controversial "Memogate" case, but the ambassador failed to comply with the court's orders.

On Wednesday, Husain Haqqani instructed his advocate on record and counsel to withdraw from further Supreme Court proceedings in the Memogate case, saying "these have no relevance in the eyes of the world at a time when the standing of Pakistan's politicised judiciary is at its lowest".

In the memo, assistance was sought from the US to save the then government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) giving an impression that PPP government is Pro-US.

A judicial commission tasked to probe the case had concluded that the memo was authentic and authored by the former envoy. "Why should we not issue him a notice to appear before the court so that he could face allegations in the Memogate scandal?"

The scandal, taken to the Supreme Court by then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and several others, had led to Haqqani's resignation and subsequent exit from the country as the hearing was under way.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, in March 2017, called for a parliamentary commission to investigate Haqqani's claims in a Washington Post op-ed that his "close ties" with the USA enabled the bin Laden raid.