Citing threats to life, Haqqani refuses to return home


Former Pakistani envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani has said that while he wished to return to Pakistan to participate in the Supreme Court proceedings involving him, he could not do so because of imminent threats to his life.
In a letter to the Interior Ministry, drafted on December 27,2012, Haqqani mentioned that although it was his utmost desire to adhere to the demands of the Supreme Court, there was no law that forces an individual to put his life in jeopardy just because of “media noise”. He added that he would not and could not trust his safety in the hand of state machinery that routinely fails to protect Pakistani citizens.
The Supreme Court has insisted that Haqqani return to Pakistan to appear before the court in the memo case.
Haqqani has refused to come, saying he faces threats to his life. He says that he has not been legally charged, tried or convicted of any crime. However, the memo commission has convicted him of authoring the controversial memo and showing disloyalty to Pakistan.
“Which law enforcement agency or security organisation can guarantee that their personnel will not be affected by this negative propaganda against me in an environment wherein people are being killed for their religious beliefs and even children administering the polio vaccine to infants as volunteers are not safe from ideologically-driven maniacs?” he asked, adding, “I cannot ignore several recent incidents in the country of mobs lynching individuals merely on accusations and the complete impotence of the state machinery in dealing with these incidents.”
It is pertinent to mention that it is difficult to secure Haqqani’s extradition from the US, since there is no legal charge or conviction. The memo issue aroused national sentiment among certain quarters in Pakistan.
Haqqani was relieved of his duties as ambassador to the US in view of his opinions about US-Pakistan relations and the mosque-military alliance in November 2011. Since then, Haqqani has been called all sorts of names in the Pakistani media and ultra-right wing elements consider him a traitor to Pakistan. The Supreme Court can charge Haqqani with contempt or even order the registration of an FIR against him for treason based on the memo commission’s report. But in both cases, there is minimal chance that authorities outside Pakistan, especially in the United States where the former ambassador is now a professor, will carry out the court’s order.