SC appoints lawyer for Hussain Haqqani’s extradition


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday appointed lawyer Ahmer Bilal Soofi to assist in the extradition of former ambassador to the United States (US) Husain Haqqani.

The director general of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Bashir Memon, was also present in court as the court resumed the hearing on Wednesday.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar questioned, “Is it true that someone has refused to issue Husain Haqqani’s red warrants?”

Upon which, DG Memon responded that he discussed Haqqani’s case with the US authorities, who said that one of their people was also in Pakistan’s custody and added that he also showed them a red warrant against Haqqani.

On this, the CJP questioned, “Did the US government refuse to hand over Haqqani? So if a US citizen gives a statement under oath to the US Supreme Court and does not appear before it, and if the US asks for him, Pakistan can also refuse to hand him over?” he inquired.

DG Memon informed the court that the US authorities agreed to cooperate but reminded that the same thing happened in the case of Altaf Hussain, London-based founder of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Earlier, Interpol dismissed Islamabad’s ‘attempts’ to issue arrest warrants against Haqqani.

“The General Secretariat of the International Criminal Police Organisation, Interpol, hereby certifies that as of today [April 18, 2018], Husain Haqqani is not subject to an Interpol Blue Notice or diffusion and is not known in Interpol’s data basis,” a letter reads which was released by Interpol’s office of legal affairs.

The certificate was issued on the request of Haqqani’s lawyer amid newspaper reports in Pakistan that DG FIA went to Interpol headquarters in Lyon to seek warrants for his arrest.

The Memogate emerged in 2011 when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have received an ‘anti-army’ memo from Haqqani for the then-US joint chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.

In this regard, a court notice has already been issued to Hussain Haqqani and other respondents of the case — including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The scandal, taken to the Supreme Court by then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, led to Haqqani’s resignation.

The cases pertaining to the Memogate were registered under Sections 120b (hatching a criminal conspiracy) and 121a (waging a war against Pakistan) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Earlier, the chief justice had summoned details of the Memogate case while hearing a case related to the right to vote for overseas Pakistanis.