- CJP says anti-graft watchdog can issue warrants for former envoy to US’s return to Pakistan
- Justice Nisar says laws should be drafted for repatriation of suspects
- Process to blacklist Haqqani’s passport initiated, FIA tells SC
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to bring back Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, who is accused in the Memogate scandal.
While hearing the Memogate scandal, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nasir said that “NAB has agreements with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) pertaining to the return of suspects”.
The CJP further said that according to ‘amicus curiae’ (friend of the court) Ahmer Bilal Soofi, NAB can bring Haqqani back to Pakistan.
“The NAB chairman can issue warrants for the former ambassador’s return,” Chief Justice Nisar added and tasked the accountability bureau to bring him back.
The bench hearing the case observed that there are difficulties owing to a lack of repatriation agreements between Pakistan and other countries.
Moreover, the apex court suggested that there should be laws drafted for bringing back the suspects to the country and directed the parliament to make legislation on repatriation agreements with other countries within a month.
‘PROCESS TO BLACKLIST HAQQANI’S PASSPORT INITIATED’:
Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told the apex court that the process to blacklist Husain Haqqani’s passport had been initiated.
The FIA, in a report submitted before the Supreme Court regarding repatriation of Haqqani, also stated that the International Criminal Police Organisation, commonly known as Interpol, did not issue a red warrant against Haqqani despite making several requests in this regard.
It was also stated that Interpol Washington, the United States National Central Bureau (NCB), tentatively confirmed that Haqqani had been located in the US. Hence, the documents are being submitted through the interior ministry, the report said.
The report added that the interior ministry would secure approval of the federal government for the extradition of Haqqani before sending the documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On the extradition documents that are being forwarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the US government, the FIA said it would be coordinating the matter through the office of legal attaché at the US embassy in Islamabad as well as NCB Interpol.
Earlier, in February, the SC had summoned the secretaries of the interior and foreign affairs and the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to discuss possible steps for bringing former ambassador to United States Husain Haqqani back to Pakistan.
The court had sought mechanism for bringing Haqqani to the country.
In 2011, the Memogate scandal came to surface when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have received an ‘anti-army’ memo from Haqqani, then the Pakistani envoy in Washington DC, for US Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.
The memo sent by Haqqani allegedly mentioned a possible army coup in Pakistan following the US raid in Abbottabad to kill Osama bin Laden.
It sought assistance from the US for the then-Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government for ‘reining in the military and intelligence agencies’.
A judicial commission tasked to probe the case had concluded that the memo was authentic and authored by the former envoy.
The commission said the purpose of the memo was to convince American officials that Pakistan’s civilian government was ‘pro-US’.
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 underway.
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.