'Memo Panel Didn't Haqqani a Traitor'

Islamabad, Jul 13 (IANS): The Pakistan Supreme Court clarified has that the Memo Commission did not declare Hussain Haqqani, former ambassador to the US, a traitor, reported Daily Times Friday.

Haqqani was neither an accused nor a trial was being conducted, as the court would decide in that regard after hearing all the parties, the daily said.

The apex-court-appointed commission is probing Pakistan-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz's claim to have last year delivered a secret memo to then US Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen at the behest of the Pakistani government.

The memo said that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari feared a coup after Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed last May by US commandos at his hideout in Abbottabad, near Islamabad. The existence of the memo triggered a scandal and cost Haqqani his job.

On Thursday, a nine-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, asked Haqqani's counsel Asma Jahangir why her client was not appearing on the court's directions.

Jahangir said the government was not providing security to Haqqani, and added that they had contacted the attorney general of Pakistan for that purpose but nobody had responded.

As Jahangir argued that the commission's report had painted her client as a traitor, the court observed that the commission had just expressed an opinion, and it was not a ruling.

Jahangir also requested the court to review its order of summoning Haqqani in the given circumstances, and said the situation in the country was not in her client's favour and he faced many threats.

The bench, while adjourning the hearing for indefinite period, allowed Jahangir to file an application within three days, seeking for her client an exception from appearing before the court in the memo case.


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Title: 'Memo Panel Didn't Haqqani a Traitor'

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