Supreme Court to resume hearing Memogate case today

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will resume hearing a suo motu case pertaining to the 2011 Memogate scandal on Tuesday.

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A three-member bench of the apex court, led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, will inquire about the steps taken by the government to bring former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani back to Pakistan.

The court has already issued notices to the attorney general and the interior and foreign secretaries in the case.

During a hearing on March 28, the Supreme Court had given the government a 30-day deadline to bring Haqqani, the main accused in the scandal, back to the country. Chief Justice Nisar had expressed annoyance at no positive development having been made regarding Haqqani’s return, and had warned that the court would not accept any excuses after the deadline’s expiration.

Memogate scandal

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 then-US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff 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 also allegedly sought assistance from the US for the then-Pakistan Peoples Party government for ‘reigning in the military and intelligence agencies’.

In 2012, a judicial commission was tasked to probe the case, and it 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, led to Haqqani’s resignation and subsequent exit from the country.

Resurrection of the case

On February 1, 2018 the Supreme Court constituted a three-member bench to resume hearing of the controversial Memogate case, and issued a notice to Hussain Haqqani the same day.

Later that month, the apex court issued arrest warrants for the former ambassador. In an attempt to get Haqqani to appear in the court, the Federal Investigation Agency was reported to have approached Interpol on February 15 to issue red warrants for him.

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