Haqqani set to challenge Memogate commission’s constitution

Published: January 5, 2012

Left without a lawyer following Asma Jehangir’s refusal to appear before the commission, Haqqani will have a new lead counsel - Advocate Syed Zahid Husain Bukhari. PHOTO: PID/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: On one hand, the judicial commission constituted by the Supreme Court to probe Memogate formally served notices to all respondents in the case on Wednesday – while, on the other, one of the protagonists of the controversy is set to challenge the constitution of the body.

Former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani held a meeting with his legal team at the office of his former counsel Asma Jehangir wherein it was decided that a review petition will be filed in the Supreme Court over its decision to appoint a probe commission to look into the memo affair.

The move is expected in the next few days.

Unmoved by the Supreme Court turning down their pleas to dismiss the case, Haqqani and his legal team seem adamant on their previous stance that, while the former ambassador will present himself to any inquiry conducted under due process of law, his fundamental rights will be protected under all circumstances and if need be legal actions to ensure that could be taken in Pakistan and abroad.

Left without a lawyer following Jehangir’s refusal to appear before the commission, Haqqani will also have a new lead counsel – Advocate Syed Zahid Husain Bukhari, who will be assisted by Advocate Sajid Tanoli. Jehangir, his previous lawyer, refused to appear before the commission because she expressed fears that the ISI might influence the body to get the result it wants.

Asma Jehangir and Idrees Asharf will work on the review petition that will be filed within a few days.

Haqqani’s new lead counsel is a senior advocate with more than 40 years experience in criminal law. He was appointed Judge in the Lahore High Court in 1995 and  Prosecutor General Punjab in March 2009. He represented Benazir Bhutto in the 1990s in a number of cases filed against her, many thought, out of political victimisation.

Meanwhile, the court has put all respondents in the probe on notice for January 9.

Aside from Haqqani, the respondents include the President Asif Ali Zardari, Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha and US businessman Mansur Ijaz.

According to television channel Geo News, Ijaz, the chief accuser, has agreed to come to Pakistan and appear before the commission in a letter – but has requested that he be provided adequate security upon his arrival.

He also asked for assistance on getting a visa to travel to Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Usman
    Jan 5, 2012 - 6:23AM

    So basically he’s trying to stop an investigation into the matter. That doesn’t look like an act of an innocent person.

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  • Saad
    Jan 5, 2012 - 6:37AM

    Former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani held a meeting with his legal team at the office of his former counsel Asma Jehangir ??
    So he finally left his room in PM house?

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  • Babloo
    Jan 5, 2012 - 8:57AM

    What happened to the court appointed commission looking into the OBL Abottabad episode ? Has the commission gone underground like OBL ?

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  • Karim
    Jan 5, 2012 - 10:14AM

    These High Profile cases have clearly demonstrated the delaying tactics employed by the government and loopholes in the Judicial system.

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  • ahmad
    Jan 5, 2012 - 10:51AM

    Why people fail to understand that if Haqqani wanted to avoid investigation he would have stayed in US. Or he could have called on Saudi Kings to help him just like Musharaf is doing for his return.But Haqqani returned voluntarily. The problem is the way with which investigation is being carried out. Recommend

  • Ali Kazmi
    Jan 5, 2012 - 12:35PM

    Even if Haqqani did send the memo to the Americans (which it looks like he didn’t), he’d still be innocent in my book. The civilian government has every reason to be fear of the military. Recommend

  • sam
    Jan 5, 2012 - 1:25PM

    you did it Haqqani.

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  • Ali Wali
    Jan 5, 2012 - 1:59PM

    Either it is reporting of the matter or judicial attitude towards it that HH is presumed guilty until he proves his innocence. Media trials can be terrible, not sure if too much information is good for public consumption though. @sam: I like your line, amazing.

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  • Kafka
    Jan 5, 2012 - 3:05PM

    @Babloo: Abbottabad commission findings were too shocking for the world to know. They would have rendered the President of America a lair. Thus the commission was hushed up.

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  • zayeph
    Jan 5, 2012 - 4:04PM

    I think they are trying to delay the process as well as trying to confuse the local people. Recommend

  • Hasan Riaz
    Jan 5, 2012 - 4:06PM

    There is no hope of Haqqani’s getting justice from this “independent” judiciary?

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  • Safeer Hussain
    Jan 5, 2012 - 7:46PM

    There is no question of probing into the memo and unsigned piece of paper holds no value no legal value. I wonder that if this unsigned piece of paper can bring down democracy, what else it can not do? It is hilarious that we are running after dog rather than touching our own ear. There’s not a single thing said to be in the memo that had happened or even had begun to happen at any point along the way. Truly, that memo in and of itself has not harmed or changed a thing in Pakistan. The ISI and the army’s reaction to the very idea of its existence are doing the damage. You’re all fighting a problem that never really existed in the first place. The US itself due to its involvement in the region probably was already watching current events for signs of a military coup and made plans in regard to it even before the memo was just an idea in someone’s head. Those plans probably weren’t in the favor of the army’s hold on the power, either.

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  • Amjad Rasheed
    Jan 5, 2012 - 7:48PM

    Why SC is not answering the question “fundamental rights have been violated by the memo”?. If not then there is no justification of this public show trial. Asma or Govt did not refute the existence of memo. Their stand is the memo and its content are false and figment of imagination of a double agent. In addition there is no smoking gun to prove that Hussain Haqqani “wrote or delivered” the memo. Many people were in contact with Hussain Haqqani and that does not prove he was dictating each of them memos. Mansoor Ijaz, has to provide proofs without doubt to implicate the govt. The burden of proof is on him and not on Hussain Haqqani. Here is another question that makes Mansoor Ijaz guilty that why he delivered an unsigned draft. Don’t you think he was such a silly that he delivered a document without signed by a Recommend

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