Ijaz can be charged with high treason: Experts

Published: January 16, 2012

Say he can be prosecuted, despite foreign citizenship. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

LAHORE: According to legal experts, the tables can be turned on the man who called out former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani on Memogate.

According to sources, experts have given the go-ahead to the government regarding initiating ‘high treason’ proceedings against Mansoor Ijaz, despite his American citizenship.

So far, however, the government has remained reluctant to take action against Ijaz.

Sources say that legal pundits have informed Interior Minister Rehman Malik that even a foreigner, “who abrogates or attempts to abrogate, subverts or attempts to subvert the Constitution by unconstitutional means,” shall be guilty of high treason.

What may Ijaz reportedly face a court hearing over? Sources say the proceedings will take up allegations that Ijaz was involved in intrigues to topple the 1989 government of Benazir Bhutto.

According to legal specialists, the government can prosecute Ijaz if the prime minister orders the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs as well as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate constitutional proceedings. The president of Pakistan as constitutional head of state, as well as sovereign authority of the country, can send a reference to the prime minister, while a resolution can also be tabled in parliament by any parliamentarian.

Another option could be for any citizen to approach the court and make the federation a party through a constitutional petition for taking action against Ijaz under high treason. The Supreme Court can then make a reference to parliament.

According to sources, the legal experts informed the government that there is sufficient material, including video recordings and articles against Ijaz, to prosecute him.

Pakistan Peoples Party members are also putting pressure on the party to table a resolution in parliament for taking action against Ijaz on allegations of being involved in intrigues over Benazir’s government, maligning Pakistan’s sensitive institutions through articles and trying to create collisions between state institutions as well as destabilising the country through his articles, sources said.

After receiving the necessary nod, the interior ministry has asked the concerned authorities to collect material in this regard against Ijaz although no action has been taken yet.

Keep Ijaz in Pakistan

Meanwhile, Haqqani’s counsel will submit an application today (Monday) before the judicial commission inquiring into Memogate to ensure that Ijaz is bound to stay in Pakistan until a verdict is reached.

The contents of the application stated that both Haqqani and Ijaz are respondents in the case and should hence be treated equally.

Haqqani’s counsel, Syed Zahid Hussain Bokhari, while talking to The Express Tribune, said that if Ijaz fails to appear before the commission, the commission should pass its opinion after closing the matter.

He added that when the court had bound Haqqani to not leave the country till the case was decided, the commission should also ensure that Ijaz does not leave Pakistan till the inquiry is finalised.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2012.

Reader Comments (20)

  • Usman
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:26AM

    How is Ijaz bound to stay in Pakistan? He was not a civil servant of Pakistan, unlike HH when the memo was written, he is a foreign national.

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  • Ali
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:35AM

    Haqqani’s supposed innocence does come further into question if they put the main witness in this case on trial…

    HH, you are on trial. Not Mansoor ijaz.

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  • M. A. Changezi
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:37AM

    Just what I was wishing for. Keep the guy in Pakistan and put him on trial. He, as a foreign national, has no right to interfere in our business.

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  • Imran
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:09AM

    Mr. Fraudia is not coming. He hasn’t yet applied for a visa, and neither has he given a letter of consent to the commission for acquiring his blackberry data. Biggest scam he has pulled.

    It will be interesting to see a new article by him appearing in a western newspaper poking fun at the security establishment of Pakistan the way it has reacted.

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  • ezanius
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:13AM

    There are one hundred ways to prosecute and make Mansoor Ijaz stay longer….. but one must ask if these tools were present when Raymond killed common Pakistani citizens…..OOPPSSS I FORGOT, PAKISTANI CONSTITUTION AND LAW IS DIFFERENT FOR DIFFERENT CLASSES…..

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  • alicia
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:34AM

    I would laugh if that happens. As they say shikari khud shikar ban gaya.

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  • MarkH
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Like I said in another article. You guys can keep him as I don’t really like the guy but, no, high treason will not fly internationally. He owes Pakistan no allegiance. There was no trust to betray. For him to be a traitor he would first have to be on the side of Pakistan. You’re going to have to do better than that. This has too much publicity for the US to ignore it if you try and it will be based on principle, not because he, in all that he is, is something special. Any citizen would get the same. The difference is, the more publicity it has, the louder the US will have to be about it in talk as well as action, rather than keeping the drama minimal as keeping it minimal is not even an option with that guy now.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 16, 2012 - 10:41AM

    Its turning out to be a late blooming thriller. What next?

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  • Imran
    Jan 16, 2012 - 11:45AM

    @Ali:
    Correction! Right now no one is under trial. Please don’t spread lies. The commission is investigating if there is anything to register case.

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  • Osama
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:27PM

    Ijaz is not a Pakistani national nor a civil servant. He can speak, write or do anything against Pakistan, outside Pakistan. Haqqani is a Pakistani national and civil servant. He was the Ambassador of Pakistan in the US and his involvement in writing any memo is a serious offence. Our Legal experts are more interested in few minutes fame and chance to promote their personal brand. If Ijaz can be charged for treason in Pakistan, half of Pakistan could be charge for treason in either Afghanistan or India.

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  • Ahsan Raza
    Jan 16, 2012 - 1:49PM

    What idiocy, a foreigner tried of Treason ? Why did they let People like Raymond Davis and others go. I mean he did kill Pakistani citizens, didnt he ? Hypocrisy of this government and its stooges shocks me.

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  • Viscount
    Jan 16, 2012 - 5:36PM

    Mr. Ijaz is not a citizen or a subject of Pakistan. I am lost as to how he could be charged with treason (or “high treason) in Pakistan???

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  • Irshad Khan
    Jan 16, 2012 - 6:22PM

    The purpose of such news is to harass Mr. Ijaz and stop him from coming to Pakistan and appearing before commission. There might be some other options available to hear him safely by the commission.

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  • Umar Akbar
    Jan 16, 2012 - 6:45PM

    Who are these ‘legal experts’ who don’t even know the definition of treason? As readers have rightly pointed out, the question of treason does not arise here, as Mr Ijaz is not a Pakistani national. How ridiculous can this government get? All these smokescreens to hide their own sins!

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  • Imran Mohammad
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:11PM

    How can he be charged with anything? He is not Pakistani citizen. The amount of effort and passion this government put in dumbing down public opinion is mind blowing..Recommend

  • sashayub
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:44PM

    @Usman:
    foreign national or not, if he’s in pakistan he has to go by the laws of pakistan….unless he wants to be another RD in the making

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  • sashayub
    Jan 16, 2012 - 7:51PM

    @Ali:
    unfortunately HH has been presumed guilty, in case MI doesnt come to Pakistan, it would be clear he lead the courts, government as well as the army of Pakistan (remember, it was Pasha who met and checked the information given by MI, so now, if MI does not come to Pakistan, what credibility would Pasha be left with?)….if MI does come to Pakistan and is proved to be fake, this will also put the credibility of the entire memo in question….in short, HH will be the only one having the last laugh if MI doesnt come to Pakistan, or is unable to prove what he said earlier about HH…..not such a big deal of HH (since most people already think he is guilty), but this would mean a disaster for the army…can they afford it?

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  • Javed
    Jan 16, 2012 - 8:34PM

    @Ahsan Raza:
    This Govt. despite all its shortcomings had nothing to do with Raymond Davis case. Had it been the Govt. thousands of cases would have been filed against it by now and all of them would have been admitted by the SC. There would have been no need for NRO or Memogate. Raymond Davis case would have been enough to finish the PPP off.

    It was the Real Power that did it and that’s the reason no one has the guts to say anything except deflect all the blame to the Govt. We as a nation love to kick the weak while being meek and respectful to the powerful.

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  • Cautious
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:17PM

    If he comes to Pakistan and lies under oath he should be punished. However, if you charge him for treason it will only further tarnish Pakistan’s poor international reputation. In case Pakistan’s law schools don’t teach the definition of “treason” – this may help http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason .

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  • Anjum Raheel
    Jan 16, 2012 - 9:41PM

    Before promoting or favoring Ijaz Manssor for his service to the nation one should not forget his past, his article on memogate and several others. The Army may have conveniently overlooked his tirade against them but in a nutshell he calls them, again and again, a rogue bunch who undermine their own governments, train and harbor terrorists, routinely commit illegal acts and are a constant threat to not only to the region but to the world. He advocates the US Govt taking action against them. Before being proud of him, let us also get a sense of what he is really saying. It Seems really absurd … flouting all rules just to accommodate one person this seems disinformation, a person who is so hungry for fame as per the infamous BBM transcript. He was ready to fly to UK in couple of hours…not showing up on the 9th Jan ..Even uptil now he has not applied for his visa… this shows his lack of interest in pursuing this case. He and his attorney seem to just spreading confusion…

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