Memogate: Haqqani restates case for video conference testimony

Published: May 2, 2012

Husain Haqqani says demands of submitting information of the secret fund is utter disregard of national security, rules. PHOTO: FILE

Citing health reasons and ‘credible’ threats to his life, Pakistan’s former ambassador to US, Husain Haqqani has said that he could not immediately travel to Pakistan to present his testimony in person. He also restated his case for equality in being allowed to appear before the memo probe commission via video conference. A record of Secret Service Expenditure in a sealed envelope was also submitted.

In a written statement issued by Haqqani on the eve of the Judicial Commission resuming its proceedings after a weeklong recess, Haqqani restated his arguments that he was undergoing treatment at the Advanced Cardiology Centre in Washington. And that his health did not allow him to undertake long, exacting flights, such as the one from Washington to Pakistan.

He added that apart from his health, he also faced threats against his life, a fear which Haqqani said has been communicated to the Attorney General of Pakistan. “I informed the respected Attorney General of Pakistan about threats to my person emanating from Pakistan through an email, while the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is also conducting an inquiry into such threats,” he said.

The former ambassador further claimed that he had written a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, who had subsequently submitted it to the judicial commission.”

Explaining his reasons for not coming to Pakistan, Haqqani stated that the stress of travelling along with the strain on his health was compounded by the threat he faced. In such circumstances, he argued, a visit to Pakistan would seriously impact his health adversely. Additionally he faces the threat of assassination, or at least physical harm.

The court had earlier rejected Haqqani’s arguments that he faced ‘credible’ threat to his life, and request for video conferencing as equal treatment.

Equal treatment

Haqqani, who has been calling for equal treatment, restated his case for being allowed to record his testimony via video conference.

The former ambassador’s initial request had been rejected by the commission. Haqqani had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, requesting that he should be allowed to present his testimony via a video link, a facility extended to Mansoor Ijaz, the chief proponent of the case. The Supreme Court, however, referred the petition to the commission probing the matter. On April 26, the commission headed by Justice Faez Issa rejected the petition, directing Haqqani to honour his undertaking for leaving the country and appear before the bench.

In his reply, due to be submitted to the commission on Thursday, Haqqani contended that the commission had “altered the circumstances under which that undertaking [to appear before the court on four days notice] was given by allowing Mansoor Ijaz to record his statement by video conference several days after the Supreme Court’s order of January 30.”

The former ambassador went on to say that if the commission had made it clear that such an option would be made available to Mansoor Ijaz while seeking extension of its mandate on January 30, 2012, I would not have given the undertaking and would have sought equal treatment right then.”

Haqqani submits secret fund, property details

Following the Judicial Commission’s order to submit details of the properties owned by the former ambassador in the US and utilisation of the secret fund made available to him as the ambassador of Pakistan to the US, Haqqani submitted the relevant details, the latter of which in a sealed envelope.

Haqqani said that he owned a single flat in Washington, which he had procured along with his wife on mortgage in 2004, when he worked as a professor at the Boston University. He added that this remained the sole property he had procured in the United States, and no assets were procured during his time as Pakistan’s envoy.

He also submitted information relating to the use of Secret Service Expenditure in a sealed envelope. However, Haqqani termed it a frivolous demand of the counsel for garnering media attention. He added that the demand carried utter disregard of its implications for the conduct of Pakistan’s foreign relations, national security and the Secret Service Expenditure rules.

The full statement can be read here.

Reader Comments (12)

  • Umer
    May 2, 2012 - 10:38PM

    Haqani should not be given the video link option as it may give the impression that commission is somewhat fair.

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    May 2, 2012 - 10:58PM

    There is incontrovertible / irrefutable evidence against this man.Must be punished & also those who removed his from ECL & let him leave the country should explain.

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  • Much Amused
    May 2, 2012 - 11:06PM

    The commission should call his bluff and let him testify via video link. After which he should be charged with contempt for giving false assurance that he will appear in person within four days of being called by the commission.

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  • Seema
    May 2, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Umer LOLs nice comment.

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  • Umer
    May 3, 2012 - 12:01AM

    @k. Salim Jahangir:

    Must be punished & also those who
    removed his from ECL & let him leave
    the country should explain.

    That would be CJ of SC.

    Mansoor Ijaz even bragged that it was he who told CJ to let Haqani go to give him excuse not to come over to Pakistan too. Somehow this statement of his did not register as contempt of court.

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  • Mirza
    May 3, 2012 - 12:39AM

    @Umer:
    Good comment, it made me chuckle. Why should the commission treat our citizen equal to the enemy of Pakistan now? Mansoor Ijaz is the only witness for the courts who have appointed MI ans their chief prosecutor as well. Sorry the PCO judges could not find a bigger and more open enemy of Pakistan and Army than MI. This case has as much merit as the manufacturing drugs charges against the PM’s son. How many man-hours and money would the SC judges and three HC CJ take to decide one case based upon just one witness and one unsigned memo?
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • Feroze
    May 3, 2012 - 12:47AM

    What joke this whole affair has become! Waste of time, waste of resources and a lot of money. If u let Ejaz testify by video link, let HH do the same. Then, write your report and be done with this whole sordid affair.

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  • Uza Syed
    May 3, 2012 - 1:52AM

    It is shame that a man of Ambassador Haqqani is treated so shabily right here where he should be celebrated as a great son of Pakistan. Ambassador Haqqani is respected internationally for his scholarship and standing in international relations and affairs and we must be proud of our man. What a shame that we don’t want to treat him at par even with a foreigner of Manoor Ijaz’s repute and standing.

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  • Mirza
    May 3, 2012 - 2:17AM

    @Feroze:
    Sir with due respect, if the court treat MI and HH equal, then it would be called equality and justice! The rich American double agent and open enemy of Pakistan and army is much better than HH, who after May 2, shamelessly supported Paksitan and army against all odds in the US.
    Thanks and regards,
    Mirza

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  • May 3, 2012 - 3:08AM

    Memo gate issue is a dead horse, the parties involved have settled this matter. It seems that no one except the judicial commission is interested in this matter. I hope that the commission will soon wind up this matter to stop any further wastage of resources.Recommend

  • Saghir
    May 3, 2012 - 8:08AM

    Hussain Haqqani is a Pakistani citizen and a member of peoples party. When he was in Pakistan he was staying in PM house in Islamabad and protected by the govt. Why is he not coming to Pakistan as a guest of Government. He is more safe in Pakistan than outside.

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  • Naveed
    May 5, 2012 - 10:08PM

    The memo case is two words story, the pot calling the kettle black. What is the past of Mansoor Ijaz? A person ,anti-Pakistan, anti-military and anti- nation? No one is ready to think what are the motives of Mansoor Ijaz, why suddenly he turned to a sympathizer of Pakistan? What is his credibility? He is the man of Islamabad or Washington? I am sorry but I must say that we are damn fool that we believe in a person who is American and do not ready to hear what our own ambassador saying. Pakistanis are no so naïve now they knew who is behind all this drama.

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