ISLAMABAD: While raising objections over the written reply submitted by former Pakistani ambassador to the US in the Memogate scam, the Supreme Court on Monday returned his application saying it did not bear the signature of Husain Haqqani, before directing all respondents of the Memogate scandal to appear before the court on July 12.
In pursuance a court order, Haqqani had submitted a reply through his counsel Asma Jehangir. In it Haqqani declined his role in authoring and or authorising the disputed memo sent by Mansoor Ijaz through Gen (retired) James Jones to then Chairman Joints Chief Of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, adding that no evidence has been presented nor that which recorded by the Commission which establishes his role in the memo, and criticised the commission for acting as a trial court.
The Supreme Court had earlier formed a commission comprising chief justices of three high courts to probe the scandal. The commission investigated the matter over six months including conducting forensic tests of Mansoor Ijaz’s BlackBerry phone. It came to the conclusion that Haqqani was guilty.
However, in his reply, Haqqani criticised the commission’s findings and its role in investigation, arguing that the memo posed no tangible threat to Pakistan’s security as claimed at the time Commission’s establishment to probe memo’s origin, authenticity and purpose. The former ambassador contended that the conclusion and process adopted by the Commission has made a mockery of fundamental rights that extended to protect the reputation of individuals and to ensure equal protection before the law guaranteeing due process.
Haqqani prayed before the Supreme Court to set aside the Commission’s report. “The report of the Commission be set aside and not be considered so that full justice is done and discrimination including persecution of the petitioner (Haqqani) be rectified,” Haqqani’s reply contested.
He stated that the Commission set up by the Supreme Court had gone beyond its terms of reference and moved into inquiries that are not even remotely connected to the terms of reference and simply used to persecute the petitioner (Haqqani) on the responses which were not probed deeply.
“For example without any evidence or suggestion by any witness, the Commission divulged into the secret funds of the embassy in Washington and incorrectly concluded that Haqqani has also objected to illicit funding of US$3 million to politicians by ISI but himself received three times that amount. Similarly that Haqqani criticised the Army Chief for not disclosing the utilisation of secret funds, but he made no disclosure.”
Haqqani pleaded that he does not make the policy of the government of Pakistan and thus has no hand in allocating funds to various department including Pakistani embassies as alleged in the Commission’s report.
He contended that the Commission has also conveniently glossed over the evidence of Ijaz where he categorically admitted that he drafted and sent the memo. “The dangerous assertions made by the witness Mansoor Ijaz in his testimony about Pakistan leadership and its armed forces has also been ignored as they strongly show the rash manner in which this witness make accusations,” Haqqani contended.
Haqqani alleged that the bias and grinding prejudice of the Commission is also reflected in several comments made against him, alleging his personal history was misquoted and the Commission questioned that that since he owned no property in Pakistan, how could he then be appointed as an ambassador to the US.
He maintained that the Commission went beyond its mandate in that it worked as an investigating agency which carried out a roving inquiry without any legal process in Pakistan. “Due process has totally been denied,” Haqqani contended.
The former ambassador added that the Commission presumed him guilty and expected from him to clear his name against the evidence of one man (Mansoor Ijaz) and on a testimony that has several contradictions. While, criticising the findings of the Commission, he said that it was created as fact finding probe as an inquisitorial body but instead it conducted proceedings in an adversarial manner. He said that the Commission has not made serious efforts to find facts in the matter and was content with seeking a statement from Ijaz and then demanding that Haqqani appear in person to refute the claims and assertions against him.
The written reply submitted by Husain Haqqani can be read here.
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