Former Pakistan ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani has contended that he might be killed on his return to Pakistan as he was painted as a criminal in the eyes of the general public.
In a letter to his counsel Asma Jahangir, submitted before the Supreme Court, he wrote: “There is no guarantee that I will not be killed by one of the many sources of threat to my life in Pakistan.”
Haqqani added that these include the operatives of several intelligence services with which sole accuser Mansoor Ijaz claims to have relations; extremists and terrorists who claim to have monopoly over being true Muslims and Pakistanis; commentators and commission members “questioning my loyalty to Pakistan” and members of the permanent state apparatus “who may have played a role in my ouster from the office of ambassador”.
He said his demonisation started when the Supreme Court, in its earlier order, barred him from travelling abroad after hearing petitions from politicians of a particular party.
Jahangir submitted the letter before a nine-judge larger bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan that resumed hearing of the memo commission report. Haqqani further complained that the media also painted him as a traitor, Pakistan’s Benedict Arnold and disloyal to Pakistan state.
During Thursday’s proceedings, Jahangir apprised the bench that there were cogent and explicit reasons for her client’s non-appearance. She said he had certain apprehensions. To the bench’s query, she replied that she had contacted authorities in Pakistan for security of his client but has not received any response yet.
The bench observed that Haqqani was already represented by a senior lawyer and for non-appearance the set procedure should be adopted. The bench granted time to Jahangir to submit within three days reasons for non-appearance of her client after overruling an objection of Barrister Zafarullah, one of the petitioners seeking Haqqani’s appearance before the bench. Haqqani was also allowed to submit a reply over the memo commission report within five days. The court asked Haqqani’s counsel that if she wanted to seek a review of the court’s earlier order regarding Haqqani, then she should file an application.
In his letter, Haqqani stated: Given the current mood and environment in the country, where individuals were burned alive on unproved charges of blasphemy and ethnic, political and sectarian killings are going unnoticed, “it is unreasonable to pressure me to return to respond to a political accusation”.
He further added that Pakisan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman, Imran Khan and Chief of Pakistan Awami League Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed had also publicly called him a traitor despite the fact that he has not been charged, tried or convicted of any crime under law.
Haqqani said that former governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer was also killed by one of his guards because of the false propaganda against him and under an orchestrated media trial.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.
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