ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Wednesday reached consensus on backing the request of Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif to set up a parliamentary commission to investigate claims in an article written by former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani.
The piece was published in United States media.
"This article is directly related to our national security and the top two office bearers of the government at that time and needs to be investigated by a parliamentary commission," the minister had stated in the NA.
Haqqani admits role in US spy deployment in Pakistan
"Issues such as granting visas to US nationals from Washington and Dubai, the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden, and the killing of our people by US agents needs a threadbare and open probe in the presence of the national media so that such issues are settled once and for all," he added. In his statement in the House, the minister said the incidents mentioned in Haqqani's article are on record as he mentioned a statement of the then Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, and an article by former president Asif Ali Zardari.
"Not only this article, but also the issuance of visas and issue of unsuitable expenses totalling $6 million, for which no track was found, merit a proper investigation," the minister said. He said the matter is also serious in the context that Haqqani had hurled allegations against the two most important functionaries of the state.
"The same functionaries had owned Haqqani as Pakistan's ambassador to the US. Therefore, it is imperative to also investigate if there had been any linkages between these functionaries and Haqqani." He said the issues mentioned in his article haunt parliamentarians time and again as he also claimed that different happenings such as covert operations and the killing of innocent Pakistanis were also connected to former interior minister Rehman Malik.
PPP winces hard at Haqqani’s revelations
Asif said it was not for the first time that Haqqani had resorted to such an act. "The facts stated in his article were never denied by the PPPP leadership at the highest level. We think it is a breach of national security and needs to be investigated." Endorsing the demand of the defence minister, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah supported the constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Commission that should investigate Haqqani's article, Memogate, bin Laden's killing, and the connections of Pakistanis with him.
"Such an investigation will strengthen Parliament. Let us call a spade a spade and settle these issues once and for all," he added.
Husain Haqqani vs the Pakistani state
MQM's Sheikh Salahuddin and PTI's Shafqat Mahmood and Arif Alvi supported the demand for a Parliamentary Commission as well as an open investigation as they deemed the article to be a breach of national security.
The members also demanded probes into that issues such as Memogate, the Abbottabad Commission report, issuance of visas to US nationals, and unsuitable expenditure by Haqqani during his tenure as ambassador. Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi consented to the opinion of the House and asked political parties to start working on the ToRs of the commission so it could be announced and approved in the House through a motion.
PML-N leader urges SC to put Asif Zardari, Yousuf Raza Gilani's names on ECL
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Zafar Ali Shah has approached the Supreme Court seeking directions to the federal government to initiate high treason proceedings against Haqqani.
The petition was filed by Shah under Article 184 (3) of the constitution and calls for the registration of a treason case against Zardari, Gilani and Haqqani for violating their respective oaths.
The petitioner also stated that Haqqani was the main player in Memogate, which is still pending in the apex court. Further, he requested the SC to pass direction to the interior ministry for placing Zardari and Gilani's names on the ECL.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ