Husain Haqqani withdraws counsel, criticises top court over Memogate

Former ambassador says the Pakistani court system had 'lost its credibility'


Correspondent February 07, 2018
Former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Husain Haqqani, former ambassador to the United States, has instructed his advocate on record and counsel to withdraw from further Supreme Court proceedings in the Memogate case, saying “these have no relevance in the eyes of the world at a time when the standing of Pakistan’s politicised judiciary is at its lowest”.

Haqqani said he had “no expectation of justice or fairplay from the Pakistani establishment, of which the Supreme Court is an integral part” and described renewal of the Memogate case after a hiatus of six tears as “an attempt to revive propaganda against me in anticipation of my forthcoming book ‘Reimagining Pakistan".

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“For over six years, no criminal charges have been filed or trial initiated against me because I committed no crime,” the former envoy declared, adding, “Indeed, the Supreme Court has yet to say what if any crime was committed and why it continues to act as court of first instance instead of serving as court of final appeal.”

According to Haqqani, “The Supreme Court shelved the original proceedings because of the embarrassing lacunae in its judgment. These include:  such as appointing an Inquiry Commission even though the Inquiry Commission Act 1956 authorizes the executive, not the judiciary, to appoint such commissions; appointing High Court judges to the Commission even though the law expressly states that High Court judges cannot comprise such a Commission; Giving directions to the High Court, which the Supreme Court cannot do under the Constitution; and appointing the Commission under Order XXXVI of the Supreme Court Rules which had been repealed in 2003.”

The ex-ambassador insisted that the case had “been resuscitated to generate headlines in the Pakistani media just as the original case was filed for media noise. It does not have any legal foundation as the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and many others pointed out when it was initiated.”

“These politically motivated proceedings will not detract me from my writing and speaking out for much needed reforms of Pakistan’s foreign and domestic policies,” he added.

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He pointed out that “Many Pakistanis and the rest of the world already know that I have been targeted for pointing out the incongruence in the world’s sixth largest nuclear weapons power, Pakistan, being home to one of the world’s largest out-of-school population and lagging behind in almost all human development indicators.”

The former diplomat said the Pakistani court system had “lost its credibility” and that the rest of the world holds Pakistan’s judges “in low esteem”.

“Whatever the court says or does will have no effect outside the propaganda bubble that has been created inside Pakistan,” Haqqani concluded, suggesting that “the judges should clear the backlog of hundreds of thousands pending cases and dispense justice to hapless Pakistanis according to the law and the constitution” instead of wasting time on Memogate again.

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