Memogate: Nawaz threatens to move SC if govt falls short

Published: November 20, 2011
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Hashmi demands resignation of president, prime minister; Petition requesting formation of judicial commission filed in SC. PHOTO: APP/ FILE

Hashmi demands resignation of president, prime minister; Petition requesting formation of judicial commission filed in SC. PHOTO: APP/ FILE

GOJAR KHAN/MULTAN: 

Pakistan Muslim League (PM-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on Saturday threatened to approach the Supreme Court if the government “tried to turn its back” on the issue of the secret memo.

“If there is not an impartial inquiry into this event with the satisfaction of the people of this country, we will definitely take it up in the Supreme Court,” Sharif said.

He said that his party would not allow the government to put the matter on the backburner and will follow the issue through to its natural conclusion.

Addressing a gathering in Gamti village in Gojar Khan, the PML-N chief added that his party will raise the matter in the National Assembly, and demanded that an inquiry committee be constituted to investigate it.

“The memo debacle will not be allowed to disappear. An inquiry must be completed in 10 days,” he said.

Sharif further said that had the government implemented the Charter of Democracy (CoD), issues like the memogate controversy would not have come forward.

The move comes in the aftermath of increasing pressure on the government following now retired chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s confirmation that he had received a memo asking for US assistance in reining in Pakistan’s powerful military and intelligence apparatus.

‘Zardari, PM should resign’

Meanwhile Senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi said that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani should resign “to save the democratic process in Pakistan”, citing the debacle of the secret memo.

During a press conference in Multan at his residence, the senior vice-president of the PML-N said that it would be the biggest blow to the democratic process of the country if the allegations circling the secret memo prove to be true.

Hashmi said that the president and prime minister are using Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, as a scapegoat in this incident.

“If the government has any complaints about the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the armed forces, they should be discussed in parliament. If they don’t want to discuss it in parliament then it is not their right to discuss these issues at external forums as these are our internal matters. Government should discuss them at their internal forums.”

However, he added that the ISI should avoid interfering in the democratic politics of the country. “The ISI should focus on defending Pakistan and take care of the security of the country. It’s not the duty of the ISI to run the politics of Pakistan and devise policies for political parties.”

‘PML-N will resign if no inquiry is held’

He threatened that the PML-N could resign if no inquiry is held regarding the memo issue.

“The government has never organised a proper inquiry commission in the past. They have made a mockery of commissions. People of Pakistan should be informed about everything and they should be taken into confidence about this memo,” asserted Hashmi.

“The rulers should accept their blunder otherwise some other power will force them to accept the blunder.”

SC petition

Meanwhile, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court requesting to constitute a judicial commission to investigate the authenticity of the secret memo.

The petition further asked that businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who allegedly delivered the president’s written message to Mullen through Haqqani, and Mullen be declared as persona non grata in Pakistan.

The petition is filed in the SC’s Lahore registry by Hashim Shaukat Khan, president of the Watan Party, and Barrister Zafar Ullah Khan. The petition names the federation of Pakistan, ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of law, justice and human rights, ministry of interior and Ambassador Haqqani as respondents. (Additional reporting by Rana Tanveer in Lahore)

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2011.

“If there is not an impartial inquiry into this event with the satisfaction of the people of this country, we will definitely take it up in the Supreme Court,” Sharif said.

He said that his party would not allow the government to put the matter on the backburner and will follow the issue through to its natural conclusion.

Addressing a gathering in Gamti village in Gojar Khan, the PML-N chief added that his party will raise the matter in the National Assembly, and demanded that an inquiry committee be constituted to investigate it.

“The memo debacle will not be allowed to disappear. An inquiry must be completed in 10 days,” he said.

Sharif further said that had the government implemented the Charter of Democracy (CoD), issues like the memogate controversy would not have come forward.

The move comes in the aftermath of increasing pressure on the government following now retired chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s confirmation that he had received a memo asking for US assistance in reining in Pakistan’s powerful military and intelligence apparatus.

‘Zardari, PM should resign’

Meanwhile Senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi said that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani should resign “to save the democratic process in Pakistan”, citing the debacle of the secret memo.

During a press conference in Multan at his residence, the senior vice-president of the PML-N said that it would be the biggest blow to the democratic process of the country if the allegations circling the secret memo prove to be true.

Hashmi said that the president and prime minister are using Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, as a scapegoat in this incident.

“If the government has any complaints about the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the armed forces, they should be discussed in parliament. If they don’t want to discuss it in parliament then it is not their right to discuss these issues at external forums as these are our internal matters. Government should discuss them at their internal forums.”

However, he added that the ISI should avoid interfering in the democratic politics of the country. “The ISI should focus on defending Pakistan and take care of the security of the country. It’s not the duty of the ISI to run the politics of Pakistan and devise policies for political parties.”

‘PML-N will resign if no inquiry is held’

He threatened that the PML-N could resign if no inquiry is held regarding the memo issue.

“The government has never organised a proper inquiry commission in the past. They have made a mockery of commissions. People of Pakistan should be informed about everything and they should be taken into confidence about this memo,” asserted Hashmi.

“The rulers should accept their blunder otherwise some other power will force them to accept the blunder.”

SC petition

Meanwhile, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court requesting to constitute a judicial commission to investigate the authenticity of the secret memo.

The petition further asked that businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who allegedly delivered the president’s written message to Mullen through Haqqani, and Mullen be declared as persona non grata in Pakistan.

The petition is filed in the SC’s Lahore registry by Hashim Shaukat Khan, president of the Watan Party, and Barrister Zafar Ullah Khan. The petition names the federation of Pakistan, ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of law, justice and human rights, ministry of interior and Ambassador Haqqani as respondents.

(Additional reporting by Rana Tanveer in Lahore)

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2011.

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