ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has constituted a nine-member larger bench to hear a constitutional petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, seeking a probe into the Memogate scandal.
The petition, which was admitted for regular hearing in the SC on Monday, will be heard on December 1 after PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif filed an application in the court early on Tuesday to request the CJP to expedite the hearing of this petition. In the application, Nawaz pointed out that since the filing of his petition, Pakistan’s sovereignty was blatantly violated again on November 26 when Nato attacked a Pakistani check-post along the Afghan border and killed 24 Pakistani troops.
The special bench includes the CJP himself, Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Tariq Parvez, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
Identical petitions, filed by Watan Party, Advocate Tariq Asad and Senator Ishaq Dar, have also been clubbed with Nawaz’s petition and notices issued to the counsels of petitioners and the attorney-general of Pakistan.
Anyone found associated with the contentious memorandum should be charged with high treason, Nawaz said, questioning that if there really was no truth to Ijaz’s claims, why hadn’t a defamation suit been filed against The Financial Times newspaper which had broken the news.
Petition against NATO attack
As Pakistan ratcheted up pressure on the US over the Nato strike, chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Maulana Samiul Haq filed a writ petition in the SC seeking the publication of all secret agreements between the Pakistani government, the US, Nato and Isaf.
Haq has filed the petition under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution as chairman of the Pakistan Defence Council.
He has sought that the SC order the government to provide the agreements to the electronic and print media, including the one in which the government allowed the use of Shamsi Airbase to the US.
In this petition, he has requested the court to restrain the government from allowing any space, area, land or territory to any other state’s armed forces for operating in Pakistan or any other country. If it is inevitable, he says, the parliament should formulate a policy for providing Pakistan’s territory for the purpose.
The petition names 13 respondents, including the president’s secretary, the prime minister’s principal secretary, foreign secretary, defence secretary, interior secretary, secretaries of all provincial governors and the chief secretaries of all provinces.
Interestingly, Haq who was known as the ‘father of the Taliban’ during the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, met an American diplomat in Islamabad soon after moving the SC, sources told The Express Tribune. However, it is unclear what transpired in the meeting and a spokesman for Haq said he was not aware of any such meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
Memo gate is the media hype and it has no significance importance. The matter is already in the Supreme Court and the nation would wait for the verdict to come from the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, I would request to all my Pakistani brothers and sisters who are working directly or indirectly not to give any more importance to Mansoor Ijaz and should not publish or telecast his interviews in print and electronic media, as we have other problems of national importance to highlight and not just one scandal. Hussain Haqqani is a Pakistani National. We should give preference to Hussain Haqqani and not to Mansoor Ijaz, as Mansoor Ijaz is an American National, a country who deliberately killed 24 of our army jawans at Mehmand Agency. Be Pakistani first and you will be respected by all nations.
Memogate scandal doesn’t seem very impartial by the Supreme Court. Where is justice for the average Pakistani? Why do these politicians get preference for non issues? Does any one remember when Nawaz Sharif ran off to Washington to see Clinton about the Pak Army over Kargil ! Why Nawaz Sharif was charged for treason? When Musharraf succumbed before US pressure, was it not a treason, why he was not charged? I fear only patriots exist in punjab. If such a situation exists then we should held plebiscite that whether Pakistan should exist or provinces should secede. I am forced to say just because Punjab never learnt any lesson from Dhaka. Benazir was a security risk? Balouchs and ANP leaders are security risk? Now Zardari is a security risk? Mian Sahib is out with tooth and nails against memogate scandal. He should first present himself for trial.
As usual both SC and LHC pounced on the opportunity to take up this case. As if both the LHC and SC have nothing to do with the cases that have bee languishing for decades. Speaking of LHC, is it the only HC where all decisions against the leader of PPP are historically made. There is no other HC in the country? What is the use of having all the lower courts if LHC and SC act as trial courts? Why is SC no doing anything on Asghar Khan’s and other cases for decades? The NRO gave relief to thousands of people from every province. However, we only hear about the cases against PPP and not others who are even involved in murders? The assemblies are supreme and they are already investigating the memo case. Why are LHC and SC so interested to torpedo that? Why there is no rush in Abbottabad case? Was a piece of paper worse than keeping OBL for over 5 years in an army base and the nation was kept in the dark?
This is a waste of the Supreme Court's precious time. Also, the Supreme Court is allowing itself to be dragged into a controversy that has been needlessly politicized, especially by those considering the quickest route to power. Regarding the issue of merit, it is not only the present government that is guilty of appointing people without sufficient credentials to prized posts. That has been the practice by every government and political party since time immemorial. People with fake or no degrees even become "honorable" senators and members of parliament. The same practice afflicts the bureaucracy.