Memogate case: Citizen’s letter prompts notices to president, ISI chief

Published: December 18, 2011
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has also been issued notice on a letter  which has been converted into a petition. PHOTO: PPI/FILE

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has also been issued notice on a letter which has been converted into a petition. PHOTO: PPI/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Saturday allowed a ‘concerned citizen’ to become a party to the memogate case, in a development that is likely to give a new dimension to its hearings.

Fresh notices were subsequently issued to the respondents, which include President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Ahmed Shuja Pasha and former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.

Shafqatullah Sohail, a Pakistani residing in Canada, has been made party to the case after Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry converted a letter written by him into a human rights petition.

In a letter to the chief justice, Sohail argued that the government was out to sell national interest and posed a grave security risk to every citizen if the controversial memo’s contents were proved true. It would, he contended, mean that the government was least concerned about the interest of its own people and, instead, upheld “the interest of other nations or enemies of Pakistan.”

“This is an anti-state act. How come a person involved in this matter sits in a key office of the country and continues as the supreme commander of the Pakistani forces,” Sohail wrote. “Our national security is at stake now and politicians are just making fun of each other by asking so-called committees to probe the memogate affair,” the letter said.

“The committees will delay the outcome rather than (doing) justice,” the letter further said. Sohail said he feared for the life of his family members because he felt that the government could invite “enemies to kill us”.

James Jones’ testimony

The Supreme Court also placed on its record the testimony of Gen (retd) James Logan Jones, former US national security adviser. Jones said he was submitting his affidavit on the request of former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani.

Jones, who claims he handed the memo to the then-chairman joint chief of staff Admiral Michael Mullen, said he believed the memo was not credible and that Haqqani had nothing to do with it.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Nadir
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:12PM

    Wow! Now our Supreme Court moves into overdrive on the basis of a letter. I guess a letter that paints Zardari badly moves them into action, while all those letters written on behalf of missing persons hasnt led to anything. Where exactly in the letter did it i”nvite our enemies to kill us”. Is America now a declared enemy? If so Mansoor Ijaz is an American citizen and this whole episode is because of him! Amazing how the presumption of guilt is enough. This entire letter is based on circumstantial “ifs”.


  • Ali Tanoli
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:16PM

    Great work shafaq ullah may god bless u.


  • Ahmad
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:17PM

    Will Kamran Shafi’s letter also be converted into a petition?


  • rafiq
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:21PM

    It is ridiculous….


  • rafiq
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:23PM

    It is ridiculous,,


  • Imran
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:30PM

    Now PCO Judges take up a request of a Canadian Citizen following an American Citizen. How about listening to the Pakistani common citizens as well.


  • Much Amused
    Dec 17, 2011 - 8:45PM

    Same old tamasha


  • Anti-Truth
    Dec 17, 2011 - 9:23PM


    Law is silent when it comes to listen common people cases.


  • amjid
    Dec 17, 2011 - 9:32PM

    Baber awan did pres conference that Supreme court is not authorized to hear this petition. Now matter is clear, this memo is violation of basic human right of citizen of Pakistan. As security of live and property is basic human right and through this memo , Govt is denying that basic right.


  • khurshid
    Dec 17, 2011 - 9:34PM

    The Honourable Court is making a joke of itself. How can a letter reflecting an almost juvenile level of maturity, dripping with emotional overdrive and superficial nationalism be taken so seriously by such an august body? Is this the level of their judicial and intellectual acumen? Or is the court now clutching at straws, in the aftermath of Gen. Jones’s affadavit? Sad, very sad.


  • Khan
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:03PM

    Only if the government had acted more seriously on Supreme Court’s previous notifications.Recommend

  • Amir
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:04PM

    Judges are on adventurism. Let see how far they go. If they want to do something for the nation then pls do justice with our any fear and pressure. Also try to do some actions against anti government/Terrorist/Extremist parties. thanks.


  • Jawano
    Dec 17, 2011 - 10:38PM

    This is a serious matter and needs to be take very very seriously!
    The letter should be taken absolutely seriously . . . .someone has to speak out!


  • Max
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:16PM

    When will Pakistan get over such a type of nonsense and when will the apex court act like a court and not as mama jee ke kutchery?


  • asma@london
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:26PM

    The petitioner living in Canada should first emigrate to Pakistan and only then can he show his concern about Pakistanis!!!


  • Pakistani
    Dec 17, 2011 - 11:32PM

    I have exactly the same concerns as Shafqat! Thanks supreme court!!

    INSHALLAH we will overcome our problems!


  • JJ
    Dec 18, 2011 - 12:31AM

    No need to railroad this serious matter. Accountability is the need of the hour and Pakistan’s SC needs to stand tall and address this for the sake of the Nation!


  • Umer
    Dec 18, 2011 - 12:56AM

    “My family members are in Army and all
    family members are in Pakistan so I
    feel insecure from this government as
    they can invite our enemies to kill
    us,” the letter stated.

    Is SC serious to take such dramatic letters? This is very fishy. Some game is probably going on underhand.


  • HollyCow
    Dec 18, 2011 - 2:41AM

    This is absolutely no way to run a railroad. The SC should be the final arbitter of constitutional issues. Does any SC anywhere else in the world act like this? Interpret the constitution if our sorry country has one. That’s your job regardless
    of how corrupt and inept our politicians appear to be. Recommend

  • Umer
    Dec 18, 2011 - 3:13AM

    Normally courts dismiss such petitions on ground that petitioner is not a directly effected party but not in this case. Hmmm. What’s going on?


  • Mubz
    Dec 18, 2011 - 4:53AM

    “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest”


  • Tariq Bashir
    Dec 18, 2011 - 4:57AM

    This is dangerous, self-distructive and ridiculous decision. At a time, when the country needs sanity from these wisemen, they propose absolutely opposite.
    Tariq Bashir


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Dec 18, 2011 - 5:45AM

    “My family members are in Army and all
    family members are in Pakistan so I
    feel insecure from this government as
    they can invite our enemies to kill
    us,” the letter stated.

    I think this idiot mistakingly sent this sponsorship letter to supreme court of Pakistan, instead of Supreme Court of Canada.


  • Usman
    Dec 18, 2011 - 7:31AM

    Illogical and absurd analysis on your behalf


  • AA
    Dec 18, 2011 - 8:19AM

    Politicians are always made fun of, all over the world, but Supreme Courts are not. However, with actions like these, I’m afraid, there won’t be any distinction left between politicians and Supreme Court.


  • Dec 18, 2011 - 10:02AM

    it is a serious issue that our enovoys do such nonsense things……it shows they are not commeted to pakistan haqani and all concern peoples regarding memo should brought into justice and plz the apex court should decide who is responsible for the violation of national soverngnty and integrity of nation and try to demoral the pak armayRecommend

  • Mirza
    Dec 18, 2011 - 11:19AM

    One only wishes that some Baloch were US or Canadian citizens so the SC would hop to their simple application like a lower trial court. We have no problems at home that is why we are entertaining all memos and letters from Norht America especially if they are against the elected govt and for blind support of Army rule.


  • Ishrat Salim
    Dec 18, 2011 - 3:55PM

    Let us not become a judge, prosecutor & an executioner…..let the law takes its course….let us play cool & not involve ourselves in further controversy…we hv already proved ourselves as an ” emotional nation “….let us prove it wrong for once to think with an open mind & not heart….

    I wud request the SC to refrain us all to discuss this issue as it is subjudice as further controversial discussions might influence its outcome…..Recommend

  • Mr. Honest
    Dec 18, 2011 - 6:38PM

    This is a very serious issue. Let the court investigate and decide. Why are they so afraid of this issue being investigated in the supreme court if they are innocent anyway???

    Anyone is innocent until proven guilty and convicted in a court of law, so the govt. should fully cooperate with supreme court instead of telling them that this issue is out of the supreme courts jurisdiction. By objecting to court they are also opening the way for military.


  • Dec 20, 2011 - 2:49AM

    What would be done if several letters came in from abroad that their relatives were in the PPP and felt unsafe while Iftikhar Chaudhry was the Chief Justice?


  • Dec 20, 2011 - 2:52AM

    @Mr. Honest: Agreed that the maxim of law is that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. When was Mr. Husain Haqqani found guilty that the Supreme Court put him on the ECL?


  • Shafqat
    Dec 31, 2011 - 12:11AM

    @Ch Allah Daad:
    May Allah give you guys courage also to stand up on your own issues. A person sitting thousand miles away is raising your voice but you guys are sitting in drawing rooms watching shows. May Allah bless you.


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