President Zardari had chosen not to submit reply in Memogate case: CJ

Published: December 27, 2011
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Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says court asked Zardari to submit his reply but he had 'chosen not to'. PHOTO: AFP

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says court asked Zardari to submit his reply but he had 'chosen not to'. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while hearing the Memogate case on Tuesday, said that the Supreme Court had asked President Asif Ali Zardari to submit his reply in the memogate scandal, but he had ‘chosen not to‘.

Presiding over a nine-member bench, the chief justice said that maybe President Zardari had his own reasons.

Attorney general argued that the court should not hear the petitions because the question of enforcement of fundamental rights was not involved as required under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

Attorney General of Supreme Court Maulvi Anwarul Haq said that the memorandum was just a “piece of paper” and does not hold any more value than that. Chief justice questioned Haq that if it was just a piece of paper, then why former Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani had to resign and why did Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani make a parliamentary committee to probe into the matter.

The chief justice said that the Memogate probe should be continued in order to clear out ambiguities.

The attorney general told the court that the memo scandal is a political matter and should be looked into in the same way. He also said that the government was not interested in solving the Memogate issue.

Haqqani’s counsel Asma Jehangir said that her client is only alleged to have been involved in the case so far and asked the court to see if the petitioner is using the matter for his own benefit.

The chief justice said that the probe will continue until the person behind the scandal is convicted.

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Reader Comments (48)

  • Paki-Australian
    Dec 27, 2011 - 1:12PM

    With due respect to SC, I wonder of SC has a constitutional right to probe this matter?

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  • Khan Saab
    Dec 27, 2011 - 1:31PM

    Is Chief Justice a party or a judge?

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  • KM
    Dec 27, 2011 - 1:34PM

    Imagine this becoming a joke at the hightest levels in our country. Sincerely hope that thorough investigations are done to unearth the real drama, even it it is a mere piece of paper.

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  • rsk
    Dec 27, 2011 - 1:49PM

    I think SC is overstepping its constitutional rights. Let the Government investigate first. Let that investigation if need be then challeged in court. What is the ulterior motive of CJP in this case ?.

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  • Concerned
    Dec 27, 2011 - 1:53PM

    I am no fan of PPP, never voted for them but one clearly can see SC as a party here. Why can’t they announce the verdict on Tehrik-e-Istaqlal case against Sharif?
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  • Kafka
    Dec 27, 2011 - 2:02PM

    The Government clearly thinks the SC to be unworthy of its reply. In other words, it is clearly accepting the fact that it approached the US for protection.Recommend

  • Ghareeb Adami
    Dec 27, 2011 - 2:03PM

    Yes. By all means. This is the question of fundamental rights of every citizen of Pakistan.

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  • Ghareeb Adami
    Dec 27, 2011 - 2:03PM

    He is also a Pakistani.Recommend

  • Ghareeb Adami
    Dec 27, 2011 - 2:06PM

    When Government itself is involved, SC is the right institution to probe into. We should be interested to know who did it and why? This is only SC who can do it honestly. Just wait.

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  • Ghareeb Adami
    Dec 27, 2011 - 2:07PM

    Each case has a priority to be decided by the SC. .

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  • Farooq
    Dec 27, 2011 - 2:11PM

    The govt says that it is a piece of paper . So constitution is also a piece of paper then why people follow the rules of constitution .

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  • saleem ullah
    Dec 27, 2011 - 2:14PM

    For God sake’ all the stake holders, just finish it away. Is there not any serious matter to be tackled with other than the Memogate.

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  • wadi
    Dec 27, 2011 - 2:44PM

    suprem court is not a party ,it considers itself law and above the law
    trying to investigate a piece of paper by nine judges is mockery of justice and their comments are always derogatory to th e government ,,if there was no govt mr justice would have been collecting his pension by now
    if at least 30 percent people consider judiciar unfair then thre is a problem

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  • Dec 27, 2011 - 2:46PM

    Memogate is a scandle.It is a duoble game played by Zardari to shift the blame on military for troubled relationship with USA.It has been exposed now off course SC should investigate the matter until the truth is found.

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  • Munir Ahmad Saeed
    Dec 27, 2011 - 3:01PM

    Supreme court can take up Any issue which is of public interest, memo gate being an issue of national security is a matter of extreme public interest. Particularly when some one from the public has approached the supreme court with a request to probe the issue. Therefore supreme court has every right to investigate the issue. Only naive will think otherwise@Paki-Australian:

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  • joker in- the-circus
    Dec 27, 2011 - 3:06PM

    The world is so amused at the games all institutions in pakistan play, just to derail one or the other. truly the story of the pakistani crabs. they dont need mending, as they will claw down any one who tries to climb out of the container.
    SC has nothing better to do than pursue a non existant memo which is lying around in New York/pentagon and can never be accessed. nor can they question the notorious american pakistani Ijaz, nor question retired US generals. What a waste of good time and money. But whats new in the Pakistani Theatre of the Absurd.
    2011 has been a bad year. hopefully 2012 will make leaders more sober and sanerRecommend

  • omg
    Dec 27, 2011 - 3:28PM

    @saleem ullah
    it is a v serious matter. it is the matter that tells you who was allowing foreign force against us.

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  • Imran
    Dec 27, 2011 - 3:52PM

    @Iftikikhar:
    A twisted logic. Asking a country with troubled relationship for help, sounds extremely ridiculous. More ironic is that our honorable judges are buying that crap.

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  • Lobster
    Dec 27, 2011 - 3:55PM

    If SC indulges in such non-issues, it will only loose its respect.

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  • Beatle
    Dec 27, 2011 - 4:07PM

    @Khan Saab:
    Clealy, it seams to be the earlier one.

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  • Bilal
    Dec 27, 2011 - 5:06PM

    I wonder why we don’t this as a real serious issue.

    Some one has written that memo and if that person holds a public office in , he should be punished. If nothing of this sort has been written then this should be closed once for and all.

    Transparent investigation are must.

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  • shahid majeed
    Dec 27, 2011 - 5:25PM

    The govt could fight this case very bravely if the haqqani was not asked to resign. His resignation certainly strengthen the apprehensions behind the scene so needs probe by any independent forum.Probe also lend credence by supreme court as Govt’s security committe would never embarass president Zardari. American martyrd our 24 jawans and could we rely on the investigation conducted by the USA.

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  • kilo
    Dec 27, 2011 - 5:26PM

    we are all flabergasted..new judicial history is being written for the benefit of posterity and whole humanity..nine member bench solemnly pondering to get to the bottom of memo issue..it will surely be great to see what their lordships finally come out with

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  • Romm
    Dec 27, 2011 - 5:36PM

    I am not a constitutionalist but i am asking the ppl supporting Zardari, if he has the right to ask USA for help specially in matters pertaining to Nuclear Devices/Strategic reserves. Can balackberry messages be forged?Recommend

  • wadi
    Dec 27, 2011 - 5:48PM

    @ mr romm .for your information president has no controle over Nuclear assets and he would not have surrvived one day if assuming America listened to his memo and conquered Pakistan army and given to zardari .people like you have hate but no logic

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  • Cautious
    Dec 27, 2011 - 6:16PM

    Zardari’s response to the SC was poorly written and he should/could have come up with a better explanation.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Dec 27, 2011 - 7:09PM

    Memo-Bomb is about to explode in Pakistan . It has been planted by some enemy of Pakistan with a hope that the issue will shake the present govt . But the fact is that nothing is going to happen . The term of Pasha and Kayany is in the hand of govt..They will keep quite too. Asma will enjoy the case becouse she is now at the fulcrum of the case .And she will also remain calm and quite to save the inteterst of her client .

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Dec 27, 2011 - 7:44PM

    Memo scandal has been created so that misunderstanding should develop between civil-military bureaucracy and political unrest.

    Like Shamshi Airbase, we need to develop consensus among different institutions that in case if any other Tom, Dick and Harry from a foreign country start claiming about some thing, we should not become hyper and start alleging each other.

    Masoor Ehaz is not an angle.

    We need to develop harmony among different ranks and tiers, so that similar situation does not arise in future. Recommend

  • The Truth
    Dec 27, 2011 - 7:50PM

    The concept of one government approaching another allied government for advice or assistance is nothing new, it has existed for as long as countries have existed. Putting all of your opinions about what kind of ally America is, the fact remains that both Governments have friendly relations with each other, have trade agreements and an aid relationship, that makes them allies. As for why Haqqani quit, the ambassador serves at the pleasure of the PM, the fact that he was replaced is in no way an indication of guilt or innocence. Guilt or innocence is first based on the idea that a crime was committed. Crimes are determined by facts. As for the Supreme Court’s involvement, as an earlier commentator said, its a mockery of the justice system. The role of the supreme court is to ensure that law’s passed by parliament and signed by the President are consistent with the Pakistani Constitution. Take a moment to read some of the SC judgements and you will see that they frequently quote from cases from the US supreme court.

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  • sunny
    Dec 27, 2011 - 7:51PM

    Memo-gate scandal is a matter of Pakistan’s security. it involves two most supreme institutions of the country, the President House and the Military. whoever hatched this conspiracy should be exposed and if possible given an examplery punishment. SC is on right course as it is the only impartial institution which can look into this matter.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Dec 27, 2011 - 8:31PM

    Every one is right on his or her part . The position of SC will be critical .Nine member bench has got the responce .,,,,,,,,?

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  • Clarification
    Dec 27, 2011 - 8:51PM

    The People know that this government is not to be trusted and also has a conflict of interest here. If it is guilty in the memogate affair, they will never expose themselves. therefore, the SC has to be relied upon to direct parties to get to the truth of the matter.
    Other cases will eventually be reviewed (including ZAB) by the SC but the priority has to be to deal with those cases which have the most and immediate detrimental impact on the nation’s wellbeing.Recommend

  • Haris Javed
    Dec 27, 2011 - 8:59PM

    Thumbs up for CJ.. please ensure complete investigation!!!

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  • Imran
    Dec 27, 2011 - 9:42PM

    If the bias and independence are to be commented only on partisan grounds, there is something wrong somewhere. Justice has to be transparent without political, religious, racial, and national grounds strictly in the light of constitution.

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  • salman
    Dec 27, 2011 - 10:18PM

    This matter is really serious, and every one who is involved should be held accountable.

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  • Amir
    Dec 27, 2011 - 10:32PM

    He is above the law!!!!!
    Untoucable!!!

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  • Imran
    Dec 27, 2011 - 10:50PM

    Hes the chief justice of your country. Surely if the security of the nation is under threat then the leading judge has a moral duty to investigate this if he is asked to do so by the most senior army official in ur country. A constitution is a guidebook for a nation but sometimes common sense should prevail. The UK doesnt even have a written constitution! Its still managed to run the affairs of its country pretty well.

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  • Azim
    Dec 28, 2011 - 12:07AM

    Nothing to worry if investigations find that ‘memo has no ground or actually just a piece of paper’ but just think what our leader have asked and promised US for if this memo is a real… I am surprised to see that many feel SC is over-stepping its jurisdiction, please remember it is our right as nationals to find the truth … is that too much to ask? so let SC find out fact….and if there is nothing to it then no one should see that as a problem.

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  • Wajid Ahmed
    Dec 28, 2011 - 1:28AM

    If SC finds that Memogate scandal was fake then? can sc convict Mansoor Ijaz?

    This is not sc’s headache to probe in these kind of political matters. But sc is doing this to

    facilitate Nawz Bros.

    There are cleare evidences of unfair judgements in courts why sc is not looking for these

    matters? sc only keeps his eye on PPP.Recommend

  • naeem
    Dec 28, 2011 - 2:52AM

    He is now blaming the SC for not solving the Benzair Bhutto case.
    Zardari has been President for 4 years why has his governament not brought the evidence infront of the SC to solve this case.
    The reason being is that Zardari does not want to solve this case.
    He wants to use it like today to get sympathy and deflect from cases being brought against him.
    He and his son are not Bhuttos. they are Zardaris.
    Why has Zardari given his son the name of Bhutto?
    Only in Jewish religion does the son take the name of his mothers father.
    Is Bilwal Zardari a JEW?Recommend

  • Salman
    Dec 28, 2011 - 5:52AM

    Govt had a chance to investigate BB’s death. They chose not to. SC has every right to take a lead to find traitors hiding behind corrupt parliament

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  • MarkH
    Dec 28, 2011 - 7:15AM

    The memo was not against the people. The people are not the army. Going against the army was in part to protect the democracy which is tied to citizens freedoms. The memo contains nothing that isn’t currently happening out in the open. The difference is it’s not being talked about openly instead of wasting time on worrying about what would happen if it came into the open.
    The people currently talking about the army taking over in a positive light and the army talking about it at all amounts to actual treason. The memo spoke of protection from people that intended to commit the very definition of treason against the country. A coup is always treason right up until it succeeds. If they failed, they would all be punished by your very own treason laws (if they’re actually enforced). The democracy is the peoples representation. It was an act to defend the people. I also have to ask, just where is the protection going to come from when your protectors are the ones you need to defend against? Were you going to stand up to the army if they did it? If you haven’t noticed, both the UN, NATO and the US are often times contacted when it comes to uprisings for the defense of the people who can’t defend themselves, which, in the case of a coup, would be the people and the government.

    …and that’s if you take the memo seriously. The thing is a joke.

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  • Parvez Amin
    Dec 28, 2011 - 7:50AM

    Too many things have happened that require explanation. Whatever the flaws in the laws of Pakistan, it must be accepted that the SC is our supreme judicial body and is is the only legal body we have for unmasking those behind these events. There can be no question that such people must be unmasked and punished. Thank Allah we have Justice Iftekhar to stand up for our right to know.

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  • Paki-Australian
    Dec 28, 2011 - 8:08AM

    SC should let the Govt do its job. SC will only loose respect if it kept sticking its nose in every hole it could find.

    Zardari by not submitting a response is up-holding the supremacy of the elected officials(GOVT) of the people of Pakistan. I am not a PPP fan, but I am with the Govt on this one. SC has better things to attend to than an international political game.

    LET THE CONSTITUTIONALLY ELECTED GOVT DO ITS JOB FIRST!Recommend

  • Noman
    Dec 28, 2011 - 10:34AM

    Shouldn’t the court of law equal to every one, Mr president has been named in this issue, why he would not submit his affidavit?.

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  • RizwanTKhan
    Dec 28, 2011 - 10:53AM

    A mere piece of paper, means that whats written on it is true and genuine? If that is the case, then its not just a piece of paper.

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  • K. Salim Jahangir
    Dec 28, 2011 - 10:42PM

    Zardari has chosen not to submit reply to SCP………..this speaks volumes!!!!

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  • dv sikka
    Dec 29, 2011 - 4:59AM

    When the President shows that he has no respect for the Supreme Court, what kind of hope one can have about the future of the Country.

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