Scandal probe: Memogate commission rejects adjournment plea

Panel seeks full details of Hussain Haqqani’s property by April 26.

Obaid Abbasi April 13, 2012


Hussain Haqqani once again failed to appear before the judicial commission hearing the Memogate case, irking judges who rejected his adjournment application.

The former ambassador’s attorney, Zahid Bukhari, requested that the commission’s hearing be adjourned until the Supreme Court takes up the case on April 20. He also argued that his client could not appear before the commission because he was abroad.

The argument was brushed aside by commission head and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa. “We have given enough time and we hope that he (Haqqani) ensures his presence at the next hearing and records his statement,” he said. “Haqqani had been told in no uncertain terms at the last hearing that he would have to show up for Thursday’s hearing.”

While submitting Haqqani’s medical certificates, Bukhari told the commission that his client’s statement was important and again suggested that they either wait for the SC’s order or record Haqqani’s statement in Washington DC.

The commission further directed him to submit full details of his property by the next hearing on April 26 and also ordered the government to make a list of Haqqani’s property details for the judicial commission.

Earlier, Bukhari informed the court that his client has formally written to BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) to waive his privacy and access his account to extract records of his conversations with Mansoor Ijaz, the self-proclaimed whistle-blower of the Memogate scandal.

Bukhari said his client is awaiting a response from the company. “Either they will reply to me or to my client.” The commission directed him to submit RIM’s reply to the secretary of the judicial commission.

Meanwhile, Ijaz’s counsel argued that Haqqani had routinely flouted the commission’s orders and was not attending the hearing so his right of audience should no longer be granted.

Justice Isa then asked Bukhari to submit a reply by the next hearing.

Separately, Foreign Office American Desk Director-General Dr Sohail Khan said he has not received a report from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC on the mobile phone sets that Haqqani was using while he was ambassador.

On this, Justice Qazi Isa asked Sohail:  “Are you here to play games with the commission? You are the director and you do not know anything about the issue.”

Meanwhile, the commission called Foreign Office secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and asked him to explain the use of secret funds by the ambassador. He briefed the commission behind closed doors. Later, the commission asked the secretary to submit details in confidential envelopes, which would later be returned to him.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.

Haqqani's written response submitted to commission is viewable here.


Sumaira | 9 years ago | Reply

Mansoor Ijaz is a liar, fraud & con man & who can trust or believe his stories! He just wants to stay in news one way or the other. Why should be given any importance to him at all. Don’t we have other important issues to discuss? If MI and his family are not safe in the UK then he should stay in his native USA. I would not go to a place where I do not feel safe or is new to my family. In addition this case is in the court and he should not go public and media but to police. However, media is all MI has always been looking for. It is ironic that Salman Rushdie can be safe in the UK but Mansoor Ijaz cannot be despite all his claimed wealth!

Sabir | 9 years ago | Reply

Memo commission is trying to find out something out of nothing, making this country a laughing stock. Rather than trying Mansoor Ijaz we are making mockery of our own former ambassador that is hilarious. Mansoor Ijaz constantly failed to provide any solid evidence against Hussain Haqqani. On the other hand Hussain Haqqani willingly submitted his portfolio for free, fair and impartial investigation. Mansoor Ijaz lost nothing so far but Pakistan has lost much. We have lost our best mouth in Washington. For a moment we suppose that if Mansoor Ijaz proved a liar and conspirator, what will be the compensation for Hussain Haqqani. Memo commission who is extending olive branch to Mansoor Ijaz must answer this question. All this fuss is about witch hunting of PPP government and Hussain Haqqani.

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