Raising objection over the reply submitted by former Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani – in which he criticised the commission’s findings which pronounced him guilty in the Memogate scandal – the Supreme Court returned his application saying it did not bear Haqqani’s signature.
During Monday’s hearing, the apex court also directed all the respondents of the Memogate case to appear before the court on July 12. In pursuance of the court orders, Haqqani submitted his reply thorough his counsel Asma Jehangir.
Declining his role in authoring the controversial memo sent by the self-confessed whistleblower of the case, Mansoor Ejaz, through Gen (retd) James Jones to then US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen, Haqqani asserted that no evidence had been presented and recorded by the commission which could establish his role in authoring or authorising the memo.
He prayed to the apex court to set aside the commission’s report and not consider its conclusion. “The report of the commission should be set aside and not be considered so that full justice is done and discrimination including persecution of the petitioner (Haqqani) be rectified,” Haqqani’s reply stated.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had formed a commission comprising chief justices of three high courts to probe the scandal. The commission investigated the issue in six months and came to the conclusion that Haqqani was in fact guilty.
However, in his reply, Haqqani criticised the commission’s findings and its role in the investigation, arguing that the memo had created no tangible threat to Pakistan’s security as claimed at the time of the setting up of the commission to probe its origin, authenticity and purpose.
“For example without any evidence or suggestion by any witness, the commission divulged into the secret funds of the embassy in Washington and incorrectly concluded that Haqqani has also objected to illicit funding of $3 million to politicians by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) but himself received three times that amount,” the reply said.
In response, Haqqani pleaded that he does not make the policy of the government and thus had no hand in allocating funds to various departments including Pakistani embassies as alleged in the commission’s report.
He contended that the commission also conveniently glossed over the evidence of Mansoor where he categorically admitted that he drafted and sent the memo. “The dangerous assertions made by the witness, Mansoor, in his testimony about Pakistan’s leadership and its armed forces have also been ignored.”
Haqqani maintained that the commission went beyond its mandate and worked as an investigating agency and carried out a “roving inquiry without any legal process” in Pakistan. “Due process has totally been denied to him [Haqqani]”, the reply said.
He said in his reply that the commission was created as fact-finding probe and an inquisitorial body but it conducted its proceedings in an “adversarial manner”. He complained that the commission made no serious efforts to find facts in the matter.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2012.
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