ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s former Ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani made it loud and clear on Wednesday that he had never applied for US citizenship nor does he intends to obtain it in future.  ‘I am a born citizen of Pakistan. I have never sought or obtained, nor do I intend to seek or obtain, the citizenship of any country other than Pakistan, including the United States. I have never sought, nor do I intend to seek asylum in any country, including the US’, he added.

The former Ambassador was responding to the Commission’s query on Wednesday. In a comprehensive application to the Commission, submitted through his lawyers Syed Zahid Bukhari and Sajid Tanoli, Haqqani repeated his demand for ‘equal treatment’ and responded to all the points raised during the Commission’s last hearing.

He also refuted ‘propaganda’ against him that he said was being undertaken to influence the Commission and repeated his request that his statement be taken by video conference ‘in the interest of justice’.

Haqqani further said that the Memo Commission had been transformed into an arena to ‘prosecute and persecute’ him instead of its original purpose of finding facts about the memo sent by Mansoor Ijaz to US military commander Admiral Mullen last year. ‘Although the Commission was constituted to conduct an inquiry and it had been said at the outset that its proceedings would be inquisitorial in nature, it has been converted into a virtual prosecution against me without even the filing of a formal charge or registering a case’, Haqqani said in the application.

‘Questions pertaining to my citizenship based on nothing other than newspaper stories, most likely solicited and planted for this very purpose, is one example of diverting the proceedings away from the original purpose of this inquiry’, he added.

Haqqani said that from 2002 until appointment as Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States he worked as a Pakistani citizen living abroad and will be doing the same now, ‘like millions of other Pakistani citizens who live and work abroad’.

He also provided information about his apartment in the US and asserted that he and his wife had ‘not acquired any property since my appointment as Ambassador’. Emphasising his point that the Commission was focussed on him instead of doing its job of inquiring about the memo, Haqqani said: ‘I submit this information as ordered by the Commission even though I see no relevance whatsoever between the Commission seeking this information and its task of probing the origins, authenticity and purpose of the disputed Memo’.

Haqqani also provided information relating to the Embassy’s secret funds under sealed cover as demanded by the Commission while bringing on record his ‘concern about allowing discussion of such matters based solely on the frivolous demands of counsel seeking media attention in utter disregard of its implications for the conduct of Pakistan’s foreign relations, national security and the rules governing the use of such funds’.

Haqqani also responded to the Commission’s remarks about his health and security concerns.

He explained that he was under treatment in Washington DC but ‘in the United States it is common for hospitals and medical practices to have consultant physicians and even surgeons across different states’.

Replying to the Commission’s objection that he had not submitted detailed medical records, Haqqani said that this reflected unfamiliarity with US healthcare privacy procedures.

‘Although the Commission has been established by the Supreme Court, I have not had much success in persuading anyone in the US that I am facing legal proceedings for which medical documentation is required. After all, I have not been charged with a crime, no case had been registered against me and US doctors and health insurance companies are unable to see a probe Commission established under a judgement of the Supreme Court as the equivalent of a trial court’, he observed.

Haqqani said he had informed the Attorney General of Pakistan about threats to him emanating from Pakistan and had also written to the Chief Justice of Pakistan in this regard.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was also seized of the matter, he stated.

Haqqani also defended himself against claims that he had violated the undertaking given by him to the Supreme Court before leaving the country to return at 4-day notice.

‘I would humbly remind the Commission that it altered the circumstances under which that undertaking was given by allowing Mansoor Ijaz to record his statement by video conference several days after the Supreme Court’s order of January 30th. Had the Commission made it clear that such option would be made available to Mansoor Ijaz while seeking extension of its mandate on January 30th, 2012, I would not have given the undertaking and would have sought equal treatment right then’, Haqqani stated in his application.

He said that he was not a person charged with a crime nor is the Commission a trial or appeals court whose order would set a legal precedent for criminal trials.

‘In the interest of justice and to ensure that the probe is thorough and is seen as legitimate in the eyes of the public, it would be beneficial for the purposes of the Commission to record my statement by video conference’, he reiterated.

Alternatively, he said, ‘the Commission may consider seeking further extension of its mandate from the Supreme Court and wait for whenever apprehensions as to my security and concerns about my health are lifted and I am able to appear in person before the Commission in Islamabad’.

Haqqani also requested that his counsel be provided a copy of all videotapes of the proceedings of the Commission at Islamabad and the Pakistan High Commission in London so that he has a complete record of the proceedings before the Commission ‘including the comments and remarks attributed to the head of the Commission heard and reported by the media in open hearings but not included in the written record of proceedings’.