ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court has directed dissatisfied Asma Jahangir to guide the interior secretary as to what kind of security was required by her client, former envoy to the US Husain Haqqani, who faces the Memogate case.

A nine-member larger bench, led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, putt off the controversial case until January, directing the interior ministry to ensure foolproof security to Haqqani upon his arrival, stay and departure from Pakistan.

During the hearing on Tuesday, former Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jahangir asked whether an assurance would be given that secret agencies – ISI and MI – would not arrest her client during his stay in Pakistan.

Secretary Khawaja Sadiq Akbar told the court that they could arrange security for Hussain Haqqani upon his arrival after assessing the level and nature of threats to him. He said till date he was unaware of threats and danger to former ambassador and he asked Asma to give an application for providing security to Haqqani.

Asma remarked that now the ministry was asking her to give application but when Haqqani was in Pakistan then why Yousaf Raza Gilani’s government kept him in the Prime Minister House. Asma said that even after the court judgment, the government failed to maintain peace in Karachi.

Asma asked the bench if Haqqani would not appear in the case then whether this court would issue his arrest warrant. The chief justice stated that according to his undertaking, he was bound to appear before the court. Asma asked for what his client’s presence in the court is required when he was neither accused nor the proclaimed offender. The chief justice said that if they would pass an order, Haqqani would have to appear before the court on his own responsibility. The chief justice asked the secretary to inform the SC Registrar about the security of Haqqani at least two weeks before making the arrangements.

Hussain Haqqani, was allowed to leave the country with the commitment vide order 30-1-2012 that whenever the court would require, he will appear in person within a period of four days; therefore, the court in the previous hearing had directed Asma to make sure his presence on the next date of hearing. The court on the request of Asma, adjourned the hearing till first week of January 2013.

The apex court on December 1, 2011 had formed a commission headed by Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and including Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman and Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam to probe the authenticity and purpose of creating or drafting of a memo and its delivery to US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.

According to the commission’s findings it had been incontrovertibly established that the Memorandum was authentic and that Haqqani was its originator and architect. The former Pakistani ambassador to US “sought American help; he also wanted to create a niche for himself making himself forever indispensable to the Americans”.