ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States Husain haqqani has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the memo commission’s order to appear in person in Islamabad and sought equal treatment and permission to appear via video-link as was done in the case of Mansoor Ijaz.
The petition filed by his counsel Asma Jahangir states that haqqani had also grave security concerns because of many frivolous and sensational allegations levelled by Mansoor Ijaz in his witness and several intelligence agencies that were in contact with Ijaz as admitted by him during the proceedings of the commission.
It may be recalled that the memo commission in its order on March 18 had said the recording of Haqqani’s evidence would only be possible when he completed the admission and denial of documents; therefore, his request to have his evidence recorded immediately was misplaced. The commission had also relied on Haqqani’s undertaking before the Supreme Court that he would return to Pakistan on a four-day notice and appear before the commission to record his evidence.
Challenging the commission’s position that it was bound by the SC’s order of January 30, the petition states that the panel was not prohibited in any way through the said order to insist on physical presence of haqqani especially, as facilities to record his statement via video-link were available and extended to a foreigner but were denied to the petitioner, when he applied for recording the statement.
haqqani through his petition says the March 18 order is misconceived as denial or acceptance by the petitioner could only follow deposition of Mansoor Ijaz who is the only party accusing haqqani so far. As such, it is only one example of the partiality shown during the proceedings, as the commission had accommodated Ijaz by travelling thousands of miles to London who had undertaken at several occasions to travel to Pakistan.
“The petitioner is also a family man like Mansoor Ijaz who took the plea that his family was fearful for his life in case he travelled to Pakistan. The same standard of concern by commission may also be extended to the petitioner. There cannot be another standard of protection for a citizen of United States, who pledges loyalty only to his own country, and a patriotic Pakistani, who has served the country well as its representative in the US during very tense and difficult times and possibly paying for it owing to his belief in the progress and well-being of his country.”
The petition further states the wild allegations ranging from absurd to the most absurd by Mansoor Ijaz were meant to exploit emotions and incite violence against the petitioner given the prevailing atmosphere in the country, as there are many cases pending before the court where people have disappeared or murdered or their dead bodies are recovered.