ISLAMABAD - Former Ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that he was under threats from different quarters so, Commission be advised to record his testimony through video link from Washington.
‘The respondent (Hussain Haqqani) is under serious threat from various quarters and his life is in danger and unless the Commission does not come up with a final report the respondent will continue to remain as a prime suspect and perceived as a traitor in the eyes of those who have swallowed the hyper propaganda against the respondent. It is therefore most respectfully prayed in the circumstances stated above the testimony of the applicant may graciously be recorded through video conference in Embassy of Pakistan at Washington US’, Hussain Haqqani told the Apex court through written application which he submitted through his counsel Zahid Bukhari.
Through application, Haqqani said that he had been restricted by the Supreme Court to leave Pakistan but subsequently through order dated January 31st, 2012 the Supreme Court was pleased to allow him to leave the country on an undertaking contained in the order of the Supreme Court.
Haqqani told the Apex court that he remains committed to cooperate fully with the Commission set up by the Supreme Court and is keen to get his evidence recorded by the Commission. However, Haqqani said, he was neither an accused nor a suspect before the Commission, so he has equal rights and is also guaranteed all fundamental rights which may not be available to non-citizens.
‘I remained in Pakistan and did not even apply for leaving the country till the Commission had exhausted all means of persuading Ijaz Mansoor in travelling to Pakistan to get his testimony recorded. Subsequent to my departure, the Commission extended the facility of video link for recording of his testimony. As I am facing life threats, therefore, same facility should be given to me as well’, Haqqani appealed to Apex court.
Haqqani further said that he requested and filed an application in the Commission to record his statement through video conferencing which was declared a legal practice but he was denied this facility. Haqqani said, he was very much disheartened following Commission’s refusal to grant him facility of video link to record his testimony from Washington.
‘Aggrieved by the order of the Commission the applicant approached the Supreme Court who after hearing the parties passed the following order, whereby the applicant is once again making an application for permission that the testimony of the applicant may be taken through video services from the Embassy of Washington’, Haqqani told Supreme Court requesting it to advise the Commission to record his evidence through video conference services from the Pakistan Embassy at Washington for the reason including life threats to him and illness.
‘Dear Sir I have developed a serious medical problem and will not be able to travel by air without clearance from doctors and as such extension of the Commission’s work would be most inconvenient and unfair particularly in view of the fact that the matter is now reaching its conclusion’.
‘Secondly, I am now working and my job requires my presence in the US. A short leave is always possible but given the plethora of threats and organised campaign against me there is every possibility that I may be placed on ECL and thus also lose my livelihood and eventual innocence may only be a meager consolation to the suffering I have already undergone. It is therefore most respectfully prayed in the circumstances stated above that the testimony may be recorded through video conference in Embassy of Pakistan at Washington’ , Haqqani said.
Haqqani mentioned in his application that he has already been meted out a shabby treatment and singled out to be persecuted at the behest of a foreigner who has himself admitted that the so-called memo’s versions was never shown to the applicant. Other witnesses have no evidence whatsoever in implicating me in this vicious memo saga, he said.
He further mentioned in his application that the balance of convenience lies in recording the evidence of the applicant through video conferencing as the applicant is keen to put a closure to the inquiry and this would also be in the interest of the Commission whose judges are spending valuable time at the Commission and for the public who wish to see the final outcome of the memo case.
‘In order to achieve the ends of achieving full justice this facility of recording of evidence through video conferencing that has already been used as a procedure and means by the Commission itself on its own motion in search of full truth may also be extended to the applicant who is a key victim of the memo case. It would only enhance the norms of natural justice while denial will lend an impression that the truth was never reached in sincerity’, Haqqani said.