The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered government authorities to take steps to bring former ambassador to the United States (US) Hussain Haqqani back to Pakistan within 30 days.
The court was hearing a suo motu case regarding the 2011 Memogate scandal.
Director General of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Bashir Ahmed Memon, who appeared before the court today, said that the judicial magistrate had provided the arrest warrants that were issued by the court earlier. He assured the court that the warrants would be sent to Haqqani’s residence in Karachi and Washington.
Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar warned that the SC will not accept any excuses after the deadline’s expiration. Memon told the CJP that they had to follow a procedure in order to issue red warrants.
The FIA chief said that if Haqqani did not return to Pakistan to face the court, he would send a legal notice to the former ambassador through a lawyer in the US.
Justice Nisar also expressed anger over the criticism directed towards the SC for taking up the Memogate case again, saying that the court was not “bringing up a dead issue” (as portrayed by the media) but ensuring that justice is delivered.
“People who don’t know anything [about the law], comment on it,” he said adding that he was considering a ban on media discussions over ongoing cases.
On February 1, the SC had constituted a three-member bench to resume hearings of the controversial Memogate case involving the former ambassador to the US.
The case, first taken to the apex court in 2011 by the then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, had forced Haqqani’s resignation.
The ‘memo’ in question, delivered to a high-ranking American official allegedly at Haqqani’s behest in May 2011, had exposed serious rifts between the PPP government and the army after a US-based businessman Mansoor Ijaz brought it to light.
It was delivered to a high-ranking official and asked for help for the civilian government against the military because of the domestic turmoil triggered by the US raid that killed Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.
Haqqani, however, had denied having anything to do with the memo.
In 2012, a judicial commission headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa was tasked with probing the matter had submitted its report to the apex court, holding Haqqani guilty of authoring the controversial memorandum and adding that the former US envoy “was not loyal to the country”.