–Former Pakistani envoy to US says ‘Baba Rehamtay’ not powerful enough to make him come to Pakistan
WASHINGTON: Former ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani has termed the reopening of the Memogate case a political stunt.
In a statement on Monday, Haqqani said there were four chief justices after chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry but none touched the case, adding that six years ago a nine-member bench had heard the case and wondered why just a three-member bench is taking it up now.
“It has been six years since I submitted a review petition to correct legal mistakes in the case. Will the court hear this case too?” he wondered.
Moreover, in a likely reference to Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Haqqani claimed he will not come to Pakistan on “Baba Rehamtay’s” direction, as his orders do not extend beyond Pakistan.
The Memogate scandal erupted in 2011 when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have received an ‘anti-army’ memo from Haqqani, the then-envoy to US, for the then-US joint chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.
The scandal, taken to the Supreme Court by then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and several others, had led to Haqqani’s resignation.
During the Jan 29 hearing, the chief justice remarked that the purpose of the proceedings was to give the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis. He added that there are some Pakistanis who promised the court to show up but did not return.
Inquiring into the whereabouts of Haqqani, the chief justice asked if he will also be given a right to cast a vote.
“Why don’t we issue him a notice and summon him to face the Memogate case,” the chief justice remarked. He then directed the registrar office to take out the Memogate case file and submit it in court.
Later, the apex court set February 8 as the date when a three-member bench headed by the chief justice and comprising Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Umar Ata Bandial will hear the case.