–SC informed that Husain Haqqani can’t be brought back to Pakistan to face trial due to absence of laws regarding repatriation of court absconders
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of the suo motu case relating to the implementation of the 2011 Memogate scandal orders for an indefinite period after the court was informed that former envoy to the United States, Husain Haqqani could not be brought back to the country due to absence of relevant laws.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar, while presiding over a three-judge bench, sought details of the steps taken by the government in order to bring former ambassador to the United States (US) Husain Haqqani back to Pakistan.
Senior lawyer Ahmer Bilal Soofi told the court that the delay in roping in Haqqani was due to the absence of relevant laws to deal with absconders out of the country. The CJP then ordered Soofi to draft a legislation pertaining to the matter in two weeks and adjourned the hearing indefinitely.
Earlier on March 28, the apex court had given the government a 30-day deadline to arrest Haqqani and bring him back to Pakistan while the CJP had warned that the court would not accept any excuses after the deadline’s expiration.
The Memogate scandal surfaced in 2011 when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have received an ‘anti-army’ memo from Haqqani for the then-US joint chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.
In this regard, a court notice has already been issued to Hussain Haqqani and other respondents of the case — including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The scandal, taken to the Supreme Court by then opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, led to Haqqani’s resignation.
The cases pertaining to the Memogate were registered under Sections 120b (hatching a criminal conspiracy) and 121a (waging a war against Pakistan) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Earlier, the chief justice had summoned details of the Memogate case while hearing a case related to the right to vote for overseas Pakistanis.