The United States on Friday asked Pakistan to ensure that Islamabad's former envoy to Washington, Husain Haqqani, gets fair treatment in the ongoing judicial process that is investigating the 'memogate' scandal and said it is watching and monitoring the situation closely.
"While it's obviously an internal matter for Pakistan and we respect Pakistan's constitutional and legal processes, we expect that any process for resolving the matter of Ambassador Haqqani will proceed in a way that is fair, that's transparent, that is as expeditious as possible," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
"We also expect that Ambassador Haqqani will be accorded all due consideration under Pakistani law and in conformity with international legal standards. And we will be watching and monitoring the situation closely," she said.
Haqqani was forced to resign late last year after Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed he had asked him to pass on a memo, on behalf of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, to the American government calling for their help to oust Islamabad's military leadership.
Nuland, who so far had refrained from responding to questions on Haqqani terming that it was an internal matter of Pakistan, said that it was time to go public with the views of the United States that has been officially conveyed to the government of Pakistan.
"I think we've been watching the situation evolve in Pakistan. We didn't want to prejudge what the legal situation for him would be. As we've watched the situation, we have concluded that it is important for us to speak out, as we do around the world, about, you know, an appropriate constitutional and legal process for him and to make clear that we're watching," Nuland said.
The US official said that the wife of Haqqani has been in touch with the State Department. It is believed that she also met a number of lawmakers during her stay in US.
"We have regular contact with her and we have since he went home," Nuland said in response to a question regarding contact with the wife of Haqqani.
"This situation is obviously evolving in Pakistan. So we want to see it evolve in a manner that meets the highest international legal standards," she said.
"I think we've always wanted to see this process handled properly. I think there's a question simply about whether these messages were conveyed privately or whether it wasn't also appropriate to convey them publicly," she added.