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Memogate scandal: Husain Haqqani leaves for United States

January 31, 2012 12:05 IST

Pakistan's former envoy to the United States Husain Haqqani on Tuesday left for the US after the Supreme Court eased travel restrictions that were imposed on him after he was implicated in the memo scandal.

Haqqani travelled from the prime minister's house, where he was living for the past few weeks, to the international airport in Rawalpindi along with a large security detail early on Tuesday morning.

He did not talk to media waiting at the airport.

The former envoy took a flight to the United Arab Emirates, from where he will fly to the US to meet his wife and children, media reports said.

Haqqani's wife, parliamentarian Farahnaz Ispahani, has been in the US for the past fortnight or so.

Haqqani's lawyer Asma Jahangir on Monday filed an application in the supreme court which asked that the bar on him leaving the country should be withdrawn as he had fully cooperated with the judicial commission investigating the alleged memo which had sought US help to stave off a possible military takeover in May last year.

In its order, the apex court said Haqqani would be allowed to travel out of Pakistan on the condition that he provides details of his visit to the registrar of the court and that he would be bound to return on four days' notice if his attendance is required by the judicial commission or the court.

After the apex court's decision, Haqqani held a meeting with the deputy chief of the US mission in Islamabad, Jonathan Pratt, at the prime minister's house.

The apex court also extended the term of the judicial commission by two months on Monday so that it could complete its probe into the alleged memo.

The work of the commission has run into problems as Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the main accuser in the memo scandal, has refused to come to Islamabad to testify due to security concerns.

Haqqani was forced to resign last year after Ijaz claimed he had drafted and delivered the memo to the former US military chief on the instructions of the envoy.

Haqqani and the Pakistan government have dismissed Ijaz's allegations.

Haqqani's counsel Asma Jehangir said no one could stop him from travelling abroad as he was "innocent". The apex court's order was a "victory of truth", she said.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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