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Pakistan SC lifts Haqqani travel ban

January 30, 2012 17:39 IST

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday lifted a travel ban on the country's former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, as it gave the judicial commission two more months to complete its probe in the memo scandal that rocked ties between the civilian government and the military.

The top court also said that the panel would decide on controversial Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz's request to record his statement outside the country.

A nine-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry lifted a foreign travel ban on Haqqani, who had resigned over the scandal in November.

Acting on an application filed by the three-judge commission seeking an extension of its term, the bench gave the panel two more months to complete its probe.

Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq told the bench that the government did not have any reservations on term of the commission being extended.

The Supreme Court had formed the commission on December 30 and given it four weeks to complete its investigation.

The term of the commission would have ended on Monday.

The apex court rejected an application from Ijaz that said the commission should be asked to record his statement outside Pakistan. The court said the commission should decide whether it wants to go abroad to record Ijaz's statement or to call him to Pakistan.

Acting on a request from Haqqani's counsel Asma Jehangir to ease travel restrictions on her client who had family abroad, the Supreme Court ended a ban on foreign travel it had imposed on the former envoy. However, the bench said that whenever the judicial commission or the apex court summoned Haqqani, he would have to come back to Pakistan in four days.

The bench further directed Haqqani to inform the apex court's registrar's office whenever he travelled abroad.

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