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Husain Haqqani DISLOYAL to country: Pak SC

By Rezaul H Laskar
June 12, 2012 11:58 IST
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A Pakistani judicial commission has concluded that the country's former Ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, was behind a mysterious memo that sought US help to stave off a feared coup and said he was "not loyal" to the country while serving as an envoy.

The supreme court-appointed commission's findings were made public as a nine-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry began examining the panel's report on Tuesday morning.

After the sealed report was presented to the bench, the chief justice asked Attorney General Irfan Qadir to read out its recommendations. The report said Haqqani was "not loyal" to Pakistan while serving as the envoy in the US and had sought to undermine the security of the country's nuclear assets, the armed forces, the Inter-Services Intelligence and the constitution.

The panel further concluded that the alleged memo was authentic and was drafted on Haqqani's instructions. It concluded that Haqqani had sought US support through the memo and that he had wanted to head a new national security set-up.

The panel further said Haqqani had not accounted for $2 million spent from a secret fund of the Pakistani embassy in Washington.

The apex court adjourned the matter for two weeks and directed Haqqani to appear in person at the next hearing. It also issued notices to all parties involved in the case. The bench directed authorities to make the judicial commission's report public.

Haqqani, currently in the US, was forced to quit after Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz made the memo public last year.

The memo, which was delivered by Ijaz to then US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen, had sought American help to stave off a possible coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistani territory on May 2 last year.

The memo said authorities would act against militants, including those responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and put in place a new national security team that would work closely with the US.

The government and Haqqani had dismissed the memo as a fabrication. The supreme court began probing the memo after opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif filed a petition on the issue.

The court formed a three-judge commission to investigate the matter and interview the persons involved. Ijaz deposed via a video link from London but did not provide any material to substantiate his claims.

Haqqani refused to appear before the commission after he travelled to the US to seek treatment for a heart condition and was not allowed to depose via a video link.

In messages posted on Twitter on Tuesday, Haqqani said his lawyers would challenge the "one-sided proceedings of (the) commission that refused to hear me".

He said, "The Memo Commission report is being used to distract attention from other embarrassing issues. Its claims are political, not legal."

The commission 'is not a court' and those claiming "it has determined guilt or innocence are wrong," Haqqani said in a tweet.

"Patriotism cannot be judged by those who bend over backwards (for) a foreign accuser but don't even hear Pakistani citizen's version. Those who endorsed military dictators and allowed them (to) amend constitution cannot judge my -- or anyone else's -- patriotism," he posted on Twitter.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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