Court allows Haqqani to travel abroad

January 30th, 2012 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Islamabad, Jan 30 (IANS) Pakistan’s former envoy to the US Husain Haqqani was Monday permitted to travel abroad by the Supreme Court, which is probing a memo sent to Washington saying President Asif Ali Zardari had feared a military take over in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing last year.

Haqqani’s counsel, Asma Jahangir, had pleaded for allowing the former envoy to travel abroad.

The nine-member bench said that Haqqani will have to provide details to the Registrar Office and should come back at four-day’s notice, Geo News reported.

Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have last year delivered a secret memo to then chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff Admiral Mike Mullen at the behest of Haqqani and the Pakistani government. The memo said that Zardari feared a military coup after bin Laden was killed May 2 last year at his hideout in Abbottabad by US commandos.

Haqqani had stepped down after the memo came to light. He was succeeded by former minister Sherry Rehman.

An apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, also granted a two-month extension to the three-member judicial commission that is probing memogate.

The commission comprises Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Faiz Essa, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam and Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Iqbal Abdul Rehman.

Haqqani’s wife and the president’s media advisor Farahanaz Ispahani had in the past week found herself in the midst of a row following a British media report that said she had fled the country fearing abduction by the Inter-Services Intelligence. She had, however, rejected the report, saying she was in Washington to meet her children.

Sunday Times that the memogate scandal involving Haqqani was “trumped up”.

The article said that Haqqani’s life was in danger and Ispahani has fled to Washington over fears that “ISI might kidnap her to force her husband to sign a confession and implicate the president”.

“What we’re seeing is the systematic killing or silencing of anyone who stands up to the institutionalisation of a militarised Islamist state, who advocates positive relations with the West or stands up for tolerance,” Ispahani was quoted as telling The Sunday Times.

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