Memo case: Haqani reluctant to return due to security lapses

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani, has refused to return to Pakistan citing security concerns.

During the hearing, Haqqani’s counsel, Asma Jahangir, mentioned that her client was reluctant to arrive in Pakistan due to lack of proper security measures, despite of assurances given by the government.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing the case.

On the court’s probing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir informed the bench on details of the safety measures to be adopted for Haqqani’s security.

The court clarified that legal action would be taken if Haqqani fails to appear for the next hearing, adding that in that event his passport would also be cancelled.

Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing for three weeks.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had given Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddiq Akbar until March 11 to provide fool-proof security to Haqqani upon his return to the country.

The memo scandal had erupted after Haqqani was first named in the controversy by US businessman Mansoor Ijaz who had said that it was the former ambassador who had asked him (Ijaz) to deliver the memo to the then US military chief days after the May 2, 2011 US raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.