Haqqani petitions SC to review order on memo probe commission

 Pakistan's former envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani has petitioned the Supreme Court to review its order to form a judicial commission to investigate the alleged memo that sought US help to stave off a possible military takeover last year.

Haqqani, who was forced to resign after the memo was made public by Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, filed the petition in the apex court through his lawyer Asma Jahangir yesterday.

The petition also asked the court to review its order of December 30 that declared several petitions seeking a probe into the memo controversy as maintainable.
The apex court has set up a three-judge commission to investigate the Memogate scandal in a month.

The petition challenged the apex court's order to form the commission on the basis of its jurisdiction and the appointment of High Court judges to the commission.

Haqqani asked the apex court to stay the proceedings of the judicial commission till the disposal of his review petition, arguing that he would suffer "irreparable harm" if the commission reached a conclusion while his petition was pending.

He contended that the apex court had imposed restrictions on his movements and appointed the judicial commission without hearing him.

He asked the court to review its December 30 order since the petitions declared maintainable were beyond the purview of Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, which relates to the fundamental rights of Pakistani citizens.

Haqqani contended that the judicial commission constituted by the apex court was not permissible by law as the apex court could not issue directions to judges of High Courts to constitute a commission.

He said his fundamental rights under Articles 9 and 15 of the Constitution had been denied while he had so far not been formally accused of any offence.

"No terms of reference have been set out while determining the scope and ambit of the judicial commission assigned to probe the memo issue," Haqqani said.

Ijaz has claimed that he drafted and delivered the memo to former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen on the instructions of Haqqani.

He further claimed that Haqqani had been acting at the behest of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Haqqani told the judicial commission yesterday that he played no role in drafting or delivering the memo.

The government too has dismissed Ijaz's allegations.

However, the chiefs of the army and Inter-Services Intelligence had urged the apex court to order an investigation into the matter, triggering tensions between the civilian government and the powerful military.

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