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Pak SC grants two more months for memo probe completion

Islamabad, Mon, 30 Jan 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Jan 30 (ANI): Pakistan's Supreme Court has granted two more months to the judicial commission probing the Memo Gate scandal for completing its work.


The original tenure of the commission ends today, The Dawn reports.


Headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, a nine-judge Supreme Court bench resumed the hearing on the petitions of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and others on the secret memo allegedly sent by the then ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani to former US joint chiefs of staff Admiral Mike Mullen to pre-empt a military takeover.


During the hearing, Haqqani's counsel Asma Jehangir had also requested the court to ease travel restrictions placed on her client to visit his family abroad.


Subsequently, the court permitted Haqqani to travel abroad.


"He is allowed to proceed out of country," Chief Justice Iftikhar said in his order, after Jehangir guaranteed her client would appear before judges at four days' notice if required. The court also directed that in case of travelling abroad, Haqqani would have to inform the court's registrar's office.


Following the order, Haqqani had said: "I am glad that the Supreme Court has restored my right to travel, which had been rescinded without any charges being filed against me. I will join my family in the US after discussions with the leaders of the Pakistan People's Party."


The lawyer of Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the key person in the Memo Gate scandal, had earlier said that his client would not come to Pakistan, as he wishes to avoid 'knowingly falling into the government trap'.


Akram Sheikh said that he had held a teleconference with Ijaz after meeting Inspector General (IG) of Police (IG) Islamabad Bin Yamin Khan, who briefed him about the security arrangements that have been made for his client.


"No assurance has been given with regards to his [Ijaz's] life or property. It seems like a well-orchestrated trap to hold Ijaz indefinitely in Pakistan... He refuses to knowingly fall into the government's trap," he added.


After Ijaz refused to show up before the Supreme Court over security reasons, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, one of the petitioners in the Memo Gate case, requested the judicial commission to summon Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha to testify on the same issue.


Barrister Zafarullah of the Watan Party sent his application to the secretary of the judicial commission probing the case.


The barrister also requested the commission, headed by Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court Qazi Faez Isa, to close the right of recording Ijaz's evidence, saying he was deliberately wasting the time of not just the commission, but of the whole nation. (ANI)


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