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March 29, 2018

FIA booked Husain Haqqani


March 29, 2018

Islamabad :Although it has been seven years since the US Navy Seals blitz on the then al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and his subsequent killing, its aftershocks are still felt in Islamabad where a case has been registered against Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.

The case was registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on the basis of Memo Commission report already submitted to the Supreme Court in mid-2102. “We were asked to file a case against Mr. Haqqani, but we had nothing in hand. We read the Memo Commission report and framed a case against him,” a key official confided to The News.

The copy of the First Information Report (FIR), exclusively available with this correspondent, also reveals that the FIA initially started an enquiry (No.RE 32/18) this year and on its basis a case was registered on March 10 on the complaint of FIA Inspector Nadeem Akhtar.

Interestingly, there is no mention of Memogate Commission report in the draft of the case registered against Mr. Haqqani. The case draft case says, “Accused Husain Haqqani during his posting as Ambassador of Pakistan in USA (from May 2008 to November 2011) in collaboration with other concerned officers/officials misused his official position, committed cheating, criminal breach of trust and misappropriated approximately 2 million US dollars of national exchequer of Pakistan per year dishonestly and fraudulently,”.

At one point, the FIR also mentions, “offences under Sections 314/409/420/109 PPC r/w 5(2)47 PCA are made out against the accused Husain Haqqani and his other accomplices.” When this correspondent asked the FIA officer, linked to the case, about the other accomplices, he said as per initial investigations ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gilani was one of the accomplices who sanctioned special grants for Haqqani.

The sources claim that Gilani may be called for questioning. Although the case against Haqqani has been registered apparently on the basis of enquiry, it’s believed that directions to register the case came directly from Bashir Memon, the FIA chief, who defends his decision.

“We registered the case on solid grounds and are working on gathering more evidence,” Bashir Memon told this correspondent. He thinks the money was specially sanctioned for Haqqani, as no other ambassador before or after him had got this much amount.

On the contrary, an official working in the anti-corruption circle of FIA reveals another aspect of the case. “The basic purpose of the case is to influence the Interpol for extradition of Mr. Haqqani. We filed the case only to satisfy the court. We know there is no basis (of the case) but we put the word “corruption” to influence American and Interpol authorities,” the source said.

Interestingly, the commission submitted its report to the Supreme Court which issued it in June 2012, almost six years ago, declaring Haqqani guilty of dictating memo and “not being loyal to the country.”

Memogate controversy started in 2011 soon after the US Navy Seals operation in Abbottabad to kill Osama Bin Laden. In this background, a memorandum was communicated to the then Obama administration, apparently to avert a possible military takeover after the raid.

The memo was delivered to Admiral Mike Mullen through a Pakistani American businessman Mansoor Ijaz on the directions of Ambassador Haqqani as per the Memo Commission report. After the information became public, the then opposition leader ex-PM Nawaz Sharif filed a complaint with the Supreme Court requesting investigation into the memo. Nawaz now thinks it was a wrong decision and he should have stayed aloof from the controversial case.

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