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June 27, 2018

Memogate case: Effective laws needed to bring back Haqqani, SC told

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June 27, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) was informed on Tuesday that absence of proper legislation is the main hurdle in bringing Pakistanis back from abroad. A three-member SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, resumed hearing in the Memogate case. Ahmer Bilal Sufi, an expert on foreign litigation and an amicus curiae (a friend of the court), informed the court that there was dire need for proper legislation that could help in repatriating Pakistani citizens, who had fled abroad.

The court then directed Sufi to prepare within two weeks a draft for the required legislation and adjourned the hearing for date-in-office.

Last month, the apex court had appointed Ahmer Sufi advocate as an expert on foreign litigation as amicus curiae to assist it on repatriation of former Pak ambassador to United States Husain Haqqani.

The chief justice had asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director General (DG) Bashir Memon whether the US government had refused to hand over Husain Haqqani? Who will ask the US that Haqqani had assured the Supreme Court of Pakistan to return,” the CJ told the FIA DG.

The DG, however, submitted that he had discussed the case of Husain Haqqani with the Americans, but they said that Pakistan also had one of their people in its custody.

Bashir Memon told the court that he had showed the Americans the red warrants against Haqqani.

He submitted that the Interpol had asked for more information for red warrants, adding that they had told the Interpol that the cases against Husain Haqqani were not politically-oriented.

He further told the court that they were in regular contact with the Interpol authorities for issuing red warrants.

He informed the court that Interpol had five Indian officers, adding that there was no Pakistani official over there.

On April 30, a story appeared in The News, disclosing that the International Criminal Police Organisation (known as Interpol) had turned down the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s request to issue arrest warrants for Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, who is now based in Washington.

The News received an official copy of the Interpol letter that confirmed that it had not issued an arrest warrant for Haqqani and that he’s not a person of interest to Interpol. “The General Secretariat of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) hereby certifies that as of today (April 18, 2018), Mr Husain Haqqani, born on July 1, 1956, is not subject to an Interpol Blue Notice or diffusion and is not known in Interpol’s data basis,” a letter issued by Interpol’s office of legal affairs said.

The Interpol confirmed it had issued the certificate on the request of Haqqani’s lawyer amid newspaper reports in Pakistan that DG FIA went to Interpol headquarters in Lyon to seek warrants for his arrest.

In March, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the Memogate case and gave Pakistani government one month time to bring back Husain Haqqani.

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