Will not leave country: Haqqani after SC order

Husain Haqqani on Thursday said he had no plans to leave the country while the `memogate` scandal is being probed by the government

Islamabad: Pakistan`s former envoy to the US Husain Haqqani on Thursday said he had no plans to leave the country while the `memogate` scandal is being probed by the government, hours after the Supreme Court barred him from travelling abroad.
"I resigned to pave the way for a transparent investigation and intend to stay in my country for as long as necessary," he said.

Haqqani, who recently resigned as Ambassador to the US, said no envoy could serve his country amidst a "swirl of media allegations initiated by a reckless individual".

The remark was an apparent reference to Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who made the secret memo public last month.

Acting on several petitions seeking a probe into what the media is referring to as the `memogate` controversy, the Supreme Court today sought responses within 15 days from President Asif Ali Zardari, army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Haqqani and
several others.

Haqqani said in a statement that the only thing which was known for sure about `Memogate` was that a private US businessman sent a memo through a retired US official to a then serving US official in May.

The businessman then "revealed" the memo in an op-ed article, which levelled "serious allegations against Pakistan’s state institutions".

The same businessman, Haqqani said, subsequently held him responsible for initiating the memo.

"It is ironic that the newspaper article and its author are being deemed credible in relation to the claim about the origin of his memo, without realising that this confers implicit credibility to his other assertions about Pakistan", Haqqani said.

The former envoy said he would respond to the furore about the unsigned memo in his testimony before a parliamentary committee.

"I will also answer all questions raised before the court by and at the behest of opposition politicians but will not become part of any effort to cause further deterioration in US-Pakistan relations or in maligning Pakistan`s institutions of state whose reform and role are so critical in the security
of the country and in fighting extremists and terrorists," he said.

The secret memo had sought US military help to prevent a military takeover in Pakistan in the wake of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May.

The memo also committed the Pakistan government to wide-ranging changes in its national security set-up, including the removal of military officials believed to have links to militants.

PTI

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