Former Pakistani envoy to the US, Hussain Haqqani, cannot return to the country to appear in the Supreme Court as he faces threats to his life, his lawyer said on Monday.
Mr. Haqqani’s lawyer Asma Jahangir informed a nine-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry about the threats to the former envoy’s life. The bench was hearing a case related to an alleged memo that purportedly sought U.S. help to stave-off a feared military coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011. The Chief Justice said the apex court had already made it clear that Mr. Haqqani would have to return to participate in the hearing. He referred to orders issued in the past by the court.
The bench said a meeting had been held in the Interior Ministry on January 26 to discuss the provision of security to Mr. Haqqani. Jahangir said she had no information regarding the meeting in the Interior Ministry and informed that she would be travelling to Geneva for a private visit and sought an adjournment of the case. The bench then put off the case till February 12.
The case against Mr. Haqqani relates to a memo allegedly sent by the former envoy to former US military Chief Admiral Mike Mullen seeking his country’s intervention to avert a possible overthrow of the government in the aftermath of the American raid that killed bin Laden.
A judicial commission set up by the apex court concluded last year that Haqqani was responsible for the mysterious memo, which was made public by controversial Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz.
Mr. Haqqani has not responded to several notices to appear in court, saying his life would be in danger if he returned to Pakistan.
The apex court wants Mr. Haqqani to come to Pakistan to record a judicial statement. The former envoy has been living in the US since last year.