‘Haqqani to survive punishment even if link with memo proved’

Islamabad, Jan 9 (IANS) Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former amabassdor to the US, cannot be punished under the law even if a link is established between him and the controversial memo, Haqqani’s counsel has claimed.

Zahid Hussain Bukhari, who is also a former Lahore High Court judge, however, denied any link between his client Haqqani and the memo, saying that the controversy had been created by Pakistan American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, described as the main character in the issue, the daily Dawn reported.

‘…this memo is the brainchild of Mansoor Ijaz and Mr Haqqani has nothing to do with it in any way,’ Bukhari said in an interview with the daily.

He said the commission was not authorised to punish or even accuse anybody as its responsibility was only to investigate the matter and forward findings to the Supreme Court. ‘The case will be decided by the Supreme Court.’

Bukhari replaced Asma Jehangir, a noted human rights activist and lawyer, who quit the case, saying that she did not have confidence in the memo commission.

Pakistan-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claims to have handed over a memo to the then US military chief Gen. Mike Mullen at the behest of Haqqani and the government to avert a likely military coup which President Asif Ali Zardari feared following Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s May 2 killing at Abbottabad near Islamabad.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court set up a three-member commission headed by Chief Justice Balochistan High Court Justice Qazi Faiz Isa to investigate into the memo issue.