Memo commission not interested in my version says Haqqani


WASHINGTON: Former Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani has said that the Memo Commission’s decision to conduct forensics on the Black- Berry handset of his accuser, Mansoor Ijaz, after completion of final arguments was “most unusual.” He claimed that what took place in London in the absence of his representatives cannot be called a lawful forensic examination. “Allowing a so-called expert to look at a handset on the terms of one respondent outside a forensics laboratory is a tainted exercise that hardly represents fair-play or advances the cause of justice,” he said. Talking to The News by phone from Boston, Haqqani said that the main claim of his accuser was that the contents of the memo had been communicated in a telephone call and said the excessive focus on Blackberry data was politically motivated to help establish otherwise unprovable claims. Haqqani, who teaches International Relations at Boston University, stressed that he had cooperated with the Inquiry Commission set up by the Supreme Court out of respect for the institution of the judiciary, even though his review petition against the Commission’s formation was pending. “I have withdrawn from the Commission’s proceedings only after it became obvious that its head was not interested in hearing my point of view. I was not even given the video recording of the proceedings so that my lawyers could not point out the arbitrariness of what was and was not recorded on paper,” he said. Professor Haqqani, as he prefers to be called, said that the Commission was not a trial court and “we must all wait and see what findings it presents to the Supreme Court and what the Supreme Court does after receiving those findings.” He also said that he has not played any role in US-Pakistan relations since his resignation as ambassador, and rumours to that effect were “motivated by ignorance and prejudice.” Haqqani laughed off comments by former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi about his continuing influence on Pakistani policy towards the United States. “Unlike Makhdoom Sahib, I remain loyal to the Pakistan People’s Party but now that I do not have an official position, I have no business interfering in government policy,” he said, adding that his views about the need for a reality-based foreign policy and positive US-Pakistan relations free of ideological hatred were well-known and he would continue to voice his opinions as a scholar and teacher. “I am only a small worker and contributor to the cause of a pluralist and tolerant modern Pakistan,” Haqqani said. “A towering figure like Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had to live outside the country for a decade and Altaf Husain Sahib has been leading a major political party from exile for two decades.”