Court: SC forms larger bench to hear ‘memo case’ on March 11

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday constituted a nine member larger bench of the Supreme Court to hear the memo case on March 11.

The bench consists on Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed.

Interior Secretary Khawaja Muhammad Siddique Akbar and Attorney General Irfan Qadir will appear before the court on notice. Asma Jahangir will appear for former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani.

On last hearing, the court had repeated its earlier order to the interior ministry to provide security to Hussain Haqqani upon his arrival, stay and then departure from Pakistan. The court had ordered that Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddique Akbar and Inspector General of Islamabad Police Bani Ameen Khan should meet and make arrangements for Haqqani’s security.

A judicial commission appointed by the Supreme Court has held that Haqqani was the originator and architect of the memo. Haqqani was implicated in a scandal in which he had a memo delivered to top US General Admiral Mike Mullen offering greater cooperation against the Pakistan military in the aftermath of the Abbottabad raid on May 2, 2011.

At of the hearings of the case, Asma Jahangir had showed a letter to the court which was sent to her by her client for submitting with the interior ministry. In his letter, Haqqani had said that he was avoiding travel to Pakistan over security concerns which barred him from appearing in the court. In its short order, the court had asked the interior secretary to explain why the ministry had failed to ensure Haqqani’s safe return to Pakistan.

In his letter, Haqqani had stated that: “A number of self-appointed guardians of Pakistan’s integrity and ideology have targeted me and routinely send me threatening messages by email, twitter and on phone.