Pakistan begins process to extradite Hussain Haqqani, former ambassador to US, on embezzlement charges

The Interpol had refused to issue an arrest warrant against Hussain Haqqani, a prominent critic of Pakistan's military and political leadership, in January last year.

Press Trust of India January 06, 2019 10:39:19 IST
Pakistan begins process to extradite Hussain Haqqani, former ambassador to US, on embezzlement charges

Islamabad: Pakistan has initiated a process of seeking the extradition of its former envoy to the US Hussain Haqqani through the foreign office on embezzlement charges after it failed to get it through Interpol, a media report said on Saturday.

The Supreme Court had issued warrants to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to produce Haqqani, a prominent critic of Pakistan's military and political leadership, before it in January last year, but the Interpol has refused to issue an arrest warrant against him.

Haqqani, 62, was Pakistan's Ambassador to the US from 27 May, 2008, to 22 November, 2011, which is considered as one of the most tumultuous period of the US-Pakistan relationship.

As part of the extradition process, Pakistan's interior ministry has also transferred a 355-page extradition dossier to the foreign office.

Pakistan begins process to extradite Hussain Haqqani former ambassador to US on embezzlement charges

File image of Hussain Haqqani. AFP

"The Ministry of Interior has transferred a 355-page extradition dossier to the Foreign Office, which will be sent to the State Department for Mr Haqqani's extradition," Dawn quoted a source as saying.

The Supreme Court, through a suo motu notice related to the implementation of an earlier Supreme Court order of bringing Haqqani back, had directed the government to ensure his repatriation, the paper reported.

In 2018, Pakistan's Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant against Haqqani after he failed to appear before it in the 'Memogate' case.

Haqqani was at the centre of a controversy over allegedly sending a memorandum to the US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen in 2011, seeking his direct intervention to avert a possible overthrow of the Pakistan Peoples Party government by the military.

A commission constituted by the Supreme Court commonly known as the 'Memogate Commission' had in its report held Haqqani as the originator and architect of the memo, the report said.

The government has on at least a couple of occasions in the past sought Interpol warrants for Haqqani's arrest, but could not convince the international criminal police to act.

Later, in March 2018, seven years after Haqqani's resignation over the memogate scandal, a case of embezzlement of $2 million was registered against him, which is now being made the basis for seeking his extradition, the paper said.

Haqqani now heads the South and Central Asia division of Hudson Institute, a top American think-tank.

In 2018, Haqqani along with Lisa Curtis of 'The Heritage Foundation', another top American think-tank, had co-authored a report on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A few months later, recommendations of this report became the basis of the new Afghanistan and South Asia policy of the Trump administration.

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