Court decision eases tension in Pakistan

Court decision eases tension in Pakistan

Court decision eases tension in Pakistan

Pakistan’s former envoy to US, Haqqani (C), gestures as he leaves the High Court Building in Islamabad. The court lifted a travel ban on him, easing tension. AFP photo

Pakistan’s Supreme Court yesterday further eased tension in the country by lifting a travel ban on a former envoy to Washington, who angered the generals after the emergence of a secret memo.

Husain Haqqani was barred from leaving the country in December by the Supreme Court, which is investigating the memo that sought U.S. help in reining in Pakistan’s generals after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May last year. A panel of nine justices said yesterday that Haqqani was free to travel outside Pakistan, but must inform the Supreme Court, which has formed a commission to investigate the memo, of his plans in advance.

“He is allowed to proceed out of country,” chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said in his order, after lawyer Asma Jehangir guaranteed her client would appear before judges at four days’ notice if required. “I am glad that the Supreme Court has restored my right to travel, which had been rescinded without any charges being filed against me,” Haqqani said after the decision. “I will join my family in the U.S. after discussions with the leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party.” Haqqani was forced to resign as ambassador to Washington over claims that he was involved in memo case. He denies the accusations.
Last week, the investigation appeared to come unstuck when judges ruled out travelling abroad to hear the testimony of American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who alone had implicated Zardari in the document.

Compiled from Reuters and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.

Foul drug kills 116 in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Anatolia News Agency

The number of people in eastern Pakistan suspected to have died in the last month from taking bad heart medicine has risen to 116, regional government health officials in the country have said.

Instructions have been given to relevant authorities to remove all responsible senior officials from their office and include them in the probe into the deaths, Punjab province’s Health Ministry said in a statement. Around 300 people, some in severe condition, are still being treated in hospitals due to the use of bad heart medicine. Police have arrested many people, including doctors and firm managers, since the scandal emerged last week.