Ordering a “time-bound” probe into the ‘memogate’ scandal, Pakistan Supreme Court on Thursday sought responses within 15 days from President Asif Ali Zardari, army and ISI chiefs besides others in connection with petitions before it seeking an investigation in to the controversy.
The apex court, ordering the constitution of a probe commission that must finish its work within three weeks, said that former envoy to US Husain Haqqani, forced to resign over the scandal, should not leave the country till its decision is announced.
Responses have also been sought from Haqqani and Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who made the memo public, creating a storm in the political and security set-up here.
The order was delivered by a nine-judge bench headed by chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, which had taken up nine separate petitions seeking a probe into the memogate controversy.
Zardari, Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI head Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha and others were named as respondents in a petition filed by former premier and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, who had sought a speedy investigation into the matter.
Sharif had told the apex court that the issue should be probed as it raised important questions related to Pakistan’s national security and sovereignty.
The apex court said the probe commission could be headed by former Federal Investigation Agency chief Tariq Khosa.
However, the bench noted that this would depend on Khosa’s assent to lead the panel.