Pakistan 'memogate': Husain Haqqani travel ban lifted

Pakistan's ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, at the embassy in Washington (file photo March 2011)
Image caption Mr Haqqani had been ambassador to the US since 2008

Pakistan's Supreme Court has lifted a travel ban it placed on the country's ex-US envoy, while it probed his role in a scandal over a controversial memo.

Husain Haqqani denies playing any part in drafting an unsigned memo which asks for US help in the event of a military coup in Pakistan.

Mr Haqqani resigned after the memo caused an outcry among Pakistan's military leadership.

The scandal is at the heart of a rift between the army and the government.

But analysts say the move by the court to ease Mr Haqqani's travel restrictions are likely to ease tensions.

The court order allowing Mr Haqqani to travel was granted after his lawyer guaranteed that Mr Haqqani would appear before judges at four days' notice if required, the AFP news agency reported.

Mr Haqqani says that he will now travel to join his family in the US after consultations with members of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

The "memogate" row, as it has come to be known, originates from a Financial Times article by Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, published on 10 October.

He said he had been approached by Mr Haqqani for help in conveying the memo from Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari to the Americans. President Zardari denies any involvement with the memo.

Former US Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen confirmed receiving the secret communication, but insisted that he did not pay any attention to it and took no follow-up action.

Last week Mr Ijaz said he would not testify before the hearing in Pakistan citing security concerns. He said he was willing to send his evidence by video.

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