Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif on Wednesday called for a parliamentary commission to investigate claims made by Hussain Haqqani in a March 10 op-ed published by the Washington Post.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-Pakistan) seconded the proposal; the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) also agreed, adding that the Memogate Commission’s report is also made public.
Noting that there had been considerable debate in Parliament on Haqqani’s op-ed over the past few days, Asif recalled that the former ambassador to the US had left the country on the promise that he would return, but never did.
“Haqqani wrote about Osama Bin Ladin’s death and levied allegations regarding two people on extremely important posts at the time,” Asif noted.
“I would suggest that a parliamentary commission be formed on the matter and an open inquiry conducted,” he added.
Asif suggested that the defence ministry present all the facts of the case and its policies regarding the matter during the time the Memogate scandal broke.
“The issue is a matter of national security and should be discussed with the media present,” Asif added.
Talking about Haqqani’s allegations, Asif said, “This is not the first time Haqqani has targeted our national security; however, it is the first time that he has named Asif Ali Zardari and Yousuf Raza Gilani in such a case,” Asif added.
He noted that opposition leader Khursheed Shah had termed Hussain Haqqani a traitor, but said he was trying to dodge responsibility by doing so.
During the debate, Asif also dismissed rumours that a Pakistan Army brigade was being posted to defend Saudi Arabia’s borders.
He clarified that nearly a thousand army officials had been posted in Saudi Arabia, but most of them were ‘doctors and engineers’.
He also made it clear that Pakistan had a clear policy not to interfere in matters concerning Yemen.