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Pakistan high court lifts travel ban on former US ambassador

The Pakistan Supreme Court [official website] on Monday ordered that a travel ban imposed upon the former ambassador to the US is to be lifted. The ban was imposed upon Husain Haqqani after an anonymous memo that implied Pakistani politicians were collaborating with US politicians was sent to Washington, DC, in May, after Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces [JURIST report]. Haqqani resigned from his position as ambassador to the US after he came under suspicion for being the author of the memo. The Pakistan Supreme Court created a commission in order to investigate the origin of the memo [JURIST report], but Haqqani has not been charged with any crime. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari [official website] had also fallen under suspicion until recently when the man accusing Haqqani and Zadari of being involved with the memo, Mansoor Ijaz, refused to travel to Pakistan to testify in the case. Ijaz, who is also believed to have delivered the note to Washington, offered to send his testimony by video [BBC report]. Since his refusal to testify in person, the case is perceived to have weakened drastically.

Pakistan's Supreme Court has recently been in the news over issues concerning the ongoing struggle between the government and the courts. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani honored a summons issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan [JURIST report] by appearing earlier this month to answer contempt charges brought by the court. Gilani was ordered to appear to explain why he did not comply with court's order to reopen a corruption case against Zardari. The conflict between the prime minister and the court stems from an order which struck down [JURIST report] the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) [text] in 2009, which granted immunity to Zardari and 8,000 other government officials from charges of corruption, embezzlement, money laundering, murder and terrorism between January 1986 and October 1999.

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