Pakistan Supreme Court to investigate memo alleging army coup

Pakistan Supreme Court to investigate memo alleging army coup

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[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] formed a judicial committee Friday to investigate a secret memo sent from an unknown Pakistani source to US Admiral Mike Mullen in May asking for help in preventing a suspected army coup. Former Pakistan ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile] have been accused of writing or having knowledge of the memo, and both have denied these allegations. Haqqani’s lawyer expressed disappointment [Al Jazeera video report] with the court’s decision to investigate the memo, saying that if her client is found guilty by the commission, he will have nowhere to go for a fair trial, violating his due process rights. The army denies planning a coup and supports the court’s involvement to sort out what happened and where the memo came from.

Since controversy arose over the killing of Osama Bin Laden [JURIST report] by US forces in Pakistan in May, Pakistan’s alliance with the US has been questioned. The growing conflict between the US and Pakistan was analyzed by JURIST guest columnist Sikander Ahmed Shah [official profile] in Drone Strikes in Pakistan: Examining Consent in International Law [JURIST op-ed]. Pakistan has also faced an ongoing struggle with corruption that the courts have attempted to battle. The Pakistan Supreme Court in October issued a judgment urging political parties to stop financing criminal groups [JURIST report] responsible for increased violence in the city of Karachi. The decision stated that militant groups have gained strength because of support from local political groups and ordered the Pakistani government to help address the corruption.