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Pakistan top court removes travel ban on former envoy to U.S.

By Muhammad Tahir (Xinhua)

16:00, January 30, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan's former ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani, who was barred two months ago from leaving the country for his alleged role in a memo that sought U.S. help against the powerful army, was allowed by the Supreme Court on Monday that he can travel abroad with the court's permission.

A Pakistani-American business tycoon, Mansoor Ijaz, had claimed in October that he had been asked by Haqqani to deliver an alleged memo to the U.S. former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, seeking Washington's help to stop a possible military coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden in may.

The Supreme Court on Dec. 1 issued a travel ban order for Haqqani after accepting a petition for regular hearing to investigate the memo, which has plunged the government into political crisis.

A Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chuadhry, allowed Haqqani that he can travel abroad but will appear when he is required by the apex court.

The Attorney General had requested the court to remove travel ban on Haqqani.

Asma Jehangir, defense lawyer for the former ambassador to the United States, said that Haqqani will return the country in a four-day notice by the court. She said that her client has no work and be allowed to work. She also said that Haqqani's children are out of Pakistan and he should be allowed to re-join his family.

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