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Hussain Haqqani had no authority to issue visas to Americans: Asif Zardari

23 March, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Zardari on Wednesday said former ambassador Hussain Haqqani did not have the authority to issue visas to the Americans.

Zardari, talking to a private TV channel, said, "Even Haqqani has denied [that he authorised visas]. He himself says he is being misread." "There are many people in the embassy other than the envoy who scramble visas if they are important."

However, Zardari said that he does not agree with Haqqani, claiming that the former envoy believes himself to be an "intellectual" and a "philosopher of Washington".

"Our views on things differ vastly," Zardari said. "I do not agree with [Haqqani's] book either because he has spoken against Pakistan in it," the former president added.

When asked whether the PPP would concede appointing Haqqani was a "wrong decision", Zardari said, "The time when I was president, Musharraf was here. So I called Durrani back and sent Haqqani there. He did what I needed him to do at that time."

"It was the decision of the parliament at the time. It was the decision of the establishment at the time," said Zardari when asked why the PPP government never made the Abbottabad Commission report public.

"It was not in the interest of the country to make the report public," he further said, adding if the current government deems it favourable, it should move forward with publishing the report. When asked about the report being leaked, he said that those who prepare the reports are "after all, humans".

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