Ex-Pakistani envoy to US wins court victory

Legal World

Pakistan's top court Monday lifted a travel ban imposed on the country's former ambassador to the U.S. during an investigation into a memo sent to Washington that had enraged the army, in a sign that a scandal that once looked capable of bringing down the government may be losing steam.

Husain Haqqani resigned in November and returned to Islamabad to answer allegations that he masterminded the note, which asked for Washington's help in curbing the powers of the Pakistani army in exchange for security policies favorable to the U.S.

The unsigned memo, sent to Washington following the May 2011 American operation that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistan army town, appeared to confirm the army's worst fears that the country's elected politicians were conspiring with Washington — a potent charge in a country where anti-Americanism runs deep.

The outrage, whipped up by right-wing, pro-army sections of the media, exposed the apparent fragility of the government in the face of generals who have ruled the country for much of its more than 60-year existence and still run defense and foreign policy.

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