LONDON: Former Pakistani envoy to the US Husain Haqqani, who is currently staying as a guest at the prime minister's official residence in Islamabad, fears that he will be murdered if he leaves the place, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.
He said he has been branded a "traitor" and a "Washington lackey" by "powerful quarters" -- a reference to the country's powerful ISI intelligence agency -- and that he now fears he will be murdered like his friend, Punjab governor Salman Taseer.
Taseer was shot dead by one of his own security guards last year after being branded a "blasphemer".
Haqqani was forced to resign last year after Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed he had asked him to pass on a memo to the American government seeking its help to oust Islamabad's military leadership.
He was recalled from Washington and now faces a Supreme Court enquiry commission amid accusations that he betrayed his country by colluding with the US to compromise its territorial integrity.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph Tuesday, he said the allegations against him are false and part of a "psychological war" against the government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani by "certain powerful quarters".
Haqqani said both the president and prime minister were standing behind him and were determined to stay and challenge the allegations.
He was speaking after Pakistan's top human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir revealed he had taken refuge in the prime minister's residence for fear that the ISI would force him to make a false statement on the affair.
He told the paper that he had only left the prime minister's residence on three occasions, each time under heavy security escort.
"I'm a guest of the prime minister with whom I have had a long-standing political association. There are clear security concerns given the hysteria generated against me. Staying at the prime minister's house is the safest option.
"My good friend Salman Taseer was killed by a security guard because he heard in the media that the governor had blasphemed.
"I'm being called a traitor and an American lackey in the media with the clear encouragement of certain powerful quarters even though I've not been charged legally with anything," the daily quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani commission probing the scandal issued notices to Husain Haqqani, Mansoor Ijaz, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, among others, to appear before it, Geo TV reported.
The commission, which held its first meeting Monday, will meet again on Jan 9, according to Geo TV.