Memogate commission: Ijaz will appear, but may be not on Jan 16

Published: January 12, 2012

Sources close to Ijaz say he intends to go to Pakistan but can not confirm the date.

LAHORE: It is not a question of if but when Mansoor Ijaz will come to Pakistan.

The central character in the Memogate scandal is likely to not appear before the judicial commission probing the matter on January 16, recent developments suggest.

Akram Sheikh, counsel for the Pakistani-origin American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, at the last hearing on January 9 had said that his client will appear before the panel on January 16. That appears unlikely given that he has yet to submit a visa request.

“We have not received a visa application by Mansoor Ijaz, either at the High Commission in London or any other consulate,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit said on Thursday.

Friday (today) is the last working day at the foreign missions before commission’s hearing in Islamabad on Monday.

Ijaz will not be in Pakistan on January 16, and has not given an exact date for his visit, confirmed senior journalist and editor-in-chief of The Friday Times Najam Sethi, while talking to The Express Tribuneon Thursday. Sethi, who spoke to Ijaz, did confirm that he will visit at some point. Ijaz said he will deposit his passport at a Pakistani embassy on Friday but refused to divulge further, Sethi added.

‘Security concerns’

Ijaz, in a press release from Zurich, said reports that he “may not be coming to Pakistan to offer [his] testimony before the Judicial Commission, are simply wrong.”

“Some important security-related concerns have arisen as the date of my testimony nears.  Certain adjustments are being made that are not for public dissemination,” the press release said.

He also denied reports that the American government pressurised him “not to testify.”

“I have received broad-based and bipartisan support from my fellow Americans for my willingness to speak truth … and to put my factual recounting of events related to the memorandum in question on the record before the Commission,” Ijaz said in a press release. He added that the security issues “are material and will be managed.”

“I look forward to enjoying the local food, seeing some old friends and putting the truth on the record once and for all so this episode in Pakistan’s history can be put behind us,” he added.

Sources, however, said Ijaz’s no-show on January 16 is because he has not received a go-ahead from ‘quarters’ pushing for investigating the issue. He is not likely to appear before the commission any time soon, but will simultaneously insist he is coming, to keep the pressure on the government, sources added.

Death threats

Meanwhile, former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani, in an affidavit, defied allegations levelled by Ijaz’s counsel that his client received death threats from Haqqani through email.

Haqqani, in the affidavit, has said that he did not send any threats to Ijaz. Haqqani’s counsel, Zahid Bokhari, has prepared an application to submit to the secretary of the judicial commission.

Earlier, Sheikh alleged before the commission that Ijaz had received death threats via email.

Original documents

The original power of attorney appointing Sheikh as Ijaz’s lawyer has not been received by any consulate in the UK or Switzerland either, sources in the foreign office said.

The point was highlighted by Bokhari who objected before the commission: “The counsel is representing Mansoor Ijaz without signing a power of attorney and affidavits with Ijaz, which is equivalent to forgery.”

“What if tomorrow Mansoor Ijaz refuses to accept everything the learned counsel is stating here,” Bokhari had said, adding that he will submit waivers and other documents after Ijaz gives his testimony and evidence to the commission. Sheikh said he has signed a power of attorney with his client and submitted it to the commission. However, since it is an electronic copy, he said he would have to submit a notarised copy to the commission later.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Jan 12, 2012 - 10:24PM

    Izaz,would be steping into hornet’s nest,if he decide’s to go to Pakistan,he knows what happened to former ambassodor,he is stuck in limbo,not knowing when he will be allowed to leave.In sub-continent it ‘nagga raj and chopat raja” to leave the safety of west and venture into unknown ,one has to morgage once mind.We sometime drawn to our destruction unwittingly,so it seems.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:30PM

    Credibility of Mansoor Ejaz’s various statements in Memo-Scandal case are controversial.

    Whether he get visa, come to Pakistan or not is immaterial.

    When he will come to Pakistan, he will not be given VIP treatment being an American but will be treated as an ordinary witness that engineered Memo-Scandal case in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Imran
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:32PM

    He hasn’t applied for the visa yet? Now this is a big one!
    What a joke he has made of Pakistan.

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  • Khawlah
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:48PM

    Give me a break. We hate Hussain Haqqani because he allegedly issued visas to CIA agents though he himself denied the allegations. Now some days earlier our honourable Supreme Court issued an order to the Government to issue an urgent Visa to Mansoor Ijaz. This Mansoor Ijaz openly say that he is a CIA & Mosad Agent. Moreover our army issued a statement today that Mansoor Ijaz will be given security once he land in Pakistan. Now if a thing is HARAM for Hussain Haqqani then how can be the same thing HALAL for Army and Supreme Court?

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  • HASAN MEHMOOD
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:52AM

    @Khawlah:
    A very poor analogy. Unlike CIA agents he is not coming with false alibi to disappear from ISI/ security agency radar view once in Pakistan like Raymond Davies. And he is most definitely going back within a few days under media lights.
    A very pathetic defense of HH visa policy. Everyone knows the allegedly dubious character of MI, but do you even know a single name (forget background info) of Americans granted fast track VISA by HH?

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  • ishaq
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:30AM

    Memo case Showed That One US citizen is More Powerful
    Than Pakistani Government, Judiciary, Media, Arm Forces
    and the list goes on and on…..

    Recommend

  • Afaaq
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:29AM

    Instead of wasting the time of the people and dragging this thing. Video Conferencing techniques under oath are used the world over, where logistical constraints are present.

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  • Hasan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:20AM

    @Imran:
    Exactly how has he made a joke of Pakistan? Why would an American citizen want to come to Pakistan to give evidence when he could just as easily provide the same via video conference?
    This is a Pakistani problem, NOT a problem for an American citizen!

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  • Imran
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:29AM

    His Excellency want VVIP treatment, and perhaps a guard of honor at arrival. This is to muchRecommend

  • MarkH
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:48AM

    I’m not a been fan of his selective integrity. But, I could have sworn I heard some people mumble something about even trying to arrest him when he arrives. I can say right now, even catching slight wind of that would be a huge turn off whether it could happen successfully or not.

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  • Ashraf P
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:55AM

    This shady character will NEVER step on Pakistani soil. The ISI has a long memory. Don’t think they would have forgotten what he wrote about them.

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  • Mirza
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:18AM

    The whole Memo case is built on house of cards. The base foundation is a single foreign double agent domino. This man has been spitting venom against Pakistan, army and ISI. If he is a no show there would be no case. All efforts would be made to invite him with the army protection. He is not a Pakistani but an American and our establishment would do anything to protect him. He does not need to even apply for a visa. It would be presented to him on a silver platter.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:14PM

    @Mirza:
    Based on house of cards?
    So what’s stopping the Govt to blow it away in a court of law?

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  • Jan 14, 2012 - 3:07AM

    An EU Based diplomatic Mediator “Faisal Muhammed” disclose that “Mansoor Ijaz” not
    able to visit Pakistan because due to danger his life.
    I know Faisal Muhammed is very close Mansoor Ijaz because both are having “same status”
    “International Mediators”.

    I think if Mansoor appear in court there will be an “Pandora box” will open which is not in faver in Pakistan as well as USA.

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