Memogate probe: Mansoor Ijaz not coming to Pakistan

Published: January 24, 2012

According to his lawyer, Ijaz has decided to record his testimony in Zurich or London. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Mansoor Ijaz has, after all, decided against visiting Pakistan to record his testimony before the judicial commission probing the Memogate controversy.

A day before the third sitting of the judicial commission probing the controversial memo, the key witness invited the commission to record his testimony at a place of his choice, outside Pakistan.

His lawyer, Akram Sheikh, said that Ijaz has decided to record his testimony in Zurich or London, following the “deviation” of the federal government and armed forces from their respective proclamation to provide him security.

According to an application submitted by Ijaz, through his counsel, to the commission on Monday, by virtue of Para 9 (e) of the order of the Supreme Court, the commission was mandated to collect evidence within and outside Pakistan.

It further said that in order to “unravel the truth” and expose Haqqani’s ‘fraudulent’ version, the applicant had decided to undertake the risk of travelling to Pakistan and continues to be willing to do so, in letter and spirit.

However, following ‘threats’ by Interior Minister Rehman Malik received on ‘a daily basis’, the applicant ‘reluctantly relented’ and decided not to visit Pakistan under any circumstances.

Ijaz further said that “the very institution charged with his protection (the Interior Ministry) is acting under the orders of the individuals against whom he is deposing as a witness and is headed by an individual (Rehman Malik) who almost daily makes threats and charges against the applicant.”

The application further pointed out that security arrangements for Ijaz were assigned to the interior ministry instead of the army as requested by the applicant and ordered by the commission on January 9 and January 16.

‘Trap’ in security arrangements

Ijaz’s counsel Sheikh echoed the concerns with security arrangements at a press conference on the premises of the Supreme Court, saying that his client would not fall prey to the government ‘trap’.

“It seems like a well orchestrated trap to hold Ijaz indefinitely in Pakistan after his deposition before the commission,” he said.

The lawyer said that the IGP visited him to discuss security arrangements and said if the need arose, they would request the army to provide additional security to Ijaz.

However, he added, that the IGP failed to comment on whether or not Ijaz’s name would be placed on the ECL and, if his return from Pakistan would remain unobstructed.

Ijaz deliberately raising objections: AGP

Reacting sharply to the press conference, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq said, “What trap; what is he talking about? Does he know under whose order he is travelling to Pakistan?”

The attorney general added that an army officer had been named to make security arrangements for Ijaz, even though the commission had, in its order, used the word ‘may’ for provision of additional security for him.

While talking to reporters outside the Supreme Court, he said he felt as if Ijaz was deliberately raising objections to avoid giving a testimony before the commission.

Documentary evidence

Through his application before the commission, Ijaz volunteered to hand over documentary evidence of former ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani’s involvement in the scandal.

He claimed of holding valuable equipment/evidence, which will settle the controversy; however if it ends up in the wrong hands there is a possibility of tampering and destruction.

Ijaz further suggested that the entire commission or any of its members meet him outside Pakistan to take into possession his original, unhampered Blackberry handsets, recorded messages, emails, call logs and hand notes and, also, record his oral testimony.

Ijaz wasting commission’s time: Haqqani

On the other hand, Haqqani has alleged that Ijaz is not attending the proceedings of the commission without a lawful reason or excuse.

In an application submitted before the commission on Monday, Haqqani stated that the commission has accepted all of Ijaz’s demands and even the dates are being fixed on his desire. Even the attorney general and the government, he added, arranged foolproof security, yet Ijaz’s attitude and conduct clearly shows he is ‘playing with the sentiments of the nation’ and also ‘wasting the precious time of the commission’.

He requested the commission to close the right of recording Ijaz’s statement, so that further proceedings could be conducted accordingly in order to finalise the proceedings within time frame given by the Supreme Court.

Riaz seeks to be part of probe

Meanwhile, Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz Ahmad submitted another application to the judicial commission seeking permission to become a party in the Memogate probe.

While talking to the media, he demanded that a case of high treason be registered against Ijaz.

(Read: Not coming after all)

Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2012.

Reader Comments (12)

  • Philip
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:53AM

    If I were Ijaz, I would not step foot in Pakistan. Very dangerous for his health. I see it like this: President Musharraf, GEN Kayani, Hamid Gul and LTG Pasha protected Osama. Zardari and Gilani didn’t know. The US finally convinced Kayani and Pasha they knew where Osama was and threatened the US would finally take drastic action, as they became tired of the game. The US went in unopposed; forty minutes on the ground in Abbottabad with no response whatsoever? All the shooting and helicopters? Oh please. So the GENS acted, and I mean acted, surprised and insulted with the raid. Zardari and Gilani were embarrassed and in the dark about all this. And now everyone is at each others’ throats, including the SC. This is silly. The Pakistani government does not want to own up to any of this for fear of riling up the militants. So now, here you are.

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  • Hafiz Shah Ali
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:56AM

    Video record his testimony under oath

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  • Ilyad
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:06AM

    If there is such a quest for truth then a live testimony could be arranged from Pakistan Embassy in Washington, does anyone want that or it is just politics?

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  • M. A. Changezi
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:15AM

    This pompous guy is getting a lot of media coverage. Please, please, please ignore him. He’s an attention seeker is all.

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  • Babloo
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:51AM

    Why is he not coming ?
    Exit Control list ?
    He has to appear in a very important video ?
    I am running out of ideas.

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  • haroon ali
    Jan 24, 2012 - 9:29AM

    If he was so coward why did he made such tall claims in the first place? He said he will come to Pakistan no matter what in order and now he back tracks.

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  • Syed Imran
    Jan 24, 2012 - 9:45AM

    Disappointing.

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  • Hamir
    Jan 24, 2012 - 9:55AM

    “Meanwhile, Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz Ahmad submitted another application to the judicial commission seeking permission to become a party in the Memogate probe.

    While talking to the media, he demanded that a case of high treason be registered against Ijaz.”

    He is a US citizen. How can you register a case of high treason, against a foreign citizen.

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  • BS.Detecter
    Jan 24, 2012 - 10:01AM

    Wise Decision.

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  • WQ
    Jan 24, 2012 - 10:54AM

    Video conferencing is for such moments!

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  • The man
    Jan 24, 2012 - 11:04AM

    He should just make a youtube video.

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  • mk
    Jan 24, 2012 - 1:58PM

    Better safe than sorry.How can a country that cannot protect its Ex-PM protect him.

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