Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States has allowed BlackBerry’s manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) to access his account to extract records of his conversations with Mansoor Ijaz, the self-proclaimed whistle-blower of the Memogate scandal.
On April 5, the Memogate Commission had asked Husain Haqqani, who is currently abroad, to write a letter of consent to RIM within 24 hours and also appear in person to record his statement.
“Yes, Haqqani has formally written to RIM to waive his privacy in compliance with the commission’s orders and I will produce that letter today (Thursday),” Zahid Bukhari, the attorney for Haqqani, told The Express Tribune.
He said his client has given full authority to RIM to email the data either to him (Haqqani) or to his email account, since RIM’s policy forbids sending data to a third party.
Bukhari claimed that his client had no objection to sharing his mobile phone record and has issued a ‘No-Objection Certificate’ in this regard.
Bukhari said he would request the commission today (Thursday) to not take any adverse action against his client until the Supreme Court issues final orders.
He said Haqqani’s petition, filed by his counsel Asma Jahangir, was already pending before the apex court in which he requested for recording his statement via video link from London.
“My stance will be to seek time till April 18, when Asma returns from India,’’ he added.
Earlier the commission asked Director General (Americas) in Foreign Office’ to provide details of the ‘secret’ fund allocated to Haqqani between April and December 2011 after Akram Sheikh, Ijaz’s counsel, alleged that Haqqani had used ‘secret’ funds during his three-year tenure as ambassador.
Meanwhile, in an email sent to The Express Tribune, Ijaz claimed that mandatory requirements in the consent form include the PIN and IMEI number of the BlackBerry handsets he used as well as PIN of handsets he communicated with.
This must mean that Haqqani is in possession of those handsets and consequently lied to the commission about losing them.
In the absence of the PIN and IMEI number, RIM is unlikely to cooperate because they cannot sort and sift data only on the basis of a telephone number.
(WTH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM our correspondents IN LAHORE)
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2012.