After four arduous months, proceedings of the Memo Commission finally concluded at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday.
During the final proceedings, the commission directed the foreign office secretary to brief it in-camera regarding secret funds used by former ambassador Hussain Haqqani during his tenure.
This decision was taken after Mansoor Ijaz’s counsel Akram Sheikh claimed to have information that Haqqani received $7 million in secret funds during his three and a half year tenure. Maintaining that the former ambassador reportedly consumed up to $6.7 million out of those funds, Sheikh had requested the commission to start an inquiry on the matter.
Haqqani’s counsel Zahid Bukhari remained absent, continuing his boycott of the commission’s proceedings.
Meanwhile, forensic examination reports of Mansoor Ijaz’s Blackberry set and laptop were made part of the commission’s official record.
Recording his statement, commission secretary Raja Jawad, who submitted the forensic reports, said eight companies were contacted to conduct the examinations and System Technology Consultants Company was selected. Questioned by Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Tariq Mehmood Jehangiri as to how the company’s authenticity was determined, he replied the company had a good reputation and assured to complete the examination expeditiously. He informed the commission that Mansoor Ijaz submitted his Blackberry set on May 10 after notices were served both on him and Hussain Haqqani.
During the proceedings, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, the first petitioner in the case, drew the commission’s attention towards a New York Times article penned by Haqqani criticising the commission. Justice Isa requested a copy of the article be provided to the commission and asked the commission to share its findings with the apex court once all evidence was recorded.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2012.