Memogate: Zardari's reply not to be submitted in SC today, says AG

Husain Haqqani, Mansoor Ijaz, army chief Ashfaq Kayani, DG ISI Pasha submit replies to court.


Faisal Shakeel/Web Desk December 15, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Attorney General (AG) of Supreme Court (SC) Maulvi Anwarul Haq said on Thursday that President Asif Ali Zardari’s reply in the memogate case will not be submitted to the court today, Express News reported.

The deadline to submit reply to the SC in the memogate scandal ends today. Only four respondents – former Ambassador to United States (US) Husain Haqqani, Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – have submitted their replies.

Earlier speaking to The Express Tribune, AG Haq had said that the replies from Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen. Shuja Ahmed Pasha had been submitted.

Haq, who is responsible for submitting the replies on behalf of Zardari, said that it had been decided that hastily submitting a reply on behalf of the President was not wise.

PM deliberates over replies filed by GHQ

A release from PM house stated that that after the replies from COAS and DG ISI were submitted in the Supreme Court Gilani held an emergency meeting with the AG Anwarul Haq, and the Former federal minister for law, justice and parliamentary affairs Dr Babar Awan.

Prime Minister Gillani discussed the content of the replies received to the Supreme Court from COAS and DG ISI in a detailed manner during the meeting and asked the participants of the meeting for their legal view.

The statement said that  Gilani also shared the details of his conversation during a meeting with the Chief of Army Staff on November 13. It was learnt that during the meeting the sequence of the reported BlackBerry messenger conversation between May 9 to 11, 2011 between Husain Haqqani and Mansoor Ijaz also came under discussion.

AG Anwarul Haq shared the details of replies and his personal view was that the content of the documents was very carefully drafted and recommendations about the national interest are very clear. Official added that AG was of the view that govt should not hastily submit a reply from the President’s side. After this meeting According to the Attorney General, President Zardari would not be submitting his reply on Thursday.

The Supreme Court has received replies from the COAS, DG ISI along with the federal secretaries from the cabinet, defence, foreign, law and interior  ministries. Mansoor Ijaz who is the main character of the scandal had sent his reply through email to the Supreme Court.

Contrary to the statement released by the SC that the deadline ends today, the AG said that he had one more day to submit the replies.

Meeting between army's legal branch and AG to draft Kayani's reply

Earlier today, a meeting was underway between the legal branch personnel of the Pakistan Army and AG Haq.

The meeting had finalised the draft of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s reply to the court in the memogate case. An excerpt from the reply, Kayani and Pasha validated the existence of the memo.

During the last hearing, the court had sought written replies from President Asif Ali Zardari, Kayani, Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Shuja Pasha, former Ambassador to US Husain Haqqani, Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, and the foreign secretary.

The memogate scandal began when Admiral Mike Mullen confirmed the existence of a controversial memo, allegedly sent by President Zardari via a trusted source. Former ambassador to the US Haqqani resigned after being involved in the controversy.

The court had given a two-week deadline for filing the replies, which lapses today.

Mansoor Ijaz submits reply to SC

Pakistani-American businessman Ijaz submitted his reply to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the memogate scandal earlier on Thursday.

Ijaz, who is one of the respondents in the case, reportedly sent his reply via e-mail to the apex court.

(Read: Memogate: Ambassador Haqqani will give explanation, says Gilani)

In an 81-page e-mail, he sent details related to his interaction with Haqqani -- including Blackberry Messenger conversations, SMS and e-mails exchanged between Ijaz and Haqqani, telephone records that include received calls from Haqqani and calls that Ijaz had made.

He also enclosed a letter addressing Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that stated that he was ready to present himself to the court regardless of security concerns.

(Read: Memogate probe: Mansoor Ijaz ready to appear before SC)

Ijaz also said that he will reveal names of two “key US persons” he had contacted for extending the memo to Mullen, if the Supreme Court demands.

"The senior American political figure, well known and well regarded, insisted on having the memorandum emanate from President Zardari after his signature in order to proceed (give memo to Mullen)," Ijaz stated in the reply.

He said that names of the second and third US persons, who were considered as potential channels for the transmission of the memorandum will only be discussed in "in camera" briefings.

Ijaz claimed that he had been consulting at least two US lawyers before delivering the memo to General Jones to preclude any damage to his interest in the US. He added that General Jones had doubted if the Pakistani officials would be able to deliver the promises made in the memo.

The details Ijaz had given include information that had already been revealed by news agencies and some which were not made public earlier.

In the e-mail, Ijaz had written about his meeting with Haqqani in a London hotel, in which the former ambassador had informed Ijaz that the May 2 Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden had severed ties between Army, intelligence agencies and the civilian government.

(Read: Memogate: More firefights loom for cornered govt)

Haqqani had also requested Ijaz to help him in this regard. However, in the e-mail Ijaz had stated that he had asked Haqqani how he could help in the matter.

The Pakistani-American businessmen also said that he had forwarded the related data to Pasha on October 22, 2011.

On the last hearing, the court had sought written replies from President Asif Ali Zardari, Kayani, Pasha, Haqqani, Ijaz, and the foreign secretary.

The memogate scandal began when Admiral Mike Mullen confirmed the existence of a controversial memo, allegedly sent by President Zardari via a trusted source. Former ambassador to the US Haqqani resigned after being involved in the controversy.

However, apprehensions loom over the president’s reply, before the case resumes on December 19, since President Zardari is currently in Dubai undergoing medical treatment.

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COMMENTS (16)

John | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend Zardari will not return until after the elections. The only way he will return now is once hes brokered an agreement with the army.
XX | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend

Charge Asif Zardari with treason. But first - since the NRO is now null, arrest him for his previous charges.

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