ISLAMABAD: He’s adamant, but they’re relentless.
Despite two refusals by Mansoor Ijaz to visit Pakistan and appear before the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS), Memogate’s central character has been given another ‘last chance’ to appear before the panel on February 10 and prove his allegations against former envoy to the US Husain Haqqani.
The panel also expressed its ‘satisfaction’ over the security arrangements made by the government for Ijaz.
“We will pass final recommendations in the case if Ijaz fails to appear before the committee on February 10,” said panel’s chief Senator Raza Rabbani while speaking to The Express Tribune.
Recommendations will be forwarded to the “concerned quarter,” he added, not specifying if that would be the prime minister or parliament.
Notice to Ijaz will be issued through the foreign ministry, Rabbani said, adding that the secretary for the judicial commission also probing Memogate will hand over PCNS’ notice to Ijaz, if he arrives to appear before the commission on February 9.
“Neither Ijaz nor his counsel submitted a reply to the committee,” a lawmaker who attended the panel’s Thursday proceedings told The Express Tribune.
“Ijaz is backpedaling on the memo issue,” the lawmaker added while quoting his colleagues’ observations.
Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq briefed the committee on the security arrangements for Ijaz and assured the panel that the government has already announced the best possible arrangements. Rabbani said the government could reconsider the arrangements if it felt the need to do so but lawmakers feel adequate measures have been put into place.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif offered ‘adequate security’ to Ijaz if he came to Punjab to record his statement.
Talking to Express News, Sharif said that he will take personal responsibility of providing complete security to Ijaz during his visit to Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2012.
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