Abbottabad operation: Zardari, Kayani deny prior talk on May 2 raid

Published: March 4, 2012
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Mansoor Ijaz says he mentioned an exchange of calls, not direct conversation between the two offices.

Mansoor Ijaz says he mentioned an exchange of calls, not direct conversation between the two offices.

ISLAMABAD: 

The Presidency and the General Headquarters may be physically apart, but appeared on the same page in denouncing allegations purportedly made by Memogate whistle-blower Mansoor Ijaz.

Following Ijaz’s statements to reporters in London on Friday, both President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani denied talking to each other on the night of May 1 and May 2.

Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar claimed that media reports about Zardari making a phone call to Gen Kayani on the night of the US-led raid were “absolutely untrue and unfounded.”

“A section of the media has carried reports implying that President Asif Ali Zardari had, through a phone call on the night of the May 2 raid, informed the army chief that the operation had been conducted with his approval, are absolutely untrue.”

For his part, Gen Kayani, too, issued a statement through the military’s media arm, the Inter-Services Public Relations. The statement read that “referring to the statement of Mansoor Ijaz as reported in the media, there was no telephone conversation between the president and the COAS on the night between 1 and May 2, 2011.”

The statement added that the “military leadership has briefed the joint session of parliament on the subject matter and there is nothing more to add to it.”

Ijaz clarifies his position

In response to the statements of the military and Presidency, Ijaz clarified that their denials were based on a set of assumptions.

In an email made available to The Express Tribune, he said the transcript never mentioned a direct call between President Zardari and Gen Kayani. There were only repeated mentions of calls between the offices of the two men, but none that took place directly between them.

He said the exchange of calls was relevant for the commission investigating the scandal since it was one of the several factors in his decision to ask General James Jones to forward the memorandum to Admiral Mike Mullen.

Asked during cross examination in Friday’s hearings whether President Zardari had prior knowledge of the operation, Ijaz declined to answer until the authenticity and truth of the document was determined.

The email continued that ISPR and the Presidency picking up on one specific point, based on media reports of what was contained in the transcript, demonstrated continuing distortions in search for truth about the alleged complicity of President Zardari in the memorandum affair.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Mar 4, 2012 - 10:00AM

    The readers of these valued columns can judge and make out as who is right and who is wrong?

    The allegation made against two people i.e. the President and the Army Chief, both have denied that they have not spoken to each other at the night of May 02, whereas Mansoor Ejaz is persistent in saying that both of them have spoke to each other.

    Here I would say that The President and the Army Chief are right in saying that they have not spoken to each other. These are the people who are sitting the highest civilian and military post.

    How can people of Pakistan believe on the statement of Mansoor Ejaz who do not hold any US government position and in one of the thousands of people who is walking on the footpaths and eating junk food.

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  • noori
    Mar 4, 2012 - 10:53AM

    whether they talked or not. All pakistani military & political leadership was complicit in OBL incident and when army officers like Brig. Ali Khan raised voice against it, they were punished under laws of treason….. irony !

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  • Saleem Afridi
    Mar 4, 2012 - 11:10AM

    Actually they have talked over the mobile phones not on the landlines .. Weired!
    My question why both GHQ and the Presidency are scared and came out officially to clear and bial them selves out .. This is for sure a sign of something fishy fishy took place that night and both where for sure knowing in advance that Pakistan sovernity is to be violated by the masters and their LORD. Shame

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  • Beatle
    Mar 4, 2012 - 11:41AM

    Regardless of the ever-changing stance by this liar-of-the-time, one thing is very clear. Which is that our respected courts are determined to malign the present regime of PPP, no matter what.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 4, 2012 - 11:56AM

    Some thought that they could use this double agent only against the elected govt without harming Pakistan, army and other institutions. However, now MI is implicating the generals as well. Well done Gen Pasha for shooting yourself on the foot. Now the court would have to decide which part of MI’s statements and allegations are right and which parts wrong.

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  • WB
    Mar 4, 2012 - 2:07PM

    what a country, is there anyone left who is not a sellout??

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  • usman786
    Mar 4, 2012 - 5:10PM

    Email from Mansoor seems to be true. Why both have not talked and given green signal to forces as ultimately its the Supreme commander who has to take such decision not COAS or air chief? Unless one of them has given go- ahead, or drunk or being black mailed. This could be the only reason why army wanted to remove him – first it was corruption, poor governance and now treason. That’s why media reported that Z has escaped and Haqqani was removed ffrom that plane. Now later will not come back. Recommend

  • Democrat
    Mar 4, 2012 - 6:10PM

    hahahaha…maligning the elected govt? with 3crore and 70 lakh bogus votes? with a senate which buys mpas?
    the PPP of ZAB was a million times better than the PPP of BB but i think the PPP of AZ is a billion time worse than that of BB… AZ has done what 2 dictators could not done in their life time… bravo :)Recommend

  • Peter
    Mar 4, 2012 - 7:26PM

    For his part, Gen Kayani, too, issued a statement through the military’s media arm, the Inter-Services Public Relations. The statement read that

    “referring to the statement of Mansoor Ijaz as reported in the media, there was no telephone conversation between the president and the COAS on the night between 1 and May 2, 2011.”

    This does not appear plausible. Is the ISPR saying they did not even talk after they learned of the US choppers in Abbottabad at all? Some miscommunication!!! in a real world with a major incursion in to the deep Pakistan space, these two should have been on line right away.

    I think MI is right. and our leadership is not truthful and just CYA.

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  • Mar 5, 2012 - 2:21AM

    That leadership is the verse leadership in the mankind they have really sold out the country for some panies

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