Islamabad: Citing security concerns, Mansoor Ijaz, the central character in the memo scandal, on Saturday asked
the Supreme Court to allow him to record his statement before
a judicial commission outside Pakistan.
Ijaz`s lawyer Akram Sheikh filed the request in the apex
court this afternoon, officials said.
Sheikh contended that the Supreme Court-appointed
commission should be allowed to travel abroad and record
Ijaz`s testimony in some other country.
Sheikh claimed a "deal" had been struck with the US by
Pakistan`s government and security establishment to sweep the
scandal under the carpet.
He gave no information to support his claim.
He further claimed that Ijaz feared he might be arrested
on false charges or that evidence about the memo scandal might
be taken away from him when he comes to Pakistan.
Ijaz has failed to make two scheduled appearances before
the judicial commission, which has given him a final
opportunity to come to Islamabad and record his statement on
The commission has turned down Ijaz`s request for his
testimony to be recorded in London or Zurich.
The Pakistan-American businessman earlier cited security
concerns as his reason for not coming to Pakistan, even though
the government has said foolproof arrangements have been put
in place to protect him.
Ijaz has also been summoned on February 10 by the
Parliamentary Committee on National Security, which too is
investigating the mysterious memo that sought US help to stave
off a feared military takeover in Pakistan last year.
Ijaz claimed he wrote and delivered the memo to the US
military on the instructions of Pakistan’s former envoy to the
US, Husain Haqqani.
His claim has been dismissed by the government.
In a related development, the judicial commission has
requested the Supreme Court to give it an extension so that it
can complete its investigation.
The commission`s secretary filed an application in the
apex court seeking more time.
The commission said Ijaz, the central character in the
scandal, had not come to Pakistan to record his statement and
the apex court should give it more time to investigate the
The Supreme Court had directed the commission to complete
its work by January 30.
A larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice
Iftikhar Chaudhry is expected to take up the commission?s
application on Monday.
Sheikh`s application is expected to be taken up at the