Ijaz sets conditions for appearing at memo panel

Ijaz said he was ready to waive his rights to privacy, surrender his BlackBerry sets and give his two PIN numbers for collection of data.

Last Updated: Jan 07, 2012, 21:55 PM IST

Islamabad: Controversial Pakistani-American
businessman Mansoor Ijaz has set several conditions for
appearing before the judicial panel probing the memo scandal,
including a "guarantee of safe passage" and the provision of
security during his stay in Islamabad.

In an email sent to the commission appointed by the
Supreme Court, Ijaz said he would not be able to appear before
the panel "until sometime after the middle of January" as he
was currently on holiday with his family and would return home
by January 9.

The judicial commission recently sent summons to several
persons, including Ijaz, to appear before it at the next
hearing to be held on January 9.

Ijaz said he was ready to waive his rights to privacy,
surrender his BlackBerry sets and give his two PIN numbers for
collection of data and to ease the commission’s work.

However, he set several conditions for appearing before
the commission, saying in his email that "proper provisions"
should be made for his security in Islamabad and that he
should be given "guarantee of safe passage while going into
and out of Pakistan".

"My family needs to know that the government is taking
responsibility for my security while I am in country," he
said.

Ijaz said he did not "intend to stay for more than one or
two days" in Pakistan and that the commission should complete
questioning him "within the shortest possible timeframe to
reduce the risks and logistics issues" associated with his
appearance.

Ijaz contended that he needed security as Interior
Minister Rehman Malik had "made multiple public statements
about asking the US government and Interpol to interfere with
my freedoms".

Ijaz said the commission should give him assurances that
there would be "no interference from politicized elements"
when he came to Pakistan.

He also sought security for the data that he wished to
present to the commission.

The controversial Pakistani American has been at the
centre of the "Memogate" controversy since he made public the
alleged memo that had sought US help to stave off a possible
military coup in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden
in May last year.

In a separate application sent to the commission
yesterday, Ijaz offered for forensic investigation his
BlackBerry phones that he used to allegedly communicate with
Husain Haqqani, Pakistan`s former envoy to the US.

Haqqani was forced to resign after the alleged memo
became public.

Ijaz made several suggestions in the application that he
claimed would help the commission to speed up its inquiries.
To ease the commission’s work, Ijaz said he was ready to
surrender his BlackBerry sets and give his two PIN numbers for
collection of data.

He contended things would move it "much faster" if the
commission appoints a forensic specialist to visit the CEO of
RIM at its server for European communications at Berkshire in
Britain.

The commission should also contact RIM`s Chief Legal
Officer Karima Bawa, Head of European Operations Stephen Bates
and the head of the US operations at Irving, Texas, where RIM
has data servers with technical data and records of
communications between him and Haqqani.

Ijaz also asked the commission to direct the Pakistan
High Commission in London to immediately issue him a visa.

PTI