‘ISI had no info on any coup plans in Pakistan’

Pasha said he agreed with Ijaz`s statement regarding their meeting in London.

Islamabad: Former ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha
told a Pakistani judicial commission on Thursday that the military
had not planned a coup after the US raid in Abottabad that
killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May last year.

"If there was a threat, the ISI would have known about
it," Pasha said while deposing before the commission that is
investigating a mysterious memo that had sought US help to
stave off a feared military takeover in Pakistan after the
killing of bin Laden.

The Supreme Court formed the three-judge commission after
American businessman Mansoor Ijaz made public the memo, which
he claimed was drafted and delivered to the US military on the
instructions of Pakistan`s former ambassador to the US, Husain

The government has denied Ijaz`s claims.
Though Ijaz had also claimed that the military was
planning a coup after the killing of bin Laden, Pasha told the
commission that he rejected the businessman`s statement.

He said there was no such plan by the Army after the
covert US raid against bin Laden in Abbottabad.
Pasha said he agreed with Ijaz`s statement regarding their
meeting in London.

He told the commission that the ISI`s media wing had
informed him about Ijaz`s article in the Financial Times in
which the businessman had first referred to the memo.
The former spy chief said he consulted only the military
leadership after finding out about Ijaz`s article.

"I wanted to know about the author of the memo and
directed a source to contact Mansoor Ijaz, who agreed to meet
me and share details but outside Pakistan and the US," Pasha

Pasha said after the military leadership asked him to
gather more details on the issue, a meeting with Ijaz was
arranged in a London hotel on October 22, 2011.

This meeting continued for four hours.
"I saw probably 35 BlackBerry Messages on Ijaz`s mobile
which were exchanged between him and Haqqani," he said.

Pasha said he verbally informed Army Chief Gen Ashfaq
Parvez Kayani about his meeting with Ijaz on October 24 and
that he met President Asif Ali Zardari and briefed him about
the issue on November 18.

The commission has resumed its hearings after being given
a six-week extension by the Supreme Court.
Its term was scheduled to end on March 31.

During today`s proceedings, the commission directed
Haqqani, who was forced to resign last year, to give his
consent to Research In Motion and to waive his privacy rights
to allow the retrieval of data from his BlackBerry phone.

The commission also rejected Haqqani`s application for
adjournment of hearings due to his ill health and till a
decision is made by the Supreme court on his application
seeking permission to record his statement from abroad via
video link.

The commission also disposed of an application from Jammu
and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik after
recording his statement.

Malik had sought permission to depose before the
commission after Ijaz alleged he had links with India RAW spy