Lahore: Controversial American businessman
Mansoor Ijaz, the central character in the memo scandal, has
"no credibility" and one should not worry too much about his
claims, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday.
Ijaz has no links to Pakistan and has a long record of
spreading "poison" against Pakistan and the country`s
establishment and government, Gilani told reporters here.
Describing Ijaz as a person with "no credibility", the
premier said it seemed "like some country`s viceroy was coming
(to Pakistan) and we have to deploy our Army to protect him
though he is not entitled to get such protocol under the
Constitution and the law".
Asked about Ijaz`s demand that the Army should protect
him for his appearance on January 24 before a Supreme
Court-appointed commission investigating the memo issue,
Gilani said it was the Interior Ministry`s duty to protect
Ijaz under the rules of business and the Constitution.
"Under the rules of business, the Interior Ministry will
provide security and the civilian government can seek
assistance, as and when required, from the Pakistan Rangers,
the army and law enforcement agencies," he said.
Ijaz created a storm in Pakistan`s political circles by
making public an alleged memo that sought US help to stave off
a feared military coup in Pakistan last year.
Gilani said it was "uncalled for" to worry so much about
"The world will think we are so weak that on one article
(written by Ijaz), the government falls and our institutions
become weak," he said.
"We are sending a very wrong signal to the world that we
cannot settle our matters and we will have to spend a lot of
money on his security," he added.
The memo scandal is being investigated by the judicial
commission and the Parliamentary Committee on National
Asked about Ijaz`s reluctance to appear before the
parliamentary panel, Gilani said: "I have to assist both of
the commissions and I think in all fairness, he should appear
Gilani said all the stakeholders, including the
President, Army Chief and the Inter-Services Intelligence, had
unanimously decided to refer the matter to the parliamentary
panel but the Supreme Court later formed its own panel after
receiving several petitions, including one from PML-N chief
Without naming anyone, Gilani said Ijaz was being treated
in some quarters "like he is a head of state or a US
President" who should be given protocol and provided security
by the Army.
"This is not good for the country," he said.
Asked if Ijaz could be barred from leaving Pakistan,
Gilani said he was a foreigner and the parliamentary and
judicial commissions would have to decide this issue.
"We have better things to do, we can`t remain focussed on
Ijaz. It is up to him whether he wants to come to Pakistan or
he doesn`t want to come to Pakistan, we don`t care," he said.
Pakistan`s former envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani, had
resigned after the memo scandal became public, but no charge
had been proved against him, Gilani said.
"Till such time as the charges are proved, everybody is
innocent," he added.
"The memo or anything else poses no danger to the
country, but the message sent out to the world by this issue
is a danger. A person with no credibility has shaken the
country," Gilani said.