Memo case: Mansoor Ijaz to testify before Pak SC

Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz could fly into a military airbase in Rawalpindi and granted a visa on arrival.

Islamabad: Controversial Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz could fly into a military airbase in Rawalpindi and granted a visa on arrival so that he can testify on Monday before a judicial commission probing the memo scandal, according to a media report on Sunday.

Ijaz`s lawyer has said he will testify before the Supreme Court-appointed commission that is investigating the memo scandal tomorrow.

"Arrangements have been finalised for his chartered flight (at Chaklala airbase)," an official source was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

Since Pakistan joined the US-led war on terror, authorities have been issuing visas to US nationals, mainly military personnel, at the port of entry under a secret arrangement, sources told the daily.

Ijaz might be offered the same facility if he had not yet applied for a Pakistani visa, an unnamed official told the newspaper.

"In special circumstances, US businessmen can avail this facility," the official said.

Some of Ijaz`s close associates will accompany him and the team will be flown in a helicopter from Chaklala airbase to the venue where the commission is holding its hearings, the report said.

Military authorities would look after Ijaz`s security arrangements, it added.

Ijaz created a storm in Pakistan`s political circles and triggered a standoff between the civilian government and the military by making public the mysterious memo that sought US help to stave off a possible military coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May last year.

The businessman is an American national but mostly lives in Morocco.

He is currently somewhere in Europe, sources said. Ijaz has asked his lawyer not to disclose his travel plans and arrangements for his visit are being kept secret,
the official said.

Ijaz yesterday announced that he would visit Pakistan to depose before the apex court to "tell the truth" about the secret "memo", which he claims was written on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Ijaz claims that the secret memo was written by former Pakistan envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani, on behalf of Zardari.

Haqqani, who resigned from his ambassadorship, denies that he had any role in drafting of the memo, which sought US help in getting rid of Pakistani Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani and the ISI chief.

"Dream on Mr Haqqani. I am coming to Pakistan. And I am going to tell a truth which you will no longer be able to hide from. I will tell it with such clarity and vigor that you and your brilliant legal team will find no space to run from it,"
Ijaz said, adding that he would welcome cross examination.


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