Memo issue: Pak judicial panel summons Pasha, Haqqani

The PPP-led government was thrown into a crisis when Mansoor Ijaz first revealed details of the memo.

Last Updated: Jan 01, 2012, 15:30 PM IST

Islamabad: A judicial commission set up by
Pakistan`s Supreme Court to investigate the memo scandal has
summoned ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha and former envoy
to the US Husain Haqqani to appear before it.

The three-member commission, constituted by the apex
court on Friday in response to a batch of petitions seeking a
probe into the scandal, will start its proceedings in
Islamabad tomorrow.

The commission yesterday summoned the ISI chief, Haqqani,
Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz and former US
National Security Adviser James Jones to appear before it to
record their statements, media reports said today.

It could not immediately be ascertained when they had
been asked to appear before the panel.

District and Sessions Judge Jawwad Abbas, the Secretary
of the Commission, yesterday issued notices to other
respondents in the memo case, including the Attorney General,
Foreign Secretary, Interior Secretary and Cabinet Secretary.

Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa is the
head of the commission, which has been given four weeks by the
apex court to "ascertain the origin, authenticity and purpose"
of the secret memo that had sought the US help to stave off a
possible military takeover in Pakistan after the killing of
Osama bin Laden.

The other members of the commission are the chief
Justices of the Islamabad High Court Chief and Sindh High
Court.

The panel`s first meeting to be held tomorrow will be
introductory in nature and will examine documents produced in
the apex court during the hearing of the memo case.

The commission has been asked by the apex court to obtain
the services of advocates and experts in forensic science and
cyber crimes.

The Supreme Court`s decision to form the commission came
as a blow to the beleaguered Pakistan People`s Party-led
government, which had challenged the court`s jurisdiction to
hear the petitions seeking a probe into the memo scandal.

The government had contended that the probe into the memo
issue should be left to the Parliamentary Committee on
National Security.

However, the chiefs of the army and the ISI had urged the
court to order an independent inquiry, saying the memo had
affected national security.

The PPP-led government was thrown into a crisis when
Mansoor Ijaz first revealed details of the memo in an article
written in the Financial Times on October 10.

Analysts have noted that the apex court had ensured that
all members and support staff of the commission were drawn
from the judiciary and said this was a move aimed at
insulating the panel from possible interference by the
government.

PTI