Memo probe: Pak panel directs Haqqani to appear on Jan 9

Haqqani had to quit over the alleged memo seeking American help to stave off a military coup in Pakistan.

Islamabad: The judicial commission probing
the memo scandal on Monday directed former Pakistani envoy to the
US Husain Haqqani to appear before it on January 9.

The Supreme Court-appointed commission, which held its
first meeting today, directed the government to provide
Haqqani "requisite security" for his appearance before the
panel and an opportunity to engage a lawyer for the

Haqqani had to quit over the alleged memo seeking
American help to stave off a military coup in Pakistan after
the covert raid in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden in

The commission further directed government officials to
obtain records of all BlackBerry communications between
Haqqani and Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who
created a storm in Pakistan`s diplomatic and political circles
by making the memo public.

The panel asked Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq to contact
Canadian firm Research In Motion (RIM) and BlackBerry
representatives in Pakistan to obtain records of the
communications, including BBMs, emails and other data.

The commission again issued notices to chief of Pakistani
spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence, Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja
Pasha, Ijaz, former US National Security Advisor James Jones
and other respondents to appear before it.

Ijaz has claimed he drafted and delivered the memo on the
instructions of Haqqani. He further claimed Haqqani was acting
at the behest of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Ijaz`s claims have been denied by the government.

The apex court last week formed the three-judge
commission to probe the memo issue within four weeks, adding
to the pressure on the civilian government over the memo

In another twist, Haqqani`s counsel Asma Jahangir, one of
Pakistan`s leading rights activist, yesterday said she would
not represent him as she had no confidence in the
court-appointed panel. She alleged that the apex court was
being influenced by the security establishment.

Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, who appeared before the
commission today, informed the panel that no departmental
action had been taken against Haqqani.

Asked how many times Haqqani had met Ijaz, Bashir replied
the Foreign Ministry has no records about the memo and
Haqqani`s appointments.

The panel asked Bashir to inform it at the next hearing
about the former envoy`s meetings and any procedure that is in
place to check whether ambassadors are working according to
the government`s policy.

The head of the commission, Balochistan High Court Chief
Justice Qazi Faez Issa, directed the Attorney General to send
the notice for Ijaz to all his known addresses and by email.

The panel also directed the government to provide
security to Ijaz when he comes to Pakistan.

Issa remarked that everybody will be given full
opportunity for cross-examination and the proceedings of the
commission will be transparent.

The Commission directed Information Technology Ministry,
Federal Investigation Agency and ISI to provide technical
assistance for its probe.

It directed the Cabinet Secretary to expeditiously ensure
that its orders were complied with by all persons.

Attorney General Haq later told reporters that his office
would write to Research In Motion (RIM) today to obtain the
records of the BlackBerry communications.

He said the ISI chief is required to appear before the
commission to provide evidence about the contacts between Ijaz
and Haq. The commission`s secretary, District and Sessions
Judge Jawwad Abbas, told the media that the panel`s
proceedings would be kept open.