Memogate: `Haqqani ready to face inquiry`

Farahnaz Ispahani said her husband, Husain Haqqani, was prepared to sue Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz.

Updated: Nov 21, 2011, 13:57 PM IST

Islamabad: The wife of Pakistan`s Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, involved in a controversy over a secret memo sent to the Obama administration, on Monday defended her husband and said he was ready to face an inquiry into the matter.

Farahnaz Ispahani, a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, said Haqqani was prepared to sue Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who has claimed the memo was drafted and delivered on the envoy`s instructions.

She described Ijaz as "a citizen of another country" whose allegations "make me believe he is working against Pakistan`s democracy".

Ispahani said she and her husband want "an investigation" into the matter and were "ready for a forensic investigation".

"Whatever guidance is given to us by our senior leadership (in the ruling Pakistan People`s Party), we will take it but personally if the senior leadership allows us, we will go in for libel," Ispahani told reporters outside the Supreme Court.

"Let Mansoor Ijaz come forward, we are not among those people (who are afraid). We have gone to jail and exile," she said, mounting a spirited defence of her husband.

Referring to Ijaz`s numerous claims, she said: "He says one thing one day and something else the next day... In his memo he says Pakistan`s ISI is a terrorist organisation and should be banned. After 10-12 days, it is reported in newspapers that he has met the ISI chief. Who is this Mansoor Ijaz?"

She added: "I do not think anyone in Pakistan is doing anything wrong or there is any involvement at the top level. Who Mansoor Ijaz works for and what he is doing? These things we should find out."

Haqqani is expected to explain his position on the memo during a formal meeting at the presidency today with Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence chief Maj Gen Shuja Pasha.

The envoy arrived in Islamabad yesterday after being called back by the government.

The memo, sent to Mullen days after the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 02, sought American assistance to stave off a possible military coup.

Ijaz has claimed he drafted the memo on Haqqani`s instructions and delivered it through an intermediary to Mullen. Haqqani has denied these claims.

Mullen has confirmed that he received the memo but said he took no action on it.