`Pak didn`t receive visa application from Ijaz`

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit rejected media reports that Ijaz had applied for a visa to Pakistani embassy in Switzerland.

Islamabad: Pakistan has not received a visa application from controversial businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the main accuser in the memo scandal, in Switzerland or any other country, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said on Thursday.

Ijaz`s visa application or passport had not been received by any Pakistani mission so far, Basit told a weekly news briefing in response to questions.

He rejected media reports that Ijaz had applied for a visa to the Pakistani embassy in Switzerland. Interior Minister Rehman Malik had yesterday dismissed media reports that Ijaz, an American national, had been issued a visa to come to Pakistan to testify before a commission probing the memo scandal.

"Ijaz has not yet applied for a visa. However, Pakistani embassies have been directed to issue a visa to Ijaz immediately after he applies for it," Malik told reporters outside Parliament last night.

"News reports regarding the issuance of a visa to Ijaz are baseless," he said.

Ijaz should come to Pakistan so that "rumours could come to an end", he said.

The Supreme Court-appointed commission that is investigating the mysterious memo made public by Ijaz has asked him to appear before it on January 24.
Ijaz failed to make a scheduled appearance before the commission on Monday.

Ijaz`s lawyer Akram Sheikh had then claimed he had deferred his travel plans due to security concerns. The unsigned memo sought US help to stave off a feared coup in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden by American special forces in May last year.

Acting on a batch of petitions, including one from main opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, the apex court ordered the commission to investigate the scandal.
Ijaz has been described as the star witness for the commission but doubts and confusion have surrounded his plans to travel to Pakistan.

After he claimed that he and his family had received threats, the commission ordered that police and Army soldiers should be deployed to guard him when he arrived in Islamabad.


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