Islamabad: The Pakistani parliamentary panel
investigating a mysterious memo that triggered a standoff
between the civilian government and the military on Thursday issued
summons to American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the central
figure in the scandal, to appear before it on February 10.
Against the backdrop of Ijaz`s repeated claims that he
would not come to Pakistan to provide evidence regarding the
alleged memo due to perceived threats to his life, the
Parliamentary Committee on National Security expressed
satisfaction at arrangements made by the government to protect
him in the country.
The panel reviewed security arrangements for Ijaz during a
meeting chaired by Raza Rabbani, a senior leader of the ruling
Pakistan People`s Party.
Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq briefed the committee on
security arrangements put in place for Ijaz and the
government`s communications with Canadian firm Research In
Motion to obtain BlackBerry communications by Ijaz regarding
the alleged memo.
RIM has already turned down Pakistan`s request to hand
over the communications.
Ijaz has failed to make two scheduled appearances before a
Supreme Court-appointed judicial commission that is also
investigating the alleged memo which sought US help to stave
off a feared coup in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin
Laden last year.
The judicial commission has given Ijaz a final opportunity
to appear before it on February 9 and record his statement.
The judicial commission also rejected Ijaz`s request to
allow him to depose in London or Zurich.
Briefing reporters after today`s meeting of the
Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Raza Rabbani
said that if Ijaz continued to have concerns about his
security, the authorities could take further steps to allay
his apprehensions while keeping in view the law of the land.
The committee had reviewed the statement of the Attorney
General and reached the conclusion that prima facie, the
arrangements for Ijaz`s security were adequate, he said.
"The committee feels that if Mansoor Ijaz has any
apprehensions regarding his security, it may be addressed
keeping in view rules and the law of the land," he added.
Raza Rabbani said the committee has decided to issue a
fresh notice to Ijaz asking him to appear before it on
"This notice will be served in accordance with the past
practice and through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," he
Pakistan`s former envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani, was
forced to resign after the memo became public.
Though the scandal triggered a confrontation between the
military and civilian governments, tensions have been defused
following meetings between President Asif Ali Zardari and
senior military officials, including Army Chief Gen Ashfaq