Islamabad: Controversial Pakistani-American
businessman Mansoor Ijaz was on Friday asked by the judicial
commission probing the memo scandal to produce a certified
copy of phone bills be presented as proof of his conversations
with former envoy Husain Haqqani.
As Ijaz's deposition before the Supreme Court-appointed
commission entered the third day, the main accuser in the memo
scandal presented four pages of a 39-page BlackBerry phone
bill to back up his claims about his conversations with
Haqqani, who was then the Pakistani envoy to the US.
The four pages he presented were related to his
communications with Haqqani on May 23, 2011, Ijaz claimed
while deposing via a video link from the Pakistan High
Commission in London.
Ijaz claimed 11 conference calls were made between him,
former US National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Haqqani
during May 2011. Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for Haqqani, said
the copies of the bill did not contain any names or phone
numbers and were thus ineligible as evidence.
Ijaz contended that his phone was registered in his
company's name and he could not reveal the bill's total
contents because they were "classified".
The three-judge commission, which is conducting the
proceedings from Islamabad, then ordered Ijaz to obtain a
certified copy of the bill from his phone company and send it
Heated words were exchanged between Ijaz and Bukhari
during the proceedings. At one point, Ijaz said Bukhari was
speaking "nonsense" and Bukhari's aide objected to his
behaviour. The commission ordered Ijaz to behave in accordance
with the norms of a court.
Ijaz has made no new revelations during his deposition.
Most of his testimony has been based on information that
was included in statements he has filed in Pakistan's Supreme
Court. Legal experts have questioned the value of the evidence
he has produced during his deposition.
During today's proceedings, Ijaz again said that Haqqani
used two phones one official and the other personal, during
their purported communications.
Ijaz claimed that Haqqani phoned him after he wrote an
article about the alleged memo and criticised him. Ijaz
further said he received a phone call in Monaco from an
Inter-Services Intelligence official on October 13 and 14 last
Subsequently, Haqqani too called him and purportedly said
he should not provide information about the alleged memo to
the ISI chief, Ijaz claimed.
He said he meet ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha in a
hotel in London for four hours on October 22 last year.
Ijaz then briefed Pasha about the alleged memo. Pasha
asked Ijaz about his relationship with Haqqani, Ijaz said.
Pasha said he and army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani wanted
to know the truth behind the memo and that they wanted the
democratic government to complete its tenure, Ijaz claimed.
Earlier in the day, Ijaz came to the Pakistan High
Commission with his wife. Following a request from Ijaz, the
judicial commission allowed his wife to be present during the
hearing. Haqqani was forced to resign after Ijaz made public
the alleged memo in October last year.
Ijaz has repeatedly claimed he drafted and delivered the
memo on Haqqani's instructions. The government and Haqqani
have dismissed Ijaz's claims. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani had recently criticised the handling of the memo issue
by the army and ISI chiefs.
First Published: Friday, February 24, 2012, 21:26