Produce certified copy of phone bills, Ijaz told
Last Updated: Friday, February 24, 2012, 21:26
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 to Islamabad.

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 year.

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

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