Memogate commission: Mansoor Ijaz submits 83-page statement -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Memogate commission: Mansoor Ijaz submits 83-page statement

By Qaiser Zulfiqar

ISLAMABAD: Mansoor Ijaz, the central character behind the Memogate scandal, on Thursday submitted an 83-page statement to the judicial commission through his counsel in Pakistan Advocate Akram Sheikh revealing details from the saga.

In his statement, Ijaz not only confirmed his meeting with Pasha in London on October 22 but also gave details of the interaction he had with President Asif Ali Zardari on May 5, 2009 at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC at the invitation of former ambassador Hussain Haqqani.

About his relationship with Haqqani, he mentioned that they maintained regular contact over the past decade through e-mail, BlackBerry messenger exchanges, and meetings in person.

Apart from his witness statement, Ijaz requested the commission for in-camera briefing for certain comments that he noted saying “because the disclosures are not appropriate for this statement that can be viewed by others”.

Giving a rationale for disclosing the memo in the press, he said he was forced to write the Financial Times op-ed piece because of the confusion created by the media. “The impetus for the article, which I drafted the first thoughts for on 24 September 2011, arose from testimony offered by Admiral Mullen in his final appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee in which he called the Haqqani network of terrorists a “veritable arm” of the ISI, among other very strong comments”, Ijaz explained in the statement.

Apart from Ijaz’s statement secretary to the memo commission Raja Jawad Abbas is due in UK to receive evidence and gadgets used in drafting the memo. Although Ijaz has submitted his witness statement to the commission, the defendant and other petitioners will cross examine Ijaz along with commission’s members on February 22 via video link.

Source: The Express Tribune