Deposes before judicial commission through video link
| Begins to tighten noose around Haqqani
By Saad Saud
ISLAMABAD – Mansoor Ijaz has recorded his testimony in memo case at the Pak High Commission in London. Recording of Mansoor Ijaz s testimony in Pakistan was carried out at the Islamabad High Court in the infamous memo case from London via video link.
Mansoor Ijaz said that Hussain Haqqani assured the US of access to Pakistan's nuclear programme and also to the three widows of Osama bin Laden. He also said Haqqani also assured the US that ISI's Section-S would be dismantled.
Mansoor said that he telephoned Haqqani on this number (00442071060900) from Monaco. He said that he met with Haqqani at Room No. 430 of Pak Land Hotel in London.
Mansoor said that contact with Haqqani started on May 3. He handed over pin code of his and Husain Haqqani’s BackBerrys to the secretary commission. The pin cod of Haqqani’s BlackBerry is 2326 A3ID.
Mansoor also provided the email address of Hussain Haqqani to the Commission. Mansoor Ijaz showed his BlackBerry to the commission used for communication.
The counsel for Husain Haqqani, Zahid Hussain Bukhari, objected that who would verify the authenticity of the messages while, Attorney General raised the question of originality of the BlackBerry.
Ijaz took oath before recording his statement. Mansoor Ijaz, in his statement, admitted that he had met with President Zardari, Pervez Musharraf and former DG ISI. I have been in contact with Pakistani authorities since last 10 years, he said.
During the video link recording, Zahid Bukhari raised objections over the procedure of recording Ijaz’s testimony saying “this is not how testimonies are recorded”. He also said each word of Ijaz’s testimony should be written down.
Rejecting Bukhari’s statement, the commission said that he should not interfere during the proceedings. Bukhari alleged that while getting his statements recorded, Ijaz started “toying with his BlackBerry phone”.
Justice Isa quipped, “You start fighting over everything.” The commission told Ijaz to keep his phones on the table. Ijaz objected over Bukhari’s behaviour and said that his phones were already lying on the table.
Two big screens have been installed in the Islamabad High Court to record Ijaz’s statements from the Pakistan High Commission in London via video link.
Secretary Memo Commission Raja Jawad Abbas and PML-N lawyer Rashid A Rizvi are at London High Commission while Husain Haqqani s lawyer Zahid Bukhari and Mansor Ijaz s lawyer Akram Sheikh are in Pakistan. The judicial commission investigating the memogate scandal had permitted to record the statement via videoconference after Ijaz refused to appear before the commission in Pakistan due to security concerned expressed by him.
All arrangements of recording the statements have already been made in London High Commission and Islamabad High Court building (IHC). Agencies Add: The judicial commission, probing the memogate scandal, recorded statement of Mansoor Ijaz, the man at the center of the controversy, on Wednesday
The statement was recorded via video link from London by the commission headed by Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Esa. Mansoor Ijaz reached the Pakistan London High Commission while the judicial commission was communicating Ijaz from Islamabad High Court building.
Mansoor Ijaz gave documentary evidences to Judicial Commission Secretary Raja Jawad Abbas who was present at the London High Commission.
After taking oath Ijaz started reading his written statement. Hussain Haqqani's lawyer, who was present in IHC building, told that he (Ijaz) could not read written statement.
Ijaz said one year had passed after the occurrence of important events and he could not verbally state such events.
Mansoor Ijaz told the commission, present in Islamabad, that he had met former president Pervez Musharraf and incumbent President Asif Ali Zardari on different occasions in the past.
Ijaz also showed his BlackBerry Messages (BBM) to the commission. Zahid Bokhari objected that he was neither in London nor the Ijaz's BlackBerry was Islamabad. Attorney General Pakistan Anwarul Haq said that the commission secretary was not aware of technical issues of the BlackBerry phone.
Mansoor Ijaz BBM was shown to the commission by zooming camera because Haqqani lawyer objected as to how the BBM could be verified.
Mansoor Ijaz told that ISI chief Let Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha met him in 2011 and inquired about his qualification, family and relations with then Pakistan ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani. Pasha had asked that he did not know his (Ijaz) background.
The attorney general said that the issue was about 81 BBMs and the commission secretary in London was not a forensic expert.
Zahid Bokhari said he had previously said that a witness outside the country could not be controlled.
The memo tribunal asked Bokhari to raise his objection that would be addressed. The commission asked Mansoor Ijaz to show his BBMs to secretary first and then to the commission.
At one moment Hussain Haqqani said that Mansoor Ijaz was non-serious as he was playing with his BalckBerry phone during the proceedings of the commission. Mansoor Ijaz put his phone on the table after the commission directed him to behave.
Mansoor Ijaz also raised objection over Zahid Bokhari's attitude saying he was being perturbed by Haqqani's lawyer.
Ijaz gave PIN code of BlackBerry and Email address of Hussain Haqqani and said that the Email address could not be changed.
He said that contacts between Haqqani and him started in May, 2011. He noted that Haqqan sent him a message inviting at coffee or dinner saying he (Haqqani) had come to London for 26 hours.
He said that Haqqani told him that Pakistan Army was putting pressure on President Asif Ali Zardari and wanted to topple his government. He said Haqqani seemed panicked during his talk.
Mansoor Ijaz told the commission that Hussain Haqqani had told him President of Pakistan wanted to establish a security team and Gen Rtd. Gehangir Karamat and Gen Rtd. Mehmood Durrani would be part of that team. Haqqani also said that if US helped government remove Gen Kayani, people of US choice would also be included in Abbottabad commission that was to probe US raid that killed Osmaba bin Laden.
Ijaz said Haqqani has told him that he was doing so on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari.
Mansoor Ijaz provide bills of mobile phone service to commission secretary. The commission asked its secretary to send the email containing bills via fax without reading and all the numbers be kept secret.
The proceedings have been adjourned till Thursday.