Mansoor Ijaz won’t be coming after all


The memo drama takes a new turn as the government finally succeeded in scaring away Mansoor Ijaz, who has decided not to appear before the three-member judicial commission probing the controversy, saying he was ready to depose before the commission in Zurich or London instead of coming to Pakistan.
The counsel for Ijaz, the Pakistani-American businessman at the centre of the memo controversy, expressed his reservations on the security arrangements meant for his client’s appearance before the judicial commission, saying his client would be ready to record testimony before the commission either in London or Zurich. The commission had told Ijaz to appear before it personally to record his statements on January 24. His counsel, Akram Shaikh, told reporters at the Supreme Court building that he had held a teleconference with his client after meeting the Islamabad Police inspector general and had briefed him on security arrangements that had been made for him for his appearance before the commission.
The statement from Shaikh ended speculations about Ijaz’s appearance before the commission today (Tuesday). Sheikh said his client underlined that he had been given no assurance by any person on behalf of the Pakistan government towards his apprehensions about his security. Later on, Shaikh also filed an application in the judicial commission’s secretary office to record Ijaz’s testimony outside Pakistan with a plea that the apex court had given a clear mandate in its order to the commission to collect evidence within and outside Pakistan according to prevailing laws on the subject. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had told reporters during his recent visit to Lahore that it seemed as if Ijaz was some viceroy who was coming to Pakistan and the government had to arrange for his security as subservient people, also making it clear that the government would not spend billions on his security. Gilani categorically stated that under the constitution and under the system, it was the duty of the Interior Ministry to provide Ijaz security.
Shaikh added that Ijaz’s arrival under protection of a station house officer (SHO) as announced by the prime minister on Sunday was highly deplorable, adding that Ijaz had a concrete fear that electronic evidence in the memo case could be completely destroyed or tampered with. Shaikh added that Ijaz was also concerned that Pakistan’s money should not be wasted and thus did not want law enforcement agencies to waste their money on him. “So, he wants to record his statement while sitting in his office in London. He is ready to tell the truth and present all grafts to the commission.” Days before Ijaz’s planned visit to Pakistan, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, which too is investigating the memogate, had issued summons to Ijaz to appear before it on January 26. Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said if the committee desired, Ijaz’s name could be included in the Exit Control List (ECL). “It seems like a well-orchestrated trap to hold Mansoor Ijaz indefinitely in Pakistan after his deposition before the commission, therefore, Ijaz has decided to make a request to the commission to record his statement in strict compliance with the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan… in London or Zurich,” said Shaikh. He added that his client had decided to file an application to the commission to record his statement outside Pakistan after reviewing security arrangements for his planned visit. The lawyer said he had informed Ijaz of “fundamental changes” in the security arrangements, which he claimed were a “stark violation” of the commission’s orders issued on January 9 and 16.
Shaikh claimed that even Pakistan Army had backed out on assurances regarding the provision of security to Ijaz.
He claimed that these assurances were given during a meeting of the army’s corps commanders held on January 12, adding that he had also met the Islamabad police chief to discuss the security arrangements for Ijaz. Deputy Inspector General of Police Mujibur Rehman was made the focal person for these arrangements and police officials had said that they would seek assistance from the armed forces only if it was necessary, Shaikh added.
Referring to these developments, Shaikh said Ijaz was “not willing to fall in the trap laid by the government” and appear before the parliamentary panel. He said legal experts had also advised Ijaz that the parliamentary committee could not summon a foreigner, however, he pointed out that the parliamentary committee could record his (Ijaz) statement in London or Zurich or use any testimony he gave to the judicial commission.
“Ijaz decided in Pakistan’s best interests that his statement should be recorded outside Pakistan. He is not a criminal that he has to appear before a court. He offered to cooperate on a voluntary basis and no court or commission has the power to summon a foreigner,” Shaikh asserted.
HAQQANI PLEADS: Meanwhile, former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani has asked the commission to refuse another opportunity to Mansoor Ijaz to appear and get his statement recorded before the commission.
In a letter submitted by Haqqani’s counsel with the memo commission, Haqqani said: “The attitude and conduct of Mansoor Ijaz clearly shows that he is playing with the sentiments of the nation and also wasting the precious time of this honourable commission, despite the fact that this honourable commission has acceded all his requests/demands on all issues. Even the High Commission of London granted him visa after office hours to facilitate his appearance before this honourable commission.”
“Mansoor Ijaz (American national), wanted to record his statement before the Honourable Commission, for which, he sought number of adjournments through his counsel Mr Akram Sheikh i.e. 9.1.2012 and 16.1.2012, but today, he has also not attended the proceedings of honourable commission without lawful reason or excuse. It is on the record that Mr Mansoor Ijaz through his counsel requested to the Honourable Commission for his security in Pakistan and grant of visa to enter Pakistan without any condition. On which, honourable commission has accepted all his demands and even the dates are being fixed on the desire of his counsel Mr Akram Sheikh Advocate. Learned Attorney General and government of Pakistan has arranged fool-proof security arrangement in compliance of the order of this august commission dated 9.1.11 and 16.1.11,” the letter added.
Haqqani said the act of non appearance by Mansoor Ijaz was based on malafide, ulterior motives and all his statements published in newspapers and aired through TV channels (national and international) were fake, bogus and untrue, which were also against the interests of Pakistan, which was why he had not come to Pakistan to face/attend the proceedings of the commission despite orders.
“That in such circumstances, the justice demands to close the right of recording the statement of Mr Mansoor Ijaz, so that further proceedings may be conducted accordingly in order to finalise the proceedings within time frame given by the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan. Under the above said submissions, it is most respectfully prayed that Honourable Commission may kindly accept the instant application and refuse to afford another opportunity to Mr Mansoor Ijaz to appear and get his statement recorded before the commission,” the letter concluded.


  1. There is something called witness intimidation and witness protection. Mansoor Ijaz did not feel satisfied with the protection being given in Pakistan. This was especially true when he was receiving veiled as well as quite graphic threats from no one less than the interior minister whose double bind I found intimidating sitting thousands of miles away.

    The commission can record his testimony can be recorded in a country where he does not feel intimidated. He has also consented to give his Blackberry record whereas Husain Haqani has not. He has not given a waiver of his privacy rights to Research in Motion. I believe he understands the meaning, the implications and ultimately the consequences of his actions.

    It is in Pakistan's national interest that the people of Pakistan must know the truth.

    England 23rd January 2012

  2. Instead of wasting more time on hatching yet more conspiracies against the government, the incompetent generals of Pakistan Army should take some time to wipe the egg from their faces.

  3. 1) The Memo was never an issue. It was concocted to by certain quarters to achieve their nefarious designs.
    2) It is well known, Kayani & Pasha were after Haqqani since long. So, they created a hype and got what they wanted.
    3) Nawaz Sharif wanted to put pressure on government which he accomplished successfully. Now, he has gone to enjoy London winter with his family.
    4) Supreme Court wanted to settle its own scores with the government. Justice is the remotest thing, as far as this SC is concerned.
    5) Mansoor Ijaz is an attention hungry enemy of Pakistan. This episode has been quite satisfactory for him.
    6) USA wanted to weaken Pakistan internally so that it can negotiate new terms of engagement to its advantage. It has succeeded. GHQ has allowed drone attacks and is on the verge of opening supply routes.
    7) Akram Sheikh is an unprincipled greedy lawyer. He became counsel of an enemy and earned a hefty fee.
    8) Without caring for Pakistan, when everybody accomplished what he wanted, Memo seems to have been abandoned. Akram Sheikh clearly stated in his Press Conference yesterday that Army Chief & Petitioner have lost interest.
    I have no grievances against Mansoor Ijaz but the way Pakistani actors sensationalised this non-issue to fulfil their ulterior motives without caring for Pakistan is shameful, to say the least. Everybody has eggs on their faces.

      • Dear Mr Kureshi :
        I am a lower middle class ordinary citizen of Pakistan. I face problems like all other ordinary citizens of Pakistan. But I am not ready to put the blame on everybody except myself. It is convenient to put blame on leaders because I am not one of them. I would like to see reform in our society. We, the people of Pakistan need to change ourselves and elect a good government when time comes for next elections. This process may be slow but perhaps, this is the only option. Nation building is a slow process. There are no short cuts. Some of us have been looking for short cuts and see where we stand 64 years after independence. We should not ask what our leaders can do for us. We should only think what we (including myself) can do for the nation. The basic problem is we talk a lot but when it comes to ourselves, we give a pathetic look.

        • Mr Malik:
          I appreciate your frank admission of your disposition above. However, I must add that your comments do not commensurate.

  4. Don't blame him. This is a land where leaders are murdered in broad daylight and no one is ever caught.
    The thugs in the PPP have won under the guise of legality and unless the SC orders the military to guarantee his safety I can't see him coming here to be arrested, trapped or worse killed.
    The truth will never be known officially now but the vast majority of us doubt Zardari's loyalty to Pakistan.

    • Blame solely rests on shoulders of those who sensationalised this non-issue. The culprits are Kayani, Pasha, Imran, Nawaz, Chaudhry & Media. Now, everybody has eggs on their faces.

  5. Imagine where this country is heading for. The whole nation, along with the very powerful army knows who is behind this memo and that how openly and blatantly the probe is being sabotaged still all are watching this tamasha helplessly.

  6. One cannot blame Mansoor Ijaz one bit after the kind of threats that have been unleashed at him by no less then the PM and Interior Minister of this country. Shame on them.

    • @ Dr Khan
      If you are hinting at the DG ISI, let me assure you he would not be occupying the position he is, if he was one.

      • Dr Khan & Mr Kureshi :
        The important thing is whether or not Army Generals are under oath that they will not directly or indirectly participate in politics? Do they honour their oath?

        • Mr Shahid Malik:
          What part of politics have these Army Generals participated eversince this bunch of feudal dacoits came is as a democratic government. Lets be honest, specific and speak with evidence.

          • Mr Kureshi :
            It is generally believed that our Generals interfere in politics and politicians & judges are corrupt. However, your argument is strong. There has to be specific evidence. If this is the criterion, then we have to assume all of them honest till the time final conviction is pronounced after all judicial formalities have been completed. All accused are innocent till proven guilty.

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