The memo is from the president, claims Ijaz | Pakistan Today

The memo is from the president, claims Ijaz

This is coming from the president [Zardari] who wants to put together a new national security team, similar to the security organisation in the US,” the star witness in the memo scandal, Mansoor Ijaz, on Wednesday quoted the former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani as having told him in May last year when he allegedly sought the help of the US national in drafting and delivering the memo to the top US administration.
Sticking to his earlier claim, Ijaz made the statement via a video link from London before the three-member commission investigating the ‘memogate’ that triggered a tense standoff between the civilian and military leadership.
Ijaz reiterated that he drafted and delivered the memo to the top US leadership, which sought US help against a possible military coup in Pakistan, on the instructions of former ambassador Husain Haqqani. Most of the claims he made on Wednesday regarding the memo were the same he has made over the past few months.
Recalling a sequence of the messaging with Haqqani, Ijaz said: “The sequence started on May 3, 2011, a day after the US raid in Abbottabad, at 16:58 European Day Light Time and 3-4 hours behind Pakistan time”.
“Then he (Haqqani) did not contact me until May 9 when he initiated the request. On May 9, 2011, at 12:31 European Day Light Time, I got first message from Haqqani when I was in Monaco and Haqqani was in London. The message was: Are you in London? I am here just for 36 hours. Can we meet for after dinner coffee”? The answer from my side was: “I’m in Monaco but it’s no problem for me to fly up. Takes 90 minutes. What time did you have in mind? Where do you want to meet?” Ijaz said Haqqani called him the same day and said the Pakistan Army was pressurising President Zardari and the government.
“It (Army) wants to bring the government down. The situation in Pakistan is serious”, Ijaz quoted Haqqani as having told him. Ijaz said Haqqani looked worried during the conversation. “Haqqani insisted that the message should be verbal and quietly and behind the backs of Pakistan Army and the ISI. Keep this away from Army and ISI, he (Haqqani) further asked me,” Ijaz claimed.
The essence of the message to be conveyed, Ijaz said, was “This is a 1971 moment”. However, Ijaz said, he did not understand what the reference was. “I inquired whom the message should be conveyed to. Haqqani said his preference would be Adm Mike Mullen who should convey the same to Kayani. I told Haqqani I don’t know Mullen and would check anyone who knows him. Upon hearing my response, Haqqani was confident that I would convey this message to Mullen,” Ijaz said while referring to the memo he drafted and delivered to the US administration allegedly on the advice of Haqqani.
Ijaz continued: “I asked him (Haqqani) on whose authority he was doing that. His response was there is a new thinking in Pakistan involving new people who want to change equation between US and Pakistan. A team of like-minded people like Lt Gen (r) Mahmood Ali Durrani and Gen (r) Jehangir Karamat (Both former ambassadors to the US) wants to reconstruct relations with the US. This (memo) is coming from the president who wants to put together a new national security team, similar to the security organisation in the US. Haqqani started giving point to me that he wanted me to convey to Mullen.“These include: Inquiry into the May 2 incident and members of the Abbottabad commission. US could have hand in choosing commissioners (Abbottabad Commission) to ensure the independence of the commission. Army wants to bring the government down. And if the US conveyed to General Kayani to stand down, government would further assist the US in locating the other bad boys (Mulla Omer and Aiman Al-Zawahri) and would allow US boots on Pakistani grounds.”
Ijaz said, “On the nuclear programme, Haqani assured that Pakistan would agree to add ‘discipline’ with respect to its nuclear programme and in this regard, he referred to negotiations that had already taken place between President Bush and President Musharraf. On Afghanistan: Haqqani said there was need to deal with the Taliban differently. He also assured to eliminate the “S” Wing of the ISI. He also promised that the Mumbai incident culprits would be brought to justice as the US had been asking Pakistan for some time.”
Ijaz said Haqqani was speaking so fast that he could not take hand notes. “I told him to hold so that I could type it on my computer,” Ijaz added. He said the US also wanted access to the three widows of Osama Bin Laden which were at that time in the custody of ISI or the Pakistan Army.
On a question why did Haqqani ask him to do the ‘job’ and did not go for another channel or he himself delivered the memo to Mike Mullen, Ijaz said, “I would be plausibly deniable channel. I could not exactly remember if it was my opinion or Haqqani said so,” he added.
In view of the sensitivity of the matter, Ijaz said Haqqani suggested that in the subsequent communication they both use reference names for the US and the government of Pakistan.
“USA would be denoted as Ispahani (name of Haqqani’s wife) and Pakistan government would be denoted as Friends. ‘Boss’ was to be used for the President Zardari,” Ijaz told the commission. He said the call made by Haqqani on May 9, 2011 can also be confirmed by his phone bill. The commission directed Ijaz to forward a copy of the bill to the secretary commission for onward transmission to the commission. However, Ijaz requested that only the relevant pages of the bill (3 out of 39 pages) be used to confirm his claim and rest of the contents and contacts numbers must not be made public in any manner.
Ijaz said soon after consultations with Haqqani on May 9, 2011, he called James Jones who had recently retired as National Security Adviser. However, he (Jones) was not available at home. In the meantime, Ijaz said, he called two London attorneys to discuss the matter with them if they would be willing to communicate the message of Haqqani (to Mullen).
“Same day at 2pm Monaco time, Jones called me. I told him all. He expressed skepticism as his previous encounters with Pakistan officials were not productive. Under no circumstances, he was willing to deliver a verbal message and without approval of the highest authority in Pakistan. Though I didn’t mention Haqqani’s name at the outset of my conversation with Jones but as soon as he heard the name of Haqqani, there was a snigger and he stressed that he would only deliver the written message backed by the highest authority,” Ijaz deposed. However, Ijaz said, Jones did not specify which highest authority he had in his mind. “I persuaded Jones to convey message that it was not for us to decided whether or not Haqqani’s message was relevant, whether or not Haqqani’s message was credible and whether the assumptions of Haqqani of stated coup were valid or not,” Ijaz further stated.
He said James Jones agreed (to deliver the memo to Mike Mullen) provided he received the message in writing and backed by the highest authority.
Earlier, Ijaz said his contacts with Pakistani officials were very limited for the last 10 years.
“There was one meeting in 2003 with General Ihsan, then ISI chief. One meeting with Musharraf in 2005 in London, which was a very brief meeting in which both sides exchanged pleasantries. The third meeting was with President Asif Ali Zardari in May 2009, but I don’t remember the exact date. The meeting with President Zardari lasted for approximately one hour in Washington DC,” he told the commission.
To a question posed by his attorney, Akram Shaikh during cross-examination, Ijaz said: “I met Zardari on the invitation of Haqqani who was then the ambassador to the US. The purpose of the meeting was to give President Zardari a briefing on important political matters before the US congress. I gave a briefing to Zardari.”
He further said he met General Shuja Pasha, the ISI DG in London for approximately four hours, starting from 6:30pm afternoon at Inter-continental Hotel on October 27, 2011 and the request in this regard was made by a senior ISI official.
“Gen Pasha asked me at the outset of the meeting if I had contact with Haqqani and the nature of our relationship. He also asked me to brief him about my background, personal and professional life and education and I briefed him. He also asked what led me to write opinion pieces and my political affiliation,” he added.
Earlier, when Ijaz referred to his blackberry messages to Haqqani, Zahid Bukhari, the counsel of Haqqani objected that he was not in a position to see what was on the screen of the handset of Ijaz and added the same was not admissible.
The secretary was asked to sit along with Ijaz to see the message himself. At a later stage, Bukhari raised another objection that “Ijaz was playing with his handset”. “What is going on,” he said.
Ijaz also delivered the PIN of his handset, 2100d04f. He also gave Haqqani’s PIN as 2326a31d. He also shared with the commission the email address of Haqqani that was [email protected] Referring to a number of messages that exchanged between him and Haqqani, Ijaz said it was not possible to delete or change the order of the messages. The commission would meet again and take up three applications submitted by Zahid Bukhari before recording the remaining part of the evidence of Ijaz.
Before Ijaz recorded his testimony under oath, the commission, through the secretary commission, ascertained the identity of the star witness as Musawar Mansoor Ijaz. Zahid Bukhari, the counsel of Husain Haqqani told the commission that he had to cross examine Mansoor Ijaz in-person but could not proceed to London due to a delay in getting visa
“I am not here to join the proceedings as cross-examination is not possible,” he added. The attorney general also endorsed the view point of Bukhari, saying there should be cross-examination. He also objected to Ijaz when he wanted to take help from the notes, saying he must make a statement from memory. However, Mansoor said, “It is not possible for me to exactly recall what happened during those three days in question.” Lawyer Naseer Bhutta said the commission was seized with the matter and required to probe into it as directed by the SC, adding that strict rules were not applicable in the particular case.
AG quoted the Qanoon-e-Shahadat law, according to which, there should be no exception. Akram Shaikh, the lawyer of Ijaz, said the commission was not a court, adding that the definition of court could not be extended to the commission as it was constituted only for investigation.
Chairman of the commission, Justice Faez Isa, observed that “in view of the objection of Bukhari and the AG, generality of the statement should be verbal… general procedure should be verbatim, however, to ensure accuracy, Mansoor Ijaz would be at liberty to refer to his Blackberry or other devices after seeking permission from the commission.” Bukhari also objected to the hand written note of Haqqani, calling it fabricated.



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40 Comments

  1. Zulfi Jm said:

    of course they waited till Pak-Iran-Afghan meeting …

    Zardari is ready to have a deal with Iran
    that’s why he’s behind the memo … simple ain’t it?

    • A Quirk said:

      That's a product of a mind which sniffs conspiracies at the drop of a hat.

      Stupid remarks

    • A Quirk said:

      Nothing to do with conjecture wait till the evidence is put forward and the decide for yourself.

    • A Quirk said:

      He who?

      The President and the Ambassador Haqqani should have thought a few millions times before making such a silly request.

  2. Sajid Hurmaz said:

    yeah no doubt about tht,,

    Zardari is already behind the memo bcz at tht time he was very underpressure by army therefore he sent a memo to USA’S authority to stress pak army

    • A Quirk said:

      And got stressed in return. "Muscle pull ho gaya tha is leya Dubai Gaya".

  3. @Waqar_Muhd said:

    Nothing new omitted by Ijaz, I believe its not false allegation by ijaz , Zardari n Haqqani was behind controversial memo. They should be trialed in court of Law.

  4. Khan jr said:

    Hmm…what Mansoor Ijaz reveals was hardly earth shattering. If he is right then Zardari & Haqqani approached the US to allegedly safeguard an elected government against extra-constitutional activity, no matter how corrupt and venal our government happens to be.

    At the same time Mansoor Ijaz has also averred that the DG ISI visited a number of Arab governments to get their blessing to overthrow an elected government. According to the Constitution of Pakistan that would have been a clear act of treason.

    The question is do we as Pakistanis wish to have a rule of rule or do we base our views on whom we like or dislike, hate or love, in other should words should our emotions overrule the law of the land.

  5. Zohaib Ali Memon said:

    if the supreme court wants to believe everything the “honest” Mr Ijaz is saying then they should also take notice of his claims that Pasha met the saudis and the meeting pasha had with ijaz in london….but conveniently those claims are being ignored!

  6. Zohaib Ali Memon said:

    the pious and ever so honest mr ijaz must be hailed and placed upon a pedestal and all the words that come out of his mouth must be treated with religious fervour and all his claims about zardari, haqqani, the memo, pash meeting the saudis and pasha meeting ijaz should be accepted thorougly!

  7. Ovais Omer said:

    well, according to his statements till now….it seems he’s a double agent working for CIA and ISI…making fool to both..

  8. Ovais Omer said:

    but as far as he provided evidence of communication record with Haqqani confirmed by Foreign Secretary, he’s seems true in this case..

  9. Anon said:

    This is just a statement. It has to hold under cross-examination. And Ijaz is a low character. Re-read the following paragraph and see what you think:

    "On a question why did Haqqani ask him to do the ‘job’ … , Ijaz said, “I would be plausibly deniable channel. …"

    If that is the case, who in their clear mind would take this guy seriously at a national level? Not US for sure. But Pakistan is a case by itself…

  10. Kamran said:

    Does Mansoor gain anything by making these allegations? I think not. Is zardari govt. so weak that it would beg others to interfere on thier behalf? Yes.

    • Anon said:

      He is (Ijaz) about the personality of Anna Nicole Smith (the infamous Playboy playmate to turn rich widow of a old oil tycoon and then dying of drug overdose)…

  11. observer from UK said:

    For God sake stop this façade. The supreme court is making itself a laughing stock here in the west, Ijaz Mansoor's allegation that Haqqani wanted Kayani's removal has no weight. Even if Haqqani may have meant then what is a big deal in that. Removal of Kayani is not against the solidarity and integrity of the state. What is clear in recent months that Kayani has flouted the constitution of the country by his indisciplined behaviour. He is literally running a state within a state. It is unthinkable here.

    • A Reader [email protected] said:

      Observer from UK is right; it is unthinkable here in the UK but his comments are very light and fall below the robustness required to withstand common logic.

      Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II or David Cameron the PM are not going to ask President Zardari's or PM Gillani's assistance to remove General Sir Peter Wall the new Chief of General Staff of British Army who has taken over from General Sir David Richards. In case such a need arises they will make an in-house decision. They will also not allow access to any of their state secrets.

      The politicians in Pakistan need to go through this maturation process. Nawaz Sharif when in power sent Shahbaz Sharif to see President Clinton with almost similar request.

      Let's face Imran Khan also gave a very cavalier statement about the Army and the ISI before an Indian journalist.

      What needs to be learnt here is that Pakistani politicians need to be confident and bear Pakistan's and not their own best interest in mind when making appointments to key positions. Unfortunately they take pride in appointing Patwaries and SHOs.

      Only a judicial process has some hope of bringing about a change in this very unsatisfactory and highly objectionable practice..

  12. Bilal Shah said:

    The whole story concocted by mansoor ejaz is a bundle of white lies.Maybe he created this story on someone bidding or just to gain self publicity for himself.Much time and attention was wasted on this fairy tale story that could have been better utilized by focussing on the many real issues facing the country right now.

  13. A Reader [email protected] said:

    Observer from UK is right; it is unthinkable here in the UK but his comments are very light and fall below the robustness required to withstand common logic.

    Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II or David Cameron the PM are not going to ask President Zardari's or PM Gillani's assistance to remove General Sir Peter Wall the new Chief of General Staff of British Army who has taken over from General Sir David Richards. In case such a need arises they will make an in-house decision. They will also not allow access to any of their state secrets.

    The politicians in Pakistan need to go through this maturation process. Nawaz Sharif when in power sent Shahbaz Sharif to see President Clinton with almost similar request.

    Let's face Imran Khan also gave a very cavalier statement about the Army and the ISI before an Indian journalist.

    What needs to be learnt here is that Pakistani politicians need to be confident and bear Pakistan's and not their own best interest in mind when making appointments to key positions. Unfortunately they take pride in appointing Patwaries and SHOs.

    Only a judicial process has some hope of bringing about a change in this very unsatisfactory and highly objectionable practice.

  14. Well Wisher said:

    Zardari is innocent.He has nothing to do with this Memo.He never killed his brother-in-law,never owned Surrey Palace.BB,his wife, was killed by Talaban and her erstwhile partner Pervez, the General.Why vicious people are gunning for this noble soul is beyond any sane comprehension?

    Zardari Khuppe.

  15. Tashfeen Masood Qayyum said:

    Nawaz Sharif behind all this with Chief Stooge oh Justice playing his game. Total nonsense and not because I favor AAZ but because it diverts attention from the real issues the country is facing.

  16. Tashfeen Masood Qayyum said:

    Nawaz Sharif’s game played by Chief Stooge (Justice) , it is not going to do anything except divert attention from real issues the country is facing. There are easier ways to get rid of PPP.

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