Presidency, ISPR rubbish Ijaz’s claim


The claim of Mansoor Ijaz on Saturday fell flat on his face as the Presidency and the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) denied that President Asif Ali Zardari had intervened to stop interception of the US attack by F-16 aircraft on May 2. Mansoor Ijaz, the star witness in “memogate” case, had told media in London on Friday that Zardari had asked Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asfhaq Kayani on May 2 not to send F-16 aircraft to bring down US choppers carrying Navy SEALS commandos who killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
In a rebuttal, spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar dismissed the reported allegation of Mansoor Ijaz against President Zardari, calling it “absolutely untrue and unfounded”. Referring to the statement of Ijaz, a spokesman of the ISPR said there was no telephonic conversation between the president and the COAS on the night between May 1 and 2, 2011. The spokesman further said that the military leadership had briefed the joint session of the parliament as well as the Abbottabad Commission on the subject matter and there was nothing more to add to it. While talking to media prior to appearing before the memo commission via video link from London, Ijaz had claimed that a telephonic conversation between President Zardari and General Kayani took place on May 2 night. He said Zardari had asked the army chief not to stop the US helicopters. Ijaz further claimed that Zardari had given permission to the US to kill bin Laden in Abbottabad.