Mansoor Ijaz keeps everyone guessing

Published Jan 23, 2012 04:30am

American businessman Mansoor Ijaz. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Although the government has assured foolproof security to Mansoor Ijaz, the main character in the ‘memogate’ affair, it is not yet certain that he will visit Pakistan.

Ijaz is scheduled to appear before the three-member investigation commission formed by the Supreme Court, on Tuesday.

Attorney General Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq said the government would provide best possible security to Ijaz on his arrival, but ruled out his lawyer Akram Sheikh’s demand that an army battalion should be deployed to protect him.

Haq said a necessary notification would be issued to this effect.

Some TV channels reported late on Sunday night that a notification had been issued after the formation of a security squad comprising police and Rangers personnel and some army troops.

The reports, however, could not be officially confirmed.

Sheikh had said that if his client didn’t get assurance from the army leadership about his security, he would advise him against coming to Pakistan.

Sheikh had written to attorney general and Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani seeking special security arrangements for Ijaz.

According to media reports, Ijaz was in Switzerland where he informed US officials about his visit to Pakistan.

Quoting sources, a private TV channel said that Ijaz was expected to be in Dubai on Monday and he might decide to go to Pakistan after consultation with his lawyers.

On TV talk shows, politicians continued to lock horns on the issue.

Khawaja Asif of the PML-N said if Hussain Haqqani could stay at the prime minister’s house because of security concerns, the government should have no qualms about providing the same level of security to Ijaz.

In response, Mr Zahid Bokhari, counsel of Haqqani, said that Ijaz was looking for excuses to avoid coming to Pakistan, although the government had promised to provide adequate security to him on his arrival.

Whether he would appear before a parliamentary committee that was also investigating the issue, Haider Abbass Rizvi of MQM said that if Ijaz came to Pakistan he should appear before the committee as well.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has also asked the government to provide Ijaz security as required by him because people should know the truth behind the memo controversy.

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