ISLAMABAD: A scandal over a secret memo to Washington took a strange turn on Wednesday when a music video surfaced featuring the chief accuser acting as commentator for a women’s wrestling bout that ended with a 30-second clip featuring full nudity.
Opponents of Mansoor Ijaz, an American of Pakistan origin, said the clip damaged his credibility ahead of his scheduled appearance before a Supreme Court-appointed commission.
The Florida-born businessman has pledged to provide damning evidence that the Pakistani government sent the note seeking US help to prevent a military coup in the aftermath of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.
Others were simply amused at the latest twist in an affair that has transfixed the media and raised tensions between the government and the powerful military to dangerous levels.
It was unclear why the wrestling video, which was made in 2004 and has been viewed for years on the Internet, came to light only now. Ijaz’s role was apparently spotted by a blogger on Tuesday night and spread quickly through social media.
Ijaz told The Associated Press he thought the video’s emergence was part of an effort by former ambassador Husain Haqqani to discredit him ahead of his testimony, but conceded he had no evidence of this. He confirmed that the video was not a hoax.
Ijaz appears in two versions of the same video for “Stupidisco”, a house music track by Italian producer Junior Jack that was a club hit in 2004. One clip features bikini-clad women wrestlers, who end up grappling on a mat. The other is the same until the final 30 seconds, when the women remove each other’s clothes.
Ijaz’s scenes and dialogue feature in both versions. He said he had not known he would appear in the version containing full nudity.
“I did this as a favour for my wife’s best friend, whose planned actor for the part did not show up for the shoot that day,” he said in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location.
He said the shoot took place in Brussels, and that there was no other person available with an American accent. “I was never present for any part of the video where those naked girls were shown. My wife was present at all times.”
Ijaz provided the AP with 2004 email correspondence between him and the producer of the video in which he threatens legal action unless the producer removes him from the clip that contains nudity.
“Given my political and public profile in the United States and around the world, it is impossible for me to appear in any part of any video clip with nudity of any type,” he wrote.
He included a reply from the producer, who assured Ijaz he would cut his role from the X-rated version and remove it from the Internet.
Haqqani’s lawyer, Zahid Bokhari, said the “Stupidisco” video shows that Ijaz “can break all norms of decency”.
“I think a man of that stature, one who can go to that extent for fame, he can make up all kinds of false stories. I am really stunned by this,” said Bokhari.
He dismissed Ijaz’s claim that the video was part of a campaign to question his credibility, noting that it was made and put on the Internet years ago.
The bikini video was uploaded onto YouTube in 2009, with 376,000 views since then, according to that website. The version in which the women appear naked was uploaded to a site called Dailymotion in 2007.—AP