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Haqqani submits rejoinder

March 21, 2012

Husain Haqqani. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani submitted on Wednesday a rejoinder to evidences provided by American businessman of Pakistani origin Mansoor Ijaz to the commission investigating the memo scandal.

Mr Haqqani admitted that at least eight phone calls of about 40 minutes were made between him and Mr Ijaz from May 9 to 12 last year, but said the memo was not the topic of their conversation.

Mr Ijaz, a central character of the scandal, had claimed that in the first call of over 16 minutes the memo was dictated to him by the former ambassador and in the second call on May 9 he communicated to him demands of Gen James Jones.

In the third call again from Mr Haqqani, Mr Ijaz claimed that he had informed the ambassador the way forward to deliver the memo to former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen.

In fourth and fifth calls from Mr Ijaz on May 10 and 12, he and Mr Haqqani discussed any last-minute changes and results of the meeting with Admiral Mullen.

In the other three calls Mr Ijaz left voice messages for Mr Haqqani.

During his cross-examination in London, Mr Ijaz told the commission that if Mr Haqqani admitted that the first phone call had been made on May 9 he had no basis to deny the Blackberry messenger chats.

As far as the BBMs were concerned, Mr Haqqani wrote against each BBM that he “denies on the basis of no recollection as the message reproduce”.

Mr Haqqani also denied to have arranged a meeting between Mr Ijaz and President Asif Ali Zardari on May 5, 2009.

Mr Haqqani said he had ‘no knowledge’ about Mr Ijaz calling Gen James Jones to finalise a message from the Pakistan government that was to be conveyed to Admiral Mullen. He also said he had no knowledge of handwritten notes of Mr Ijaz and their context.

Mr Haqqani denied having email exchanges with Mr Ijaz regarding preparation of the memo by writing ‘no knowledge’ before each email. He, however, admitted to have exchanged 83 emails of 92 pages over the past 10 years.

Mr Haqqani admitted to the call in which Mr Ijaz had told him about the way forward to deliver the message to Admiral Mullen, but denied that the call had been made for that purpose.

Mr Haqqani said he had no knowledge about Mr Ijaz telling Gen James Jones that the message would be from high officials.

He denied the statement of Mr Ijaz that he submitted before the Supreme Court of Pakistan and also the affidavit and said both the documents were incorrect.

He admitted to have exchanged an email for a fundraising campaign and for preparation of Mr Ijaz’s address at the fundraiser for his NGO ‘Rebuilding Afghanistan’.

Mr Haqqani said he had no knowledge about any meeting between Mr Ijaz and former ISI chief Gen (retd) Ahmad Shuja Pasha.

He admitted to the details of a roaming call of Mr Ijaz.

He said he had no knowledge of Mr Ijaz writing to the Research in Motion (RIM) company giving his privacy a waiver and was also not aware of any communication taking place between Mr Ijaz and RIM.

About his PIN numbers, Mr Haqqani said he had no recollection in the absence of his Blackberry phone sets. He also expressed ignorance about Mr Ijaz submitting his testimony before the US House of Representative Committee on Foreign Affairs.