Saturday, March 17, 2012
Ijaz Claims To Have Details Of BaNazir And Zardari's Bank Accounts
Mansoor Ijaz has claimed that he holds details of President Asif Ali Zardari and his assassinated wife Benazir Bhutto’s bank accounts.
A private TV channel reported the key character in memogate scandal as telling the media in London on Friday that things might go bleak for President Zardari if his claims regarding the memo case were proven correct. The American businessman said he had documentary evidence regarding Zardari’s Swiss banks transactions. He said the presidential immunity would be removed if the case against President Zaradri was proven.
Ijaz accused Zardari of being involved in money laundering, and said that the president ‘did not have the guts’ to challenge these allegations. “I have documentary evidence to support my claims,” he said, claiming that he was putting his own life in danger by ‘revealing the truth’.
Kaswar Klasra from Islamabad adds: As the judicial commission probing the memogate scandal resumed hearing later in the day at Islamabad High Court, Husain Haqqani’s counsel Zahid Bukhari got annoyed and refused to continue representing Haqqani after being repeatedly interrupted by commission head Qazi Faez Isa.
During cross-examination of Ijaz, Justice Isa asked Bukhari to keep focus on the issue rather than concentrating on the articles written by Mansoor Ijaz. “Keep your questions focused on the issue at hand, and do not try to waste the time by asking questions not associated with the issue.“
This prompted Bukhari to announce that he would no longer be representing Haqqani under ‘these circumstances’. Justice Isa told Bukhari that if he had a problem with him, the proceedings could still continue in presence of the other two judges.
Husain Haqqani later persuaded Zahid Bukhari to continue representing him and Bukhari resumed his Ijaz’s cross-examination. The lawyer argued that May 9 telephone conversation between Ijaz and Haqqani, while Haqqani was in London, was about Ijaz’s anti-Pakistan writings and not about the memo. But, Mansoor Ijaz intercepted Bukhari and termed his claim as a false statement. Zahid Bukhari said, “Your story about the memo is false”. Ijaz insisted he was telling the truth.
Bukhari read several quotations from Ijaz’s articles and transcripts of Mansoor’s appearances on TV after May 2, 2011 in which he accused Pakistan of harbouring Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Bukhari said because the memo affair was directly linked to Ijaz’s credibility, he has been focusing on making clear before the commission that the witness was untrustworthy and had hidden motives.
During Friday’s proceedings, Bukhari once again asked Ijaz about the nature of his contacts with several spy agencies across the globe. Ijaz maintained he had links with two dozen intelligence agencies around the world but he again refused to identify the countries whose intelligence services were his friends. He also did not agree to explain the nature of his relations with the spy agencies.
Ijaz said he introduced Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yasin Malik to the then deputy chief (later chief) of India’s RAW intelligence agency. “Malik is a liar,” Ijaz told the commission when he was confronted with a statement by the Kashmiri leader saying Ijaz never told him he was meeting the Indian spy chief. He said he was proud of his link with India’s RAW.
Ijaz claimed his relations with intelligence agencies were undertaken as a ‘private citizen of the US’ and he claimed that he paid for his part-time spy work from his own pocket. But Bukhari proceeded to question Ijaz in detail about several judgments against him in New York courts that showed him as someone unable to pay his debts. This cast doubt on his status as a tycoon who spends his money for private diplomacy and intelligence contacts.
On Friday, Haqqani’s lawyers showed a video of Mansoor Ijaz’s interview with Fox News on May 3 in which he accused the Pakistan Army of protecting bin Laden and building the house in Abbottabad where he lived. Ijaz had also called Zardari a buffoon in that interview and used the term ‘bad guys’ for Pakistanis. However, the head of commission and the rest of members of judicial commission took least interest in the video.
Most importantly, Mansoor Ijaz admitted once again that his main evidence against Haqqani comprises BBM messages, which cannot be verified because Blackberry company (RIM) does not retain data after three months.