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Ijaz claims to have met Zardari, Pasha and Shaukat Aziz since 2003

London, Fri, 17 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 17 (ANI): Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the key man in the Memo Gate scandal, has revealed that since 2003, he had met President Asif Ali Zardari, ISI Director General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and former ISI chief Ehsanul Haq.


In his testimony submitted to the memo commission on Thursday through his counsel Akram Sheikh, Ijaz said he had met the four Pakistanis in addition to former ambassador Husain Haqqani, The Dawn reports.


He said he had met General Ehsanul Haq shortly before he quit as the ISI chief in 2004, adding that in November 2005, he and his wife had visited then prime minister Shaukat Aziz and some military officers during and after a trip to Kashmir.


Ijaz said he had met President Asif Ali Zardari on May 5, 2009, for 45-50 minutes at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington. He claimed that Haqqani had invited him to brief the president shortly before he met US officials at the White House.


He said he had met Lt-Gen Shuja Pasha on October 22 last year at his request for approximately four hours in London to provide evidence relating to the memo.


About the relationship with Haqqani, Ijaz said he had maintained regular contacts with the ambassador for 10 years through email, BlackBerry exchanges, SMS, personal meetings and telephonic discussions, adding that Haqqani was helpful and supportive in other important matters, including speaking at one of his charity's annual fundraising dinners in June 2009.


However, he said, the day Haqqani assumed his ambassadorship, he had no involvement in his congressional or White House lobbying efforts other than assisting him in ways he was able to after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.


"At no time during Haqqani's ambassadorial tenure have I lobbied anyone for Pakistan, acted as an agent of the Pakistan government or represented any foreign interest lobbying for a particular outcome. I acted in this matter purely as a friend in my private capacity trying to assist Haqqani in communicating his message in ways that only he dictated, characterised and gave authority for, not in any way to be construed as diplomatic or official activity," Ijaz said in the witness statement. (ANI)


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