ISLAMABAD: While the Memo Commission report discredited Husain Haqqani and found him changing his stance besides concealing facts, the widely respected judicial body endorsed the credibility of Mansoor Ijaz and noted: “There was no material inconsistency in his testimony and he did not deviate from what he was saying.”
About Mansoor Ijaz, the Commission also reported: “He also candidly accepted that he might have been wrong when we questioned him, and gave answers which might not have made him popular in certain quarters in America.”
Responding to the question raised in the report, “Who is to be believed (between the two)?” the Commission also noted: “Mr Haqqani despite his best efforts could not destroy Mr Ijaz’s credibility in respect of the matters that he deposed before us … Whether one agreed with Mr Ijaz’s views on Pakistan, its politics, army, ISI etc one could not fault him for pretence or hypocrisy. We thus found Mr Ijaz to be a credible witness.”
The report said that there were many matters and material alleged by Mr Ijaz, which Mr Haqqani challenged, and either one or the other could be telling the truth. The determination in respect of the events and facts determines who is to be believed. It would be appropriate to summarise these contentious matters:
(i) Mr Ijaz said he was Mr Haqqani’s friend, and supported the assertion with the facts while Mr Haqqani denied the friendship, which we could not possibly believe in the face of the evidence produced by Mr Ijaz.
(ii) Mr Ijaz stated he co-authored an article with Mr Haqqani, and produced the proof of the same, when Mr Haqqani denied co-authoring the article. Mr Haqqani’s denial was exposed in the light of the material produced by Mr Ijaz.
(iii) Mr Haqqani denied sending-receiving Blackberry Messages (BBMs), but these have been established, including through the forensic expert’s report, that the exchange as stated by Mr Ijaz took place.
(iv) Mr Haqqani denied sending-receiving emails, but it has been established, including through the forensic experts’ report, that the emails as stated by Mr Ijaz were sent-received.
The report also said that Mr Ijaz on the very first day of his appearance before the Commission voluntarily and immediately wrote the consent letter to RIM permitting it to disclose his BBM record. In sharp contrast Mr Haqqani prevaricated, and submitted the consent letter only after being directed to do so, and upon learning that RIM does not maintain records for over three months.
The report added: “Mr Ijaz produced his Blackberry handsets and permitted their forensic examination, whereas Mr Haqqani did not do so, nor did we get a consistent or straight answer from Mr Haqqani about their whereabouts. Mr Ijaz also provided access to his emails’ inbox-outbox and also permitted the forensic examination of the same and his computer, but Mr Haqqani did not provide access to his emails’ inbox-outbox.”
“Mr Ijaz deposed and permitted himself to be cross-examined, but Mr Haqqani did not come to be cross-examined. Mr Haqqani did not produce any credible information regarding either his health or security concerns, which were cited as reasons for his non-appearance.”
“Mr Haqqani intentionally withheld disclosure of the utilisation by him of the $8,000,000 he received as secret funds as Pakistan’s ambassador, and misled the Commission in this regard. Mr Haqqani by his non-disclosure severely compromised his character and honesty.
Bestowal of such largesse was unprecedented. It was indicative of the fact that the government held him in high esteem and that he was unaccountable, emboldening him to push the Memorandum through.”
“Mr Haqqani rebuked Mr Ijaz for his views on Pakistan, its army, ISI etc whilst it was clear the he held similar, if not more extreme views on the same. Mr Haqqani continuously played the inveterate patriot card, against a person who was not a Pakistani and, thus not obliged to honour and obey the Constitution of Pakistan.”
The Commission observed,”If two people contradict each other, it is simply a question of believing one and disregarding the other’s statement. The surrounding circumstances and whether the statements and/or actions of either offer any corroboration need consideration.
Here we were faced with two persons, one who deposes and produces his BlackBerry handsets, computer and access to his email’s inbox-outbox, and the other who does not produce his BlackBerry handsets, despite being directed to do so, nor provides access to the inbox-outbox of his e-mails The conclusion, and under the circumstances the only conclusion that can be drawn is that if Mr Haqqani had produced his BlackBerry handsets they would have confirmed the testimony of Mr Ijaz and the contents of said BlackBerry message and emails referred to Mr Ijaz. Incidentally Mr Haqqani did not have to personally produce his BlackBerry handsets and provide access to the inbox-outbox of his emails and his counsel or his representative could have done so, but he elected not to. Mr Haqqani also failed to explain how the exchange of BBMs, the telephone calls and other emails all of them emerged as a seamless whole.”