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News Desk
Monday, October 31, 2011
From Print Edition
 
 

 

ZURICH: Mansoor Ijaz, the US business tycoon who has become the centre of a huge controversy over the reported memorandum sent through him by President Zardari to Admiral Mike Mullen, on Sunday night issued a rejoinder from Zurich, responding to the statements issued by presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar, the Foreign Office and Ambassador Husain Haqqani on the issue.

 

His statement came hours after PTI leader Imran Khan told the huge Lahore rally that Ambassador Haqqani had sent the memo to Admiral Mike Mullen requesting the US army to help against Pakistan Army.

 

After Imran Khan’s allegations in his speech, Ambassador Haqqani had challenged the PTI leader on Sunday night to produce any evidence, if he had one, in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

 

Mansoor Ijaz in his statement said: “On October 10, 2011, I published an opinion piece in London’s Financial Times in which I wrote that I had acted as a private channel to communicate sensitive information to Admiral Mike Mullen, then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. The information, sent in the form of a Confidential Memorandum, was dictated to me and approved for transmission in its final form by a senior Pakistani government official with close ties to President Asif Ali Zardari. Since the publication of my opinion piece, much has been written about the Memorandum delivered to Admiral Mullen and much speculation has surrounded its content and the identity of the Pakistani official who asked me to intervene in getting it conveyed outside the knowledge of the Foreign Office and military/intelligence channels.

 

“Recent statements issued by the Foreign Office and the Presidency have attacked me personally for writing the FT opinion piece, have denied the existence of any such Memorandum as “fabrication” and have denied the president’s involvement in the development or approval of the contents of the Memorandum. This is a dangerous path for President Zardari and his staff to follow because the truth is incongruent with the statements his office is issuing to the Pakistani public. I have the facts — all the facts. Every word I say or write is backed with hard evidence and proof. Challenging me on that would be a grave mistake.

 

“To this date, I have refrained from publicly confirming, denying or engaging in any of the rife speculation surrounding who did what when in the issuance of the Memorandum or what it specifically contained as important offers to the United States government at a moment of great strain in the bilateral relationship after Osama bin Laden had been found and killed on Pakistani soil. I wish to continue to do so because I have no role in Pakistan’s political affairs.

 

“But I respectfully remind the Foreign Office, the president’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar and the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, that the facts I have are irrefutable. The evidence is crystal clear. And while I do not wish to be dragged into the cesspool of Pakistan’s politics, the government should take great care in its public statements on the subject of the Memorandum or my role in bringing it to US government officials they themselves asked me to see it got to.

 

“As a 27-year veteran of Wall Street, I can do no better than to quote the big-screen character of Gordon Gekko. He said: “if you stop telling lies about me, I might just stop telling the truth about you”. It is time that Pakistan’s leaders stopped telling lies and got back to the business of governing for the betterment of their people rather than wasting time, energy and much-needed resources in the useless bickering and backbiting that defines today’s debate over the nation’s affairs.”