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November 19, 2011

Mansoor Ijaz also brokered US-Sudan talks over Osama extradition

November 19, 2011


LAHORE: The 50-year old American businessman of Pakistani ancestry, Mansoor Ijaz, who is flashing headlines these days for alleging President Zardari of sending a secret memo to the White House through Admiral Mullen soon after the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2, was also involved in brokering unofficial parleys between Sudan’s President Omar El-Bashir and the Bill Clinton administration with regard to the extradition of the Al-Qaeda Chief in 1997.
A research conducted by “The News International” on the past activities of Mansoor Ijaz reveals that the Florida-born businessman had negotiated between the United States and the Sudanese government in an otherwise failed effort to apprehend Osama bin Laden after the bombings of the two American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. (Reference: CNN report dated October 17, 2001)
It is imperative to note that after the US had slapped sanctions against Sudan in 1996, Osama bin Laden had slipped to Afghanistan. Following the imposition of the American sanctions against Sudan, Mansoor Ijaz had testified before the Judiciary Committee (Subcommittee on Crime) of the US House of Representatives on the subject of the “Prohibition on financial transactions with countries supporting the Terrorism Act” on June 10, 1997.
During his testimony in Room 2237 of Washington DC’s Rayburn House Office Building, he had discussed at length the US objective of demonizing and modernizing Islam, besides rendering his recommendations on the issue of religious fundamentalism in Libya, Palestine, Iraq, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, UAE, Uganda, Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan etc.
During the course of this Congressional hearing, Mansoor had accused the US of arrogance and bullying in the above named Islamic states, opining that Washington DC was cynically misinterpreting and believing what it wanted to hear rather than looking at the hard facts.

above-mentioned US Congressional document of June 1997 (Hearing Reference: 748), quotes Mansoor Ijaz as saying: “I have visited Sudan on a half dozen occasions over the past year to better understand whether its economic potential outweighs its role in the region as a purveyor of Islamic radicalism. Driven by my overarching fear that America is coming dangerously close in its foreign policy paradigms to demonizing Islam, I have found the US-Sudan bilateral relationship an interesting case study of the failures inherent in our post Cold War strategy to contain problems we have little desire and fewer resources to better understand.”
Mansoor Ijaz had further stated in his testimony before the US Congressmen, “The post-1996 election government of President Omer El-Bashir is dramatically different from previous Sudanese regimes in two important ways. First, virtually all-critical posts are now held by young, western-educated minds who understand our fears and concerns regarding terrorism, democracy and the preservation of civil liberties. More importantly, they are prepared to take tangible steps to rectify the sins of previous regimes. Second, there is a much more institutionalised process of governance that did not exist in prior Sudanese governments.”
He was recorded as asserting, “Decisions can no longer be made or implemented unilaterally or without due process. With permission of the Chairman, I attach as Exhibit A the recent letter sent by President Bashir to Representative Hamilton regarding Sudan’s institutionally determined offer of full bilateral cooperation on the terrorism issue. It is unlikely that further American sanctions will have anything more than psychological impact.
There are no major American firms doing business in the Sudan at present. China and Malaysia have acquired, through their respective national oil companies, large stakes in the southern oil fields, with estimated reserves of some 3.5-4.5 billion barrels, and will build the 900KM pipeline to transport oil to Port Sudan on the Red Sea.”
Mansoor Ijaz had maintained in his testimony: “Given China’s growing oil needs for the 21st century, it is likely that any American effort at the United Nations to sanction Sudan over terrorism issues or to block oil sales will be met with a certain Chinese Security Council veto. It is my understanding that second stage oil field development will include Russian and French partners, further bolstering Sudan’s UN position and ability to thwart unilateral US efforts to impose UN sanctions.”
According to the 1997 US Congressional document, Mansoor Ijaz is the Chairman of a New York-based company Messrs Crescent Investment Management, a global investment advisor and investment bank.
He had received his degree in mechanical engineering from the globally-acknowledged Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985, where he trained as a neuro-mechanical engineer under a fellowship granted by the joint MIT-Harvard Medical School Medical Engineering Programme.
He got his bachelor’s degree in nuclear physics from the University of Virginia in 1983. Having contributed to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, Ijaz was honoured as the Endowment for Democracy’s 1995 “Humanitarian of the Year” in recognition of his efforts to aid poor and disaffected people in Bosnia, South Africa, Hungary and his father’s native Pakistan.
The official US document had stated that Mansoor derived much of his philanthropic motivation from his father and mother who had emigrated to the United States in 1960.
Mansoor’s parents were both physicists. His father was one of the early contributors of the Pakistani nuclear programme.
His biographic sketch reads: “He has advised the Unity Government of President Nelson Mandela on low-income housing programmes, President Sam Nujoma of Namibia on global investment programmes for domestic pension plans and President Haidar Aliev of Azerbaijan on investment of the revenues from Caspian oil reserves.
He also meets regularly with the economic and political leaders of Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan, the Sudan and Persian Gulf states on economic and political issues related to his investment management business.”
The official US Congress document of 1997 had also written: “Mansoor is active in Democratic Party politics in the United States. He also earned All-American weightlifting status while attending the University of Virginia.
Born in Florida in 1961 and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Mansoor divides his time between his homes in New York, Toronto and France today.”




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