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US obstructed data BlackBerry chat verification over memo issue: Ijaz

Islamabad, Sat, 03 Mar 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Mar 3 (ANI): Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the key man in the Memo Gate scandal, has said that the Obama administration had blocked the validation of his BlackBerry set that he had used for chatting with former ambassador Husain Haqqani.


He made this claim while replying to a question asked by PML-N lawmaker's counsel Salahuddin Mengal during cross-examination before the commission headed by Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa investigating a purported memorandum delivered to former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen, The Dawn reports.


Ijaz said a US government agency he had approached refused, under the influence of the administration, to validate the handset and verify its contents.


He said some friends tried to persuade him at the behest of Haqqani and the Pakistani government to avoid the investigation.


He declined to disclose their names, but said an American lobbyist and strategist, Harlen Ullman, had become his vocal critic after the memo issue came under the spotlight. He alleged that the lobbyist had played a role in the release of Haqqani from "house arrest".


Ijaz told the commission that he had remained in touch with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha for quite some time after their meeting held on Oct 22 last year. During their communication by phone and emails, he had sent to Lt-Gen Pasha BBM (BlackBerry message) screenshots related to the memorandum and discussed matters about his security during his visit to Pakistan for recording his testimony.


While Ijaz was replying to a question by Mustafa Ramday, counsel for PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, regarding his communication with General Pasha, the video conferencing link went down and remained so for half an hour.


He told the commission that Haqqani knew about the developments regarding the May 2 incident in which US personnel had killed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.


"When I telephoned him (on May 11) and told him the broad content of transcripts of the conversations that took place during and after the May 2 incident, he replied he was aware of these facts and said 'since we have achieved the objective, therefore, no need to discuss it'." (ANI)


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