Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani maintained a low profile for the second day in Islamabad on Monday, preferring to speak through his wife, legislator Farahnaz Ispahani, who demanded an investigation into the phone records of Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz whose allegations have authored the “Memogate” chapter in contemporary Pakistani history.
In a brief interaction with the media, Ms. Ispahani, who is an adviser to President Asif Ali Zardari, said her husband was prepared to face an enquiry into Mr. Ijaz's allegation that he had sent a memo at Mr. Haqqani's behest to the former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, seeking Washington's intervention to pre-empt a military takeover after the American raid in Abbottabad to take out al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Describing Mr. Ijaz as a citizen of another country, she said his allegations made her believe that he was working against Pakistan's democracy. Stating that her husband was ready for an investigation and prepared to appear before a court in Pakistan or the U.S., the Member of the National Assembly added that if the party leadership allowed them, the couple would like to file a libel suit against Mr. Ijaz who, according to her, was changing his statement almost on a daily basis.
Further, Ms. Ispahani said, her husband would meet the civil and military leadership of the country either on Monday or Tuesday. He is said to have informally met Mr. Zardari but there was no official word. Mr. Haqqani and his supporters point out that the memo was on a plain sheet of paper and unsigned, though Mr. Ijaz counters this defence by describing it as a “non-paper”.
Though Mr. Ijaz has written an article detailing the entire series of BlackBerry messages exchanged with Mr. Haqqani and an American contact through which the Pakistani-American claims to have delivered the memo to Admiral Mullen, he has not yet shown records of the conversation stored on his phone to the media with which he is interacting frequently. However, according to media reports, the records had been verified by Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence Shuja Pasha at a four-hour-long meeting with Mr. Ijaz in London last month.
Meanwhile, Mr. Haqqani — known to be very Twitter-savvy — has also fallen silent on the micro-blogging site, tweeting only twice on Monday. In one message he assured his 17,000-plus followers that he was a little busy in Islamabad and “normal tweeting will resume soon”.