The Pakistani parliamentary panel investigating a mysterious memo that triggered a standoff between the civilian government and the military on Thursday issued summons to American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the central figure in the scandal, to appear before it on February 10.
Against the backdrop of Mr. Ijaz’s repeated claims that he would not come to Pakistan to provide evidence regarding the alleged memo due to perceived threats to his life, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security expressed satisfaction at arrangements made by the government to protect him in the country.
The panel reviewed security arrangements for Mr. Ijaz during a meeting chaired by Raza Rabbani, a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.
Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq briefed the committee on security arrangements put in place for Mr. Ijaz and the government’s communications with Canadian firm Research In Motion to obtain BlackBerry communications by Mr. Ijaz regarding the alleged memo.
RIM has already turned down Pakistan’s request to hand over the communications.
Mr. Ijaz has failed to make two scheduled appearances before a Supreme Court-appointed judicial commission that is also investigating the alleged memo which sought the U.S. help to stave off a feared coup in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden last year.
The judicial commission has given Mr. Ijaz a final opportunity to appear before it on February 9 and record his statement.
The judicial commission also rejected Mr. Ijaz’s request to allow him to depose in London or Zurich.