The judicial Commission probing the memo scandal on Monday directed the former Pakistani envoy to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, to appear before it on January 9.

The Supreme Court-appointed Commission, which held its first meeting on Monday, directed the government to provide Mr. Haqqani “requisite security” for his appearance before the panel and an opportunity to engage a lawyer for the proceedings.

Mr. Haqqani had to quit over the alleged memo seeking American help to stave off a military coup in Pakistan after the covert raid in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden in May.

The Commission further directed officials to obtain records of all BlackBerry communications between Mr. Haqqani and Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, who created a storm in Pakistan's diplomatic and political circles by making the memo public. The panel asked Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq to contact Canadian firm Research In Motion (RIM) and BlackBerry representatives in Pakistan to obtain records of the communications, including BBMs, emails and other data.

The Commission again issued notices to ISI chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Mr. Ijaz, former U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones and other respondents to appear before it.

Mr. Ijaz has claimed he drafted and delivered the memo on the instructions of Mr. Haqqani. He further claimed Mr. Haqqani was acting at the behest of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Mr. Ijaz's claims have been denied by the government.

The apex court last week formed the three-judge Commission to probe the memo issue within four weeks, adding to the pressure on the civilian government over the memo scandal.

In another twist, Mr. Haqqani's counsel Asma Jahangir, one of Pakistan's leading rights activist, on Sunday said she would not represent him as she had no confidence in the court-appointed panel. She alleged that the apex court was being influenced by the security establishment.

Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, who appeared before the Commission on Monday, informed the panel that no departmental action had been taken against Mr. Haqqani.

Asked how many times Mr. Haqqani had met Mr. Ijaz, Mr. Bashir replied the Foreign Ministry has no records about the memo and Mr. Haqqani's appointments. He said the ISI chief is required to appear before the commission to provide evidence about the contacts between Mr. Ijaz and Mr. Haq. The commission's secretary, District and Sessions Judge Jawwad Abbas, told the media that the panel's proceedings would be kept open.


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