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Pak govt trying to prevent my testimony, says Ijaz

January 21, 2012 22:07 IST

Controversial Pakistani-American Mansoor Ijaz, who has been summoned to appear before a Supreme Court-appointed panel probing the memo scandal, on Saturday accused the Pakistan government of preventing him from testifying in Islamabad next week.

Ijaz, the central character in the memogate scandal the has sparked a political crisis in Pakistan, accused the government, through Interior Minister Rehman Mailk of preventing him from testifying before the judicial commission in Islamabad.

Accusing Pakistan's the interior minister of indulging in "character assassination", the American businessman of Pakistani origin said Malik has asked the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to "rubber-stamp his demand" that his name be placed on Pakistan's Exit Control List.

"This development comes just as I am finalising my travel arrangements to come to Pakistan," Ijaz said in a press statement.

Ijaz failed to make a scheduled appearance before the commission on Monday. The panel then summoned him to appear before it on January 24.

Ijaz, who was issued a visa by the Pakistani mission in London on Thursday, declined to say when he would travel to Islamabad to testify before the panel.

Ijaz sparked a political crisis in Pakistan last year by his claims that he delivered a secret memo on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari to the then Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, to help stave off a possible military coup in Pakistan.

He claims that memo was drafted by then Pakistani ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, who resigned in December after the alleged memo became public.

The Pakistan government and Haqqani have denied Ijaz's claims.

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