Monday, June 24, 2024

Kayani presses for Memogate probe


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Islamabad: Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has made a fresh request to the Supreme Court to probe the Memogate scandal, in a sign that the military and the civilian government are at loggerhead on the issue. Kayani conveyed his stand in a rejoinder submitted to the Supreme Court yesterday.

The powerful army chief said the memo made public by Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz is a “reality” and it should be thoroughly investigated as it had a bearing on national security and sovereignty.

Kayani’s rejoinder said the Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha had briefed him about the memo on October 24 after gathering evidence and information from Ijaz. The General said all his earlier statements were based on facts and he had kept nothing hidden from the court. The army and ISI chiefs have asked the apex court to conduct an investigation into the alleged memo that had sought US help to stave off a feared coup in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May.

The government has challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear several petitions seeking a probe, saying a parliamentary panel was already conducting an investigation.

A meeting between Kayani and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on December 16 had triggered speculation that the military and the government may have resolved their differences on the handling of the probe into the scandal. Kayani’s rejoinder, which came ahead of the apex court hearing on the issue today, made it clear that the differences persisted. Kayani filed the rejoinder in response to a directive from the court, which had sought responses to replies filed by the government, Ijaz and Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former envoy to the US. Haqqani was forced to resign after Ijaz alleged he was behind the memo. (PTI)


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