ISLAMABAD – The commission probing the memogate scandal has directed Husain Haqqani to appear before the three-member team of judges on March 26 in Islamabad to record his statement.

During Sunday’s proceedings, the commission rejected a request from Haqqani’s lawyer that the commission record his client’s statement from London via video-link.

“Haqqani has already assured the apex court that he will appear before the judicial commission on a short notice of four days. So, he will have to appear before the commission in Islamabad,” head of commission Qazi Faez Isa said.

During the hearing, an interesting situation developed when Mansoor Ijaz’s counsel objected to his client’s cross-examination by Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq. “Since the attorney general is representing the government, ISI DG and army, so he cannot cross examine my client,” Akram Sheikh claimed during the proceedings.

The attorney general argued that he was appearing before the commission on the directives of the Supreme Court. Rejecting Sheikh’s objection, the commission allowed the attorney general to question the prime witness in the scandal. “Attorney General is here to assist us. He has the right to cross-examine Mansoor Ijaz,” Qazi Faez Isa said. The commission stated that if the AG asked irrelevant questions then Sheikh had the right to object.

The attorney general asked Ijaz if he has been writing for some US based news organisations. “Yes, I have been writing for CNN at some occasions, particularly on Eid festival,” he replied. To another query, he said he had met President Asif Zardari in Washington on May 5, 2009 in New York. The AG completed cross-examining Ijaz and the hearing was put off.