ISLAMABAD – The memo commission on Friday continued recording testimony of Mansoor Ijaz via video link from London High Commission.

During the proceedings on the third consecutive day, Ijaz showed only four out of 39 pages of his telephone’s bill to the commission, arguing that his telephone was registered on his company’s name and he cannot reveal the bill’s entire content because it was classified. He said, “I have provided my Blackberry bill to the honourable judges and secretary commission.”

An interesting situation developed during the proceedings when Ijaz called Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for former Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, a non-sense. Bukhari objected that the bill is fake to which Ijaz said, “Zahid Bukhair’s objection is bordering on the insane.” Hot words were exchanged afterwards and Bukhari raised objections over Ijaz’s behaviour. The commission directed them both to behave in accordance with court norms.

The commission directed its secretary Jawwad Abbas to contact and retrieve the copy of bill from the telephone company and courier it to them.

Ijaz further told the commission that Haqqani uses two phones  one official and one personal, adding that Haqqani used his personal phone during their communication on May 9.

Ijaz, who is the main character of the controversy as well as the key witness, arrived at the Pakistani High Commission in London on Friday with his wife who was given permission to attend the hearing.

During Friday’s proceedings, Mansoor Ijaz informed the judicial commission about the events followed by his article published in Financial Times.

“Haqqani sent me a Blackberry message around 21:50 GMT on the evening of October 10, 2011, shortly after my opinion article appeared on the Financial Times’s website. The message read: ‘This FT op-ed of yours is a disaster’. Before I had a chance to see it and respond, Haqqani telephoned me at 21:57 GMT in a somewhat panicked voice, reiterating what he had just said by BBM message and then asking me whether there were any other ‘senior Pakistani diplomats’ I knew in Islamabad that he could name to throw the ‘press hounds off my scent’,” Mansoor told the commission while recording his statement.

He maintained that Haqqani was extremely upset and unhappy over the disclosure of memorandum. “I responded Haqqani by querying why the op-ed (piece) was such an issue for him and why was he so upset about. Haqqani replied simply by saying everyone would now assume it was he ( Haqqani) who was the brainchild of the memorandum and that I ( Mansoor) understood nothing about Pakistan’s domestic situation,” Ijaz said, adding that it was a short call lasting for only 45 seconds.

Ijaz said that Haqqani called him to inform that he had just learnt that ISI DG Lt-Gen Pasha was coming to London. “His only concern was whether Genral Pasha would be meeting with the FT editors in London, whether I knew anything about it and whether I would do him the favour of intervening with the FT editors to insure they did not provide Gen Pasha with a copy of the memorandum or any other evidence that I had provided the editors when I wrote the opinion piece,“ Mansoor Ijaz stated.

Ijaz said he responded by again asking Haqqani why was he so paranoid about the memorandum and whether ‘we had done something wrong in delivering it to Adm Mullen’. “Haqqani’s response was to simply reiterate that I (Ijaz) understood nothing about Pakistan’s domestic political situation and that there were some (people) who would say Haqqani was playing for your [US] side, if the content of the memorandum was revealed in public.“

The moment when Mansoor Ijaz started unfolding details of his meeting with ISI DG General Pasha, it made everyone present in the courtroom to show great interest and there prevailed a pin drop silence. Ijaz told the commission that he had received a call from a senior staff officer of ISI and was asked if he (Ijaz) wanted to meet ISI DG.

“I was contacted by a person, whose real name I do not know to this day, on or about the 16th of October, to see whether I would be willing to meet General Pasha. I inquired about the purpose and proposed location (of the meeting). I was told that purpose of meeting was to determine the truthful facts surrounding the content of the memorandum and its genesis (authorship, operational details of the effort to get it delivered to Admiral Mullen etc). As London was the most convenient location for both of us to meet so we decided to meet there,” Mansoor Ijaz said.

Mansoor told the commission that General Pasha was keen to know the reality of the memo draft. “We met on the evening of 22nd October in London at the Park Lane Intercontinental Hotel, Room 210, from approximately 1830hrs until 2230hrs, according to my records. Pasha made clear he was not there to interrogate but to understand with evidence supporting my statements what exactly had happened in the days in question. He made clear he was in London with the consent of the army chief, Gen Kayani… In my recollection, Gen Pasha read the memorandum himself in about three to four minutes, demonstrated surprise and dismay  at times disgust and disappointment  over the content of the document.”

Also on Friday, a petition was filed with the judicial commission probing the memo controversy to summon President Asif Ali Zardari as, according to petitioner, he was an important player of this scandal. The petitioner, Sardar Muhammed Siddique Khan submitted an application to the acting secretary of the commission to this effect.

The plea stated that Mansoor Ijaz employed the word ‘boss’ for President Zardari during the last hearing; hence, it is imperative that he (Zardari) should be sought to explain, to satisfy the prerequisites of justice. The petitioner prayed to the commission to direct President Zardari to appear before the commission’s session being convened at Islamabad High Court. However, the commission was yet to consider this petition for hearing. The commission adjourned hearing of the memo case until Monday noon.