ISLAMABAD - Masoor Ijaz, the main figure of memorandum scam, has filed an application at the Supreme Court praying that his statement be recorded and forensic evidence be received from him outside Pakistan.

Akram Sheikh, who filed the petition Saturday on behalf of Ijaz, stated that the judicial commission has not acceded to his client’s request for recording his testimony abroad and directed him to appear before the commission on February 9, 2012.

The applicant in order to unravel the truth and expose the fraudulent version of the Pakistan’s former ambassador, decided to undertake the risk of travelling to Pakistan and continues to be willing to do so, in what is now clearly a hostile environment. Apart from the risk to his life, the applicant holds valuable equipment/evidence which is the only hard evidence to settle the controversy and if it ends up in the wrong hands there is possibility of tampering and destruction of the same.

The applicant is, therefore, unwilling to violate the chain of custody that requires his own person to deliver and explain the content of all the evidence available directly to the commission.

As per the Supreme Court order, the commission was mandated to collect evidence within and outside Pakistan and since collection of evidence (outside the country) is in the express mandate of commission and without such evidence the commission would at best be dysfunctional, the apex court should direct the commission to record the evidence abroad, the plea stated. The petition mentioned that the valuable equipment/evidence includes Black Berry handsets, computers, data record, emails and notes of conversation with Husain Haqqani etc. It is imperative that there is no security compromise to what is now the only physical evidence available in this matter and its safe passage into and out of Pakistan is paramount along with the applicant’s own physical safety.

RIM, the company operating the Black Berry service, has shown reluctance to provide any data to the commission and the applicant has executed a waiver to the company enabling it to release his records but Mr Haqqani has categorically refused to execute any waiver/consent.

Mr Haqqani did not surrender his handsets before the commission on January 9 when he appeared before the commission, as he was directed to do by the commission’s January 2 order. Instead, he stated that he had left his handsets somewhere in the ambassador’s residential office in Washington. The statement was contradicted by a letter received by the commission from Pakistan Embassy in Washington, to the effect that a thorough search was conducted at the embassy and residential office but no handsets were found.

The commission thereafter directed Hussain Haqqani to submit a detailed affidavit regarding ownership, use and placement of his Blackberry sets and an “evasive affidavit” was filed before the commission on January 24, which did not address any of the questions asked by the commission.

It is reiterated that the applicant does not want that his name is put on ECL, if he enters Pakistan. The applicant does want to be the suspected root cause of any institutional conflict between the PCNS, the commission, the judiciary, the government and the armed forces on the issue of his security or otherwise. On January 16, the AG reiterated the undertaking on 9-1-2012 regarding the security arrangements agreed to on 9-1-2012. Consequently, the applicant started making preparation to visit Pakistan. After the applicant had taken all material steps and was all set to leave for Pakistan to appear before the commission on January 24, interior minister made public statements on January 21 that the applicant could be implicated in other cases and stopped from leaving the country. He also made a statement if the Parliamentary Committee on National Security so desires, the name of Ijaz could be put on the ECL for crimes against the state.

Contrary to the undertaking of the attorney general and the request of the applicant the interior ministry is the overall arching body to provide security to the applicant instead of the army, which was ordered by the commission to provide security to Ijaz to his satisfaction.

The applicant was alarmed by this turn of events and he even received communication to the effect that there appears to be a convergence of the interests of the military, US administration and government of Pakistan and due to this clandestine alliance the interests of the latter collectively seems to be to not have the applicant depose in Pakistan.

The commission vide its order dated January 24, relied on the Notification No. 1/7/2011-Secy (1) dated January 22 issued by the interior ministry, wherein it communicated that the Islamabad IGP will execute the security arrangements through focal points/persons of the ICT Police, Pakistan Rangers, Frontier Constabulary and Pakistan Army but the focal person was to be the same DIG, an act which did not allay the fears of the applicant.

The applicant consequently, has been constrained to review the efficacy and wisdom of travelling to Pakistan. He now believes may be a trap is being set for his capture and containment for an indefinite period. The peculiar facts of the case must be taken into consideration that the applicant has evidence implicating the federal government, who continues to inhabit the cozy confines of the prime minister’s official residence.

The applicant has brought to the notice of the commission statements of the prime minister that the state would not spend billions of rupees on security of one individual (i.e Mansoor Ijaz) and that whatever order commission may pass, the SHO has to be appointed by him (PM).

Faced with these circumstances of threats the applicant has reluctantly relented and has decided not to undertake a visit to Pakistan under any circumstances as the very institution charged with his protection and safe passage (interior ministry) is acting under the orders of the very individuals whom the applicant is deposing as a witness against. This court must be surely able to see the inherent conflict of interest posed by this paradoxical scenario.

Ijaz moves SC for deposing abroad