Mansoor Ijaz claims he has US support for Pakistan visit
By Murtaza Ali Shah
LONDON: Repeating his claims of receiving threats from Pakistani officials on a daily basis, US businessman Mansoor Ijaz, has said he had now been assured by the US government of its support during his forthcoming visit to Pakistan.
Ijaz, who claimed to have delivered a controversial memo against the army to US Admiral Mike Mullen in May last year and accused then ambassador Husain Haqqani of being involved in crafting it, also says he would travel to Pakistan but would not say when.
In an exclusive interview with Geo News, Ijaz said he offered Haqqani to stop “telling lies” about him (Ijaz) and he would stop telling “the truth” about him (Haqqani) but said the former ambassador did not “stop”.
“I had a conference call with the US State Department a couple of days ago. The US government will provide the support that they always do for US citizens,” Ijaz said in the interview in London.
“They (the US government) made their official position very clear and I made my reasons for going very clear. They understand it’s a high profile case and they understand I am a reasonably high-profile American citizen,” he added.
“And I think If, god forbid, anything goes wrong they will certainly be there to help my family make sure that things got sorted out. I am absolutely confident that the American government will do the right thing if something went wrong,” he said without elaborating what could possibly go wrong.
Ijaz has been summoned by a judicial commission in Islamabad on January 24 (Tuesday), which was set by the Supreme Court following petitions on the issue moved by the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders and others.
The American national of Pakistani-origin was issued a one-year multiple-entry visa by the Pakistan High Commission on Thursday evening. Ijaz said he would travel to Islamabad but would not reveal his travel plans.
Ijaz appeared seriously distrusting of Pakistan government claims about his security. “Part of the problem is that you have government officials that are threatening me on a daily basis and I find that a little bit strange that from one corner of their mouth they are saying that I’m secure and at the same time they are threatening me too,” he said.
He said it was not just his personal protection that worried him but rather he was more concerned about the security of his family, businesses, the entire infrastructure around his life.
“I have to make sure that all of these things are attended to. I can’t just get up and recklessly go and do whatever I want to do,” he said but added that he did not want to “put an overburden on the system in terms of my personal security while I’m there”.
Ijaz explained he was a family man with a lot of personal, business and social commitments and wanted to make sure that “certain things had been addressed” to give everyone “peace of mind” when he travelled to Pakistan.
Ijaz praised the memo commission for addressing his concerns. He also appreciated the Pakistan army, which he said, had agreed to “do certain things that they have not agreed to do for anybody else and I very much appreciate that”. …
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