Islamabad/Washington, Jan 22: Controversial Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz has charged that Pakistan government was behind a “massive cover-up” under which it was trying to prevent him from testifying in Islamabad next week over the memo scandal.
Ijaz also threatened to make public what he claimed was evidence of Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik's involvement in “corrupt practices” and accused him of indulging in “character assassination”.
Ijaz, the central character in the memogate case which has sparked a political crisis in Pakistan, claimed in a statement that Malik and the government of President Asif Ali Zardari were behind a “massive cover-up” to prevent him from testifying next week before a Supreme Court-appointed judicial commission investigating the memo scandal.
He contended that Malik had asked Pakistan'sParliamentary Committee on National Security to “rubber-stamp his demand” for putting him on the Exit Control List.
Ijaz accused Malik of playing “devious and underhanded tricks” to prevent his appearance before the commission.
“This development comes just as I am finalising my travel arrangements to come to Pakistan,” Ijaz said in the statement.
Ijaz had earlier failed to make a scheduled appearance before the commission on Monday. The panel then summoned him to appear before it on January 24.
The businessman, who was issued a visa by the Pakistani mission in London on Thursday, declined to say when he would travel to Islamabad to testify before the panel.
Ijaz claimed he possessed “sufficient evidence” of Malik's “direct involvement in matters that would be of material and direct investigative consequence to Interpol, the Supreme Court of Pakistan and other investigative and judicial authorities around the world”.