Pak par committee to probe secret memorandum issue

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said the parliamentary committee on national security will probe the issue of the secret memorandum sent to the US military seeking help to prevent a military coup in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The matter will be fairly investigated by the panel comprising members of political parties from both houses of parliament, Gilani said. He said he was committed to bringing all facts uncovered by a credible probe before the people.

The parliamentary committee on national security is a "credible forum" that will thoroughly investigate the memo issue, Gilani said during an interview with a TV news channel.

Asked about Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar`s remarks that the premier was responsible for the memo issue, Gilani said Mukhtar was right that the Prime Minister was ultimately responsible as the chief executive of the country.

Gilani said he had summoned Pakistan`s former Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, and asked him to submit his resignation so that a probe could be conducted into the issue.

Haqqani was asked to resign by the government after Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz claimed that he had drafted and delivered the memo to former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen on the instructions of the envoy.

Responding to a question about the appointment of Pakistan People`s Party leader Sherry Rehman as the new Ambassador to the US, Gilani said the decision was made by the party and himself.

In response to another question, Gilani said the Taliban should decommission themselves and denounce violence and only then the government would be ready to talk to them to bring them into the mainstream. "If somebody will challenge the writ of the government, it will not be accepted," he said.
The government will continue to pursue its policy of dialogue, development and deterrence while dealing with militancy, he added.

Referring to former federal minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi`s decision to quit the ruling Pakistan People`s Party, Gilani said the PPP is an ideological party and coming and going of individuals does not matter as the strength of the party and its ideology is intact. "Many stalwarts left the party in the past but the party remained united and even today the PPP is in power," he said.