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Mullen denies meeting businessman Ijaz over secret memo

world Updated: Nov 21, 2011 23:30 IST
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Amid a controversy over a secret memo sent to the then US military chief to prevent a possible military coup in Pakistan, the spokesperson of Admiral Mike Mullen said that the former top general never met the Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz and does not know him.

Asserting that the Admiral did not take the alleged secret memorandum seriously as it was "not signed", there was no indication that it was coming from the Pakistani President and said, the contents of the said letter were not reliable and authenticated.

"I am not going to speak to Gen (James) Jones (former National Security Advisor) participation in it and if he is speaking that is certainly his account. I have said this before and am saying again today. Nothing about that letter had the imprimatur on the Pakistani Government. It was not signed. And the contents of it Admiral Mullen did not find credible. So he took no action on it," Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt John Kirby, told reporters during an off camera gaggle.

"He (Mullen) knew who the third party was who was giving it (this memo) to him. He does not know Mr Ijaz. He never communicated with Mr Ijaz. He did not know that Ijaz was the author of this alleged memo. He simply got the memo from a third party, read it and decided to do nothing with it because he did not find it at all credible," Kirby said.

Kirby as the press secretary of Admiral Mullen when the latter was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, from where he retired a few months ago.

Ijaz has claimed that he drafted the memo on Haqqani's instructions and delivered it through an intermediary to Mullen.

"He (Admiral Mullen) knew who was giving this (memo) to him. You go back and look at it (the memo). There is nothing in this that indicates that this was communication from President Zardari," Kirby said in response to a question.

"He (Mullen) knew that he (intermediary) was passing it to him," he said but declined to comment if the individual was Gen Jones.

Kirby reiterated that Mullen does not know Ijaz.

"He never communicated with Mr Ijaz then or now. There has been no communication between the two men," the Pentagon press secretary said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani has stuck to his stance that he had nothing to do with the controversial memo sent to Mullen to prevent a possible military coup, according to a media report on Monday.

Haqqani conveyed his position to President Asif Ali Zardari during two informal meetings held at the presidency yesterday, the Dawn quoted sources close to the President as saying.

There was no official word about the reported meetings.