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Produce certified copy of phone bills: Panel to Ijaz

world Updated: Feb 25, 2012 23:16 IST

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A Pakistani judicial panel probing the memo issue has asked star witness Mansoor Ijaz to produce a certified copy of phone bills he presented as proof of his conversations with former envoy to the US Husain Haqqani.

On the third day of Ijaz's deposition before the Supreme Court-appointed commission on Friday, the main accuser in the memo scandal presented four pages of a 39-page BlackBerry phone bill to back up his claims about his conversations with Haqqani, who was then the Pakistani envoy to the US.

The four pages he presented were related to his communications with Haqqani on May 23, 2011, Ijaz claimed while deposing via a video link from the Pakistan High Commission in London.

Ijaz claimed 11 conference calls were made between him, former US National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Haqqani during May 2011.

Zahid Bukhari, the counsel for Haqqani, said the copies of the bill did not contain any names or phone numbers and were thus ineligible as evidence.

Ijaz contended that his phone was registered in his company's name and he could not reveal the bill's total contents because they were "classified".

The three-judge commission, which is conducting the proceedings from Islamabad, then ordered Ijaz to obtain a certified copy of the bill from his phone company and send it to Islamabad.

Heated words were exchanged between Ijaz and Bukhari during the proceedings. At one point, Ijaz said Bukhari was speaking "nonsense" and Bukhari's aide objected to his behaviour. The commission ordered Ijaz to behave in accordance with the norms of a court.

US envoy's secret cable on pak havens

Meanwhile, in a separate development, in a "top-secret" cable to the Obama administration, America's envoy to Kabul has warned that the existence of terror sanctuaries in Pakistan and insurgent activities of the "lethal" Haqqani network were a "deal-killer" for the US strategy in Afghanistan.

The cable written by Ambassador Ryan C Crocker last month "amounted to an admission that years of US efforts to curtail insurgent activity in Pakistan by the lethal Haqqani network, a key Taliban ally, were failing," the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

"Because of the intended secrecy of that message, Crocker sent it through CIA channels rather than the usual State Department ones," it said.

"The sanctuaries are a deal-killer for the (Afghan war) strategy," a senior defence official, familiar with the ongoing debate, was quoted as saying by the daily. The State Department refused to comment on the authenticity of the cable.

"We are not in a position to comment on alleged leaked cables," its spokesman Mark Toner said when asked about the news report.

"Our position on the Haqqani network remains as we've expressed it publicly. Safe havens continue to pose a threat to Pakistan, Afghanistan," Toner said.