Had info about 'imminent' coup in Pak: Ijaz
American businessman Mansoor Ijaz has said that he delivered a memo to the former US military chief because the intelligence agencies of four countries had told him of the possibility of an "imminent" military coup in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden last year.
Ijaz made the claim as he was cross-examined by lawyers as part of a hearing on Thursday by the Supreme Court-appointed judicial commission that is investigating the mysterious memo, which triggered a standoff between the powerful military and the civilian government last year.
He claimed he had obtained information about visits to several countries by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, allegedly to seek support for a coup, as well as the reaction of army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, President Asif Ali Zardari and the military secretary to the President after the raid against bin Laden by US special forces on May 2 last year.
Ijaz further claimed he had obtained transcripts of the conversation between Pakistani air traffic control staff and the pilots of the US helicopters which flew in the commandos who raided bin Laden's compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad.
He claimed the US pilots and Pakistani air traffic control were in contact before the raid, suggesting that Pakistani authorities had prior knowledge of the raid.
He claimed that the intelligence agencies of four nations had told him of the possibility of a military coup, but did not specify the names of the countries.
Replying to a question from a lawyer while deposing via a video link from London, Ijaz said the information he had gathered was sufficient for him to believe that a military coup was "imminent".