Washington: Controversial Pakistani-American Mansoor Ijaz, who has been summoned to appear before a Supreme Court-appointed panel probing the memo scandal, on Saturday accused the Pakistan government of preventing him from testifying in Islamabad next week.
   
Ijaz, the central character in the memogate scandal the has sparked a political crisis in Pakistan, accused the government, through Interior Minister Rehman Mailk of preventing him from testifying before the judicial commission in Islamabad.
   
Accusing Pakistan's the Interior Minister of indulging in "character assassination", the American businessman of Pakistani origin said Malik has asked the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to "rubber-stamp his demand" that his name be placed on Pakistan's Exit Control List.
   
"This development comes just as I am finalizing my travel arrangements to come to Pakistan," Ijaz said in a press statement.
   
Ijaz failed to make a scheduled appearance before the commission on Monday. The panel then summoned him to appear before it on January 24.
   
Ijaz, 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 sparked a political crisis in Pakistan last year by his claims that he delivered a secret memo on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari to the then Chairman of the US
Joint Chief of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, to help stave off a possible military coup in Pakistan.
   
He claims that memo was drafted by then Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, who resigned in December after the alleged memo became public.
   
The Pakistan government and Haqqani have denied Ijaz's claims.

This evidence related to "certain financial dealings" that Malik allegedly "conducted, supervised and acted as legal attorney-in-fact for during the time preceding" his appointment as Interior Minister, Ijaz claimed without giving details.
     
"Your appointment as Interior Minister was a direct consequence of these dealings within the Zardari-Bhutto family," he said.
     
The alleged evidence against Malik was "simply another instance in a long line of corrupt and venal practices of the Zardari government," Ijaz claimed.
     
"Mr Malik demonstrates a malice of forethought toward me that is unacceptable. His repeated taunts and threats against me during the past several weeks as he became
President Zardari's point man on assassinating my character and my family's good name are a direct result of his knowledge that I know everything about him as well," he said.
     
Accusing Malik and Zardari of stopping at no cost to prevent his arrival in Pakistan, Ijaz said: "Mr Malik miscalculated his brinkmanship by entangling himself with me.
     
You want a war with me, Mr Malik? You just got it." Ijaz has been summoned by the judicial commission to appear in person on January 24 to provide evidence regarding the alleged memo that had sought US help to prevent a possible military takeover in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May last year.
   
Ijaz sparked a political crisis in Pakistan last year by his claims that he delivered a secret memo on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari to the then Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, to help stave off a possible military coup in Pakistan.
   
He claims that memo was drafted by then Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, who resigned in December after the alleged memo became public.
   
The Pakistan government and Haqqani have denied Ijaz's claims.

(Agencies)