Strategic leaks

Multiple cans of worms

It was a rather damning audio leak, the one of the conversation between the former first lady and the head of the PTI’s social media team. What is more interesting: till the filing of this editorial, there hasn’t been a denial by either of the two concerned individuals.

There are two issues to consider here. First, the party as a whole has been on an image maintenance exercise as far as the former first lady is concerned. She is a homebound, typical housewife who keeps to her domestic and religious affairs. That she should not be dragged into the scuffle of political point scoring. Fair enough. But then she was embroiled in a scandal that involved a friend of hers. The PTI still stuck to its guns. This is propaganda, they said, and that she is being dragged into this only because she is the chairman’s wife. With the release of the audio, it has become clear that the former first lady was deep in the thick of it, as far as social media policy is concerned. And if the audio leak were to be believed, she wasn’t above using the traitor card for anyone who kept on talking about the scandal involving her friend. Does this mean she’s fair game now, as far as the rough and tumble of political point scoring is concerned?

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There is another issue at play as well. For the PTI, the penny has finally dropped as far as the propriety and morality of recording audios and (strategically releasing them) is concerned. They are making veiled allusions to the establishment regarding the leak. On this issue, their talking points are all correct, and mirror those of this very publication and those of other pro-democracy members of the press and civil society. But the problem here is that they cannot (rightly) continue saying that it is not the job of the nation’s intelligence agencies to record the private conversations of the prime minister, the cabinet and their respective families, because not too long ago, the party chairman, then prime minister, not only said that his conversations were being recorded by the said agencies but also that he endorsed such a practice!

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]


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