ISLAMABAD: PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Monday said that his party would approach the courts to establish the “authenticity” of the recently leaked audio tapes and have a joint investigation team (JIT) constituted to bring to light those responsible for the bugging of the Prime Minister Office (PMO).
A series of audio recordings have surfaced of late, allegedly featuring the leadership of the PTI and PML-N holding informal conversations never meant to be heard by the public.
Some of the clips featured purported conversations between the PTI chief and his former ministers and principal secretary about a cipher that he has for long presented as evidence of a “foreign conspiracy” to oust him from office.
Last month, a slew of audio recordings of conversations between key government figures — including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz and some members of the federal cabinet — were released as well, triggering alarm bells with regard to national security.
While the PML-N has denied the content of the audios, the PTI chief has accused the government of “starting a new game of audio leaks”.
In a series of tweets today, Imran said: “The audio leaks are a serious breach of national security as they call into question the entire security of the PMO, PMH. As the prime minister, my secure line at my residence was also bugged.
“We intend to go to court to establish the authenticity of leaks and then form JIT to investigate which intelligence agency is responsible for the bugging and who is leaking out the audios, many of which are edited/doctored,” Imran said.
He asserted that the investigation was critical because sensitive security issues “are and have been illegally recorded and subsequently hacked implying that the confidentiality” of Pakistan’s national security had been globally exposed.
Talking about the audio leaks later at a ceremony in Rawalpindi, Imran questioned the role of intelligence agencies.
“I ask my agencies, is your job to spy on your own people? Is it your job to decide who needs to come and who needs to go? Do you even care about the country that you have imposed these people over us? That all these daaku are taking Pakistan towards destruction […] is this your job to tap phones and see what Imran Khan is saying?”
The PTI chief said that journalists and media houses were facing the worst form of crackdown under the incumbent setup, claiming that people were being threatened only so that they could accept the “imported government”.
“So listen […] whoever these people are […] these chors and their handlers […] listen now, this nation will not accept you. I am telling you, no matter how hard you try, you will only dishonour yourself because the nation won’t accept them anymore,” he said.
The PTI chief urged PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz to reveal the names of the “powers” that created cases against them.
The PTI chief’s comments come a day after Nawaz, in a pre-recorded interview, spoke about the trials and tribulations he and his family went through since his wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, passed away.
Referring to the interview in his speech today, Imran said: “Was it the judiciary or the establishment? Because when these cases were formed, we weren’t in power. Also, give one answer on how did you purchase these properties worth billions of rupees abroad?
“Where did you get the money to buy them?” Imran asked. “Nawaz Sharif remained Pakistan’s prime minister thrice, why doesn’t he answer this?”