- Questions raised on security of Prime Minister's Office
A number of leaked audio recordings purportedly of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's discussions with his aides and other officials about different government and party matters have been leaked.
Among other issues, the incident has raised questions about the security of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
However, the government has not yet commented on the matter.
The first set of recordings was made public a day ago, which allegedly involved a discussion between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and one of his advisers.
In the over two-minute-long audio clip, a voice said to be that of PM Shehbaz, could be heard saying that Maryam Nawaz had asked him to facilitate her son-in-law with the import of machinery from India.
Another clip purportedly involves a conversation between PML-N Vice President Maryam and the premier about Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, who has faced criticism from his party leadership, over tough economic decisions in an effort to save Pakistan from default.
The voice, said to be Maryam’s, in the alleged clip said: “He doesn’t take responsibility […] says strange things on TV which people make fun of him for […] he doesn’t know what he is doing,”
“He clearly cut corners,” the voice said to be PM Shehbaz can be heard as saying.
Reacting to the development, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the country is at risk of becoming infected by cyber attacks, adding that PM House’s data has been put on sale on the dark web.
"It is a major failure of our intelligence agencies, especially the Intelligence Bureau (IB),” he tweeted.
“Besides political matters, important discussion on security and foreign affairs are in their hands,” he added.
Former human rights minister and PTI leader Shireen Mazari said one of the alleged audios showed PML-N's plan to lay the preliminary groundwork for Dar’s return.
“The leaked audios certainly reveal the influence of convict Nawaz Sharif and his convict-on-bail daughter in the running of this imported government itself a cabal of crooks,” she said.
The development comes weeks after two audio tapes surfaced on social and mainstream media in which a man said to be Shaukat Tarin could be heard guiding Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab’s finance ministers to inform the federal government and the IMF of their inability to commit to a provincial budget surplus in light of the recent floods that have wreaked havoc in Pakistan.
“We only wanted the provincial finance minister to write to the federal government so “pressure falls on them … they’re jailing us, filing terrorism charges against us and they’re going away completely scot-free. We can’t allow this to happen,” the voice purportedly of Tarin’s is heard telling Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari.
Following the audio leak, Tarin rejected the allegations of treason against him, saying that whatever he said was in the national interest.
The former finance minister said that since he had not committed any treason, it was unfair to call him a ‘traitor’, saying that whatever he said was for the sake of 220 million people of the country.
Following the leaked audio, the incumbent government accused PTI of hatching a conspiracy to derail the IMF deal.
“This is shameful. Shaukat Tarin and Taimur Jhagra should resign from politics,” the finance minister Miftah Ismail had said.