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Pakistan

'Serious lapse': PM Shehbaz says audio leak issue about Pakistan’s respect

  • Premier says high-level committee will be formed to reach the depth of this matter
Published September 27, 2022
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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Tuesday that the issue of the audio leak from the Prime Minister's House was a "serious lapse", stressing that the matter was about the "respect of the state of Pakistan", Aaj News reported.

The premier made the remarks while addressing a press conference in Islamabad after returning from the US where he participated in the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Leaked audio clips purportedly reveal PM Shehbaz's conversations with aides, officials

To a question about the seriousness of the matter, he said: "It is not about Shehbaz Sharif, rather about the sanctity of the office."

"It is a big question mark," he said before asking: "Who will come to meet the Prime Minister of Pakistan at the Prime Minister's House?"

"Be it a sympathiser or a friend, they will think 100 times before talking."

The premier went on to say that many sensitive issues are discussed at the Prime Minister's Office.

“I am taking notice of this and a committee will be formed and reach the depth of this matter,” he said.

"This is not about me or the prime minister's office, this is about Pakistan's respect."

Leaked audiotapes: PM, COAS, others to meet tomorrow

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 surfaced over the weekend.

Among other issues, the incident raised questions about the security of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The first set of recordings made public on Saturday 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 involved a conversation between PML-N Vice President Maryam and the premier about outgoing finance minister Miftah Ismail, who has faced criticism from his party leadership, over tough economic decisions in an effort to save Pakistan from default.

Army 'aghast' at Imran's 'defamatory' remarks against senior military leadership: ISPR

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,”

Addressing the issue, PM Shehbaz said in his presser that Maryam never asked him for any favours.

“Dr Tauqeer spoke to me about it and said half of the machinery was imported during the PTI tenure. I don’t know what amount was spent and how much loss they will have to bear if half the machinery is left. Dr Tauqeer told me that the provision is banned and it will have to be taken to Economic Coordination Committee.”

He went on that he didn’t find it appropriate to take the matter to the cabinet. “I said I will convey this to my daughter. Now tell me what is wrong with this?”

PM Shehbaz, Bilawal slam Imran over COAS appointment statement

It is pertinent to mention that the premier had called a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) on Tuesday to discuss the issue. However, the meeting was postponed earlier today due to PM Shehbaz's busy schedule.

Earlier, sources told Business Recorder that all three services chiefs, federal ministers, and committee members were expected to participate in the NSC meeting.

Responding to a question about the army chief’s appointment in November, the premier said in his presser today that the “law and Constitution” should be followed, stressing that “everyone is going to follow it."

The premier said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was creating unnecessary controversy over the issue.

During one of his rallies earlier this month, the PTI leader had alleged that the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were opposing fresh elections, because they wanted to “appoint an army chief of their choice” to save themselves from corruption cases.

“They are sitting in the government because they want to bring in an army chief of their choice through joint efforts," Imran had said.

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