Pakistan PM may flag audio leaks on ‘graft’ a threat to natl security – Times of India

ISLAMABAD: Targeted by the opposition over audio leaks purportedly suggesting he sought favours on behalf of his family from a senior federal official, beleaguered Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif will hold a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Wednesday to discuss matters related to national security.
The leaked audios that triggered a storm on social media have added to the pressures Shehbaz has been facing while leading a dozen-strong coalition that survives with a razor-thin majority in parliament.
The opposition, led by former PM Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), has been coming hard at Shehbaz, his friends and family members, terming his purported chat with a federal secretary proof of asking for favours to a son-in-law of Maryam Nawaz, ex-PM Nawaz Sharif’s daughter.
Security experts see the audio leaks as a lapse of grave proportions under the watch of institutions tasked with protecting the PM. Interior minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters on Tuesday that the ISI and another agency had completed the initial inquiry and a report regarding the audio leaks would be presented to the NSC.
“The leaks could be the result of phone hacking, or someone might have installed a recording devices If the recordings are obtained through bugging, then it’s a serious matter,” the minister said even as investigators extended the ambit of the probe to staff deployed at the PM’s residence and secretariat.
Leaked audios and videos of political leaders had surfaced in Pakistan in the past too. In two audio clips that surfaced on social media, former finance minister Shaukat Tarin is allegedly heard directing PTI’s provincial finance ministers in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to tell the federal government and the IMF that they would not be able to implement the global lender’s terms in their respective provinces due to the havoc wrought by floods.
Earlier videos of provincial lawmakers allegedly receiving money in return for their votes during senate elections had triggered a political storm. These were followed by a 2019 video showing slain judge Arshad Malik purportedly admitting he was pressured and blackmailed into convicting ex-PM Nawaz.
During the Kargil war, ISI’s Indian foil RAW was able to tap a phone conversation between the then Pakistani army chief Gen Pervez Musharraf and chief of general staff Lt Gen Muhammad Aziz, discussing national security and matters pertaining to the Line of Control (LoC) and other sensitive matters. The country’s external affairs ministry later released the transcript.

Source link