Just PLAY with it

The Nation  |  Sep 29, 2022

 Just PLAY with it
But don’t name America, says former PM to then principal secretary Azam Khan n Azam shares ‘whole game plan’ with ex-PM about how to tamper and manoeuvre with the cipher.

ISLAMABAD    -   The audio leaks controversy took a new turn on Wednesday when anoth­er audio clip purportedly featuring for­mer prime minister Imran Khan and his then principal secretary Azam Khan surfaced on the social media.

The audio was leaked following a set of audio conversations between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other key figures of the government at the Prime Minister House that had gone viral on social media since last weekend.

The audio features a conversation be­tween Imran and Azam Khan about the controversial diplomatic cable that the PTI chief had been saying that it was part of the foreign conspiracy to oust him from his office.

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On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced to form a high-a pow­ered committee to probe the matter of audio leaks terming a “very serious lapse” of cyber security which can lead to the embarrassment of the country at diplomatic level. During the phone conversation, Imran Khan was telling a game plan over the ‘regime change’ conspiracy. Khan allegedly told Azam in the audio — the date of the cipher can­not be ascertained at the moment.

“We only have to play on this. We don’t have to name US,” the chairman PTI can be heard saying in the audio clip.

In response, Azam tells Khan a scheme of how to use the cipher to for­ward PTI’s political agenda. He sug­gested holding a meeting on the cipher. “See, if you recall, the ambassador has written in the end to send a demarche. Even if the demarche is not to be sent, I have thought a lot about it… how to cov­er all this.” “Let’s hold a meeting with (then foreign minister) Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the foreign secretary. Shah Mahmood Qureshi will read out that letter…I will then make minutes out of it,” Azam also said in the audio.

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He went on to say that he would make an analysis on his own by writing minutes and make the cipher part of the official re­cord. “It is a threat. It is called a threat in the diplomatic language,” he elaborated how the analysis would be made.

Azam also suggested to then premier Imran that call the foreign secretary so that it doesn’t remain political and be­comes a part of the bureaucratic record.

Reacting over the audio leak, the PTI chief argued that he wanted that the en­tire controversial cipher should now be made public so that the people can know how big a foreign conspiracy had happened. During the last weekend, a couple embarrassing audio leak seems national security incident.

The content of the recordings appear to be informal conversa­tions in the PM Office — as op­posed to recorded phone con­versations.

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On Saturday, a recording of PM Shehbaz surfaced where he was discussing with an uniden­tified official the possibility of facilitating the import of Indian machinery for a power project that was a concern of Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law, Ra­heel. On Sunday, further re­cordings surfaced, which were shared on social media by sev­eral PTI leaders, concerning former finance minister Miftah Ismail and the resignations of PTI lawmakers from the Na­tional Assembly.

One clip purportedly features a conversation between PML-N Vice President Maryam and the premier about Miftah, wherein a voice thought to belong to the former says he “doesn’t know what he is doing” and wishes for the return of PML-N stalwart Ishaq Dar.

A second clip allegedly con­cerns a conversation between the prime minister, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Law Min­ister Azam Nazeer Tarar, Interi­or Minister Rana Sanaullah and Ayaz Sadiq about the resigna­tions of PTI lawmakers from the National Assembly.

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A third clip purportedly fea­tures a conversation between Maryam Nawaz and PM Sheh­baz regarding the return of for­mer army chief retired Gen Per­vez Musharraf.

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