Cabinet nods legal action against Imran, others
ISLAMABAD: Federal Cabinet has issued formal approval to pursue legal action against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan and his party leaders regarding ‘cypher’ audio leaks, it was reported.
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was given a nod of approval by cabinet to investigate ‘diplomatic cypher’ audio leaks, wherein former government high-ups allegedly discussed how would they “play” on cypher issue. A Cabinet committee was constituted on September 30 to discuss proceedings regarding audio leaks featuring PTI Chairman and his party leaders, including General-Secretary Asad Umar then personal secretary Azam Khan and Vice Present Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Committee recommended legal action in a meeting held yesterday, with proposals presented in form of a summary before Cabinet for approval. “This is a matter of national security which could have possible adverse effects on country’s interest,” Cabinet committee stated in a notification adding that legal action was “necessary” and FIA should form a committee comprising senior officials to probe matter.
“FIA team should take action against offenders as per law,” Committee recommended in summary. The former ruling party has been at the center of criticism after the recently-surfaced audio leak purportedly revealed a conversation between Imran Khan, Asad Umar, Azam Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussing the much-touted “threat cipher” – ratcheting up the controversy around the steady drip of damning leaks allegedly offering a glimpse of the inside story. The 1.09-minute-long audio emerged on social media and featured a conversation purportedly between Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Azam Khan about a strategy to set the stage for a narrative around the Cablegate affair.
Meanwhile, senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the cabinet summary has “proved that the cypher is a reality”.
“The government has accepted our stance on the cypher,” he told a gathering in Multan today. Qureshi said his party is not afraid of the investigations announced by the government. Another PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry pointed out a date of the cypher received to the then government in the summary issued by the cabinet, saying he hoped that PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz “will not change her position on cypher investigation from independent commission”.
Published in The Daily National Courier, October, 03 2022