'Look at my media management': Maryam Nawaz remains tight-lipped on latest alleged audio leak

Published December 21, 2021
This file photo shows PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz. — DawnNewsTV/File
This file photo shows PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz. — DawnNewsTV/File

Another alleged audio clip of PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz surfaced on Tuesday in which she seems to be praising her "media management".

In the short clip making the rounds on Twitter, the PML-N leader allegedly says: "Look at my media management. Geo News and Dunya News have [ruined them]." It is unclear when the clip was recorded and to what series of events she was referring to in the five-second clip.

Earlier, a similar audio clip of Maryam issuing instructions to refuse advertisements to certain TV channels had surfaced, which she admitted was genuine.

However, this time round the PML-N leader remained tight-lipped. Speaking to the media outside the Islamabad High Court , Maryam was asked about the alleged audio clip and whether it was actually her.

"I have already answered this, and clearly given an answer," she said, moving onto the next question.

When the reporter continued to probe her, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb — who was also present — said: "Enough brother, she has already answered the question."

Meanwhile, Maryam ignored the reporter's repeated questioning and simply said: "I have already answered this."

Taking to Twitter, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that audio clips of the opposition leader had exposed the flaws in the country's media structure.

"If such a media [industry] is free, then what would a curbed one look like? Media freedom is being held captive by the [country's] mafias," the minister said.

Focal Person to the Prime Minister on Digital Media Arslan Khalid said that Maryam's audios were continuously accusing Geo News and Dunya News of being in the PML-N's pockets.

"The silence of both the channels is creating suspicions. Would the journalists associated with these channels like to tell us whether they are all managed by Maryam?" he asked.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill said that in light of the new audio tape, the two channels needed to make their position clear.

"Maryam's spokespersons have confirmed the audio. [Therefore], these institutions will have to clarify their position," he said.

Maryam admits to audio clip about refusing ads to certain channels

Last month, Maryam had admitted that an audio clip of her issuing instructions to refuse advertisements to certain TV channels was genuine.

However, the PML-N had played down her acknowledgement, saying there was no need to kick up a storm because Maryam was talking about her party's ads.

In the eight-second clip, Maryam could be heard saying: "No ad at all will be given to Channel 24, Samaa, 92 News and ARY."

When asked about the authenticity of the clip at a press conference, Maryam admitted that the voice in the clip was hers, saying: "I am not saying it has been compiled from different [separate] occasions. It is my voice."

When asked about the clip again, Maryam said it was an "old" clip from the time she was managing the PML-N's media cell. But she refused to comment anymore on it, saying she could do an entire press conference on it if she wanted to but that wasn't the subject of her presser that day.

During her father Nawaz's government, Maryam was heading the then little-known Strategic Media Communication Cell (SMCC) operating out of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Set up with the special approval of the then prime minister as part of the information ministry in late 2014, the SMCC quickly evolved into a powerful unit, working under the watchful eye of Maryam, Dawn reported at the time.

At the time, the information minister had said that the government would conduct a "serious inquiry" into the whole affair.

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