PTI ‘happy’ with own leak, Imran calls for cipher’s release

Published September 29, 2022
PTI chief Imran Khan delivers a speech at at the Punjab House in Islamabad on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI chief Imran Khan delivers a speech at at the Punjab House in Islamabad on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: In response to the audio leak featuring himself and former principal secretary Azam Khan discussing how to ‘play up’ the controversial cipher, former prime minister Imran Khan on Wednesday reiterated his demand to make the document public to bring out the truth.

Speaking to media persons at the Punjab House in the federal capital, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief accused Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of leaking the audio clip.

“I have not played on the cipher yet. But now they will expose it so we will play with it,” the former premier said in response to a question. He claimed that the cipher would tell the nation about the magnitude of the conspiracy behind his government’s removal. Once again, he demanded a probe into the cipher.

Addressing a seminar at the same venue, Mr Khan termed the audio leak a “good thing”. He, however, added that the release of the audio was against the Official Secrets Act and he was thinking of approaching the courts over the matter.

The PTI leader said he was surprised that the “[intelligence] agencies have started treating” the former ruling party and senior journalists “like enemies”.

“It is surprising that the agencies have stood with the thieves, as [PTI leader] Shahbaz Gill was stripped naked and tortured,” he added.

‘Vindicated PTI’s stance’

Separately, PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry told reporters that the audio featuring Imran Khan and Azam Khan confirmed the existence of the cipher, which was alleged proof of a ‘foreign conspiracy’ to remove the PTI government. He also demanded a thorough investigation into the episode to reveal the truth.

According to Mr Chaudhry, the cipher had threatened relations with Pakistan would get sour if Imran Khan was not removed from power; therefore, the reaction of the former premier was “natural”.

The PTI leader said that the PTI wrote letters to the president and the chief justice but the cipher was not investigated even then. Following the emergence of the audio leak, the Supreme Court should investigate the cipher. Mr Chaudhry added that the PTI was a political party, not an NGO, and all “political events were part of its narrative”.

Taking a dig at his former colleague and MQM leader Aminul Haque, the former science and technology minister quipped that one could imagine the seriousness of Pakistan’s cybersecurity since Mr Haque was the IT minister for four years.

Fawad Chaudhry stated that everything would become crystal clear only after the investigation of the letter and hinted at the involvement of Indian hackers in the episode.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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