Yet another alleged audio of former prime minister Imran Khan was leaked to social media on Friday, the latest in a series of recordings purportedly featuring the PTI chief talking about the cipher with PTI leaders Shireen Mazari and Asad Umar.
The audio — slightly longer than a minute — is the second that was released in a day featuring the PTI chairman. In a rally this afternoon, Imran claimed the PML-N was behind a “new game of fake audios”.
In the latest clip, the trio are discussing the cipher and allegedly strategising on how to “play it up in the public”.
At the start of the audio, the voice believed to be of Umar is heard saying: “Another point is in hindsight that whatever we are doing now should have been done at least ten days ago.”
“The impact of this letter is far-reaching and it has reached all over the world,” Imran allegedly responds.
Another voice, believed to be of Mazari interrupts, saying, “The Chinese even have issued an official statement condemning the US intervention in the internal affairs of Pakistan.”
Imran then allegedly details the strategy, saying “the public is with us and we must ensure that the pressure must be at such a height that whoever goes to the assembly for voting must be branded for life and you have to brand them as Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq”.
The PTI chief then purportedly presses his party leaders to “spoon-feed people as their minds are currently fertile grounds”.
Mazari later said the clip has “cut-pasted bits” because she was midway through her sentence and “a different bit of conversation is pasted then the remainder of my sentence”.
“Not that there is anything incriminating in entire audio so let PML-N ‘journo’ mouthpieces get their thrills!” she added.
Earlier in the day, an audio recording leaked of a voice — sounding like Imran’s — discussing “buying five” and “numbers game”. “You have a misunderstanding that now the number game is complete […] don’t think this is over.”
“You see, 48 hours is a long, long time. Big things are happening. I am making my own moves that we can’t make public,” Imran purportedly says in the 54-second clip.
The PTI chief allegedly goes on to say that he “is buying five”.
“I have given the message that those five are very important. And tell them that if they secure these five […] and if he secures 10, then the game will be in our hands. The nation at this moment is alarmed. Across the board, people want us to win somehow.
“Hence, don’t worry about whether this is right or wrong […] even if they break one, it would create a huge difference,” the voice, believed to be Imran’s, adds.
The audio clips released on Friday raise the number of clips allegedly featuring the PTI chairman to four. Of the four clips, three centre on the cipher, and one on alleged horsetrading.
Last week, an audio clip purportedly revealed a conversation between Imran and then principal secretary Azam Khan about the cipher — shared by Asad Majeed, the then envoy to the US — which Imran has used to peddle his foreign conspiracy narrative.
In the clip, the former prime minister allegedly tells Azam to “play up” the cipher and turn it into a foreign plot to oust his government but adds that there is no need to name any country.
A day later, another clip surfaced — supposedly a continuation of the conversation in the previous recording — purportedly featuring PTI leaders Asad Umar and Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussing the “foreign conspiracy” cipher with the former premier and ex-principal secretary.
On Friday PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry did not disavow the contents of the latest audio clip but said that “everyone knows where and how the audios are being made”.
In a tweet, the former minister asked: “By joining voices such as these will you prove NRO 2 to be valid?”
Clip exposes ‘hypocrisy’ of Imran
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif later in the day said the “latest audio leak exposes the hypocrisy of Imran Niazi”. He added: “Someone who does not tire of lecturing nation on morality is himself blantantly involved in immoral horse trading. His fraudulent nature is being exposed every day. Niazi’s anti-state actions make him unfit for high office.”
Meanwhile, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb has said the latest audio leaks were a “slap on face” of narrative of the PTI chief that he had been conveying to people in his rallies.
“He has been calling horse-trading shirk in his rallies but audio leaks have revealed that he was also involved in it,” the minister said in a press conference in Islamabad today.
She said Imran must be questioned about audio leaks and his acts that allegedly sabotaged national security.
“He played these games without weighing their pros and cons,” Aurangzeb said.
She said Imran “fooled” the masses, adding he must be questioned about it and the nation must now recognise “his plan”.
Meanwhile, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz reacted to the latest audio leak, saying the “double face of this man must be exposed before the public”, adding that the PTI chief had no moral courage to apologise to his people.
Maryam also read out a transcript of the latest leak, saying he had no courage to name anyone as he allegedly asked his party members to “spoon feed people with reference to Mir Jafer and Mir Sadiq”.
“His thoughts in the leaked audio imply that he is asking for a deal to return to power again and if denied, he is threatening to take a belligerent approach,” she added.
Leaks reveal massive breach in security at PM Office
What began as an alleged and potentially embarrassing audio leak seems to have turned into an all-out national security incident as a slew of audio recordings of conversations between key government figures — including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz and some members of the federal cabinet — were released last month.
The content of the recordings appear to be informal conversations in the PM Office — as opposed to recorded phone conversations.
First, 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.
Further recordings surfaced a day later, 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.
A third clip purportedly features a conversation between Maryam Nawaz and PM Shehbaz regarding the return of former army chief retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.
PM Shehbaz has termed the surfacing of audio leaks a “very serious lapse” and announced that a high-level committee would be constituted to probe the matter.
At the same time, the premier has also said that Imran’s audio leaks were “an irrefutable endorsement” that the PTI chief was the “biggest liar on the face of the earth”.