ISLAMABAD: As he announced his intention to approach courts for a probe into the audio leaks emanating from the Prime Minister’s Office, former premier Imran Khan on Monday said the date of his much-hyped long march was shrouded in mystery because of ubiquitous phone tapping.

In a series of tweets, the former prime minister, whose audio clips have emerged over the past two weeks, said he would approach the courts for the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the leaks, which featured conversations that occurred at the PM’s house and office.

“Audio leaks are a serious breach of national security as they call into question the entire security of the Prime Minister’s Office and PM House,” the PTI chief tweeted. Imran Khan claimed that the secured line at his residence was also bugged when he was the prime minister of Pakistan.

“We intend to go to court to establish authenticity of leaks and then form JIT to investigate which intelligence agency is responsible for the bugging and who is leaking out the audios, many of which are edited/doctored,” the premier tweeted.

PTI chief says keeping long march timeline secret due to prevalence of phone tapping

“This is critical because sensitive security issues are and have been illegally recorded and subsequently hacked, implying confidentiality of Pak’s national security has been exposed globally,” he added.

Workers’ convention in Pindi

In Rawalpindi, Imran Khan addressed a convention of party workers at Rawal Park wherein he took oaths from PTI supporters that they would not shy away from sacrifices to support the cause of ‘real freedom’. He, however, failed to mention the date of the protest once again and said he had not even told his close aides about the exact date because of the phone taps.

The PTI chairman said it was not the job of intelligence agencies to tap phones or intimidate political workers and added that the party would go ahead with the march in spite of arm-twisting as the nation would not accept the current ruling coalition.

Furthermore, the former premier asked his Pindi supporters to remain prepared for the long march and said he would see them at the protest. “I know the plans of [Interior Minister] Rana Sanaullah and [PM] Shehbaz Sharif but they don’t know anything about my game plan,” the PTI chief added.

“They can plan whatever they want, the sea of people will be unstoppable,” he vowed. During the PTI government, no hurdles were placed to stop the long marches by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders, he said, adding, “Whenever I take a decision to march against them, their legs started shivering.”

“We did not bring the Panama Papers, we were not in the government at that time, and Nawaz Sharif and Maryam were not even arrested until the trial was completed,” Imran Khan stated.

He said that Nawaz and Maryam were complaining of a “great injustice as if the judiciary did them wrong”, adding that the PML-N were “blaming the judiciary and the establishment” but they could not give the money trail for their London flats.

Speaking about the changes in the NAB law, Imran Khan said after Maryam Nawaz – who was acquitted by the Islamabad High Court in the Avenfield case – Asif Ali Zardari would be acquitted.

Talking about his party workers, Imran Khan reiterated that they were doing ‘jihad’ not political efforts to liberate the country from the “cable of crooks”. He asked party workers to take his message of “real freedom” to every doorstep.

“What I expected from the PTI tigers of Pindi on May 25 didn’t happen,” Imran Khan said in an allusion to the May 25 long march which ended the very next day. “I will monitor everything from my office…[I hope] you people will not disappoint me, now I will meet you during the march,” he concluded.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2022

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