The PTI approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday seeking the formation of a judicial commission to probe the audio leaks — featuring several party leaders and former prime minister Imran Khan — and declare the act of recording audio conversations of political leaders as “unconstitutional”.

The petition was filed by PTI Central Punjab President Yasmeen Rashid through Advocate Rana Mudassir wherein the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defence, the chief secretary of Punjab, and interestingly ARY News among others have been made respondents.

The plea will be taken up for hearing on Monday.

The petition comes days after a phone call of Dr Yasmin with the former CCPO Ghulam Mehmood Dogar was released on social media. It was only the latest in a spree of private conversations — mostly involving opposition leaders and its allies — that have been leaked.

In the leaked audio, the PTI leader is speaking to the police officer asking if he had received the posting orders after he was reinstated as the Lahore CCPO by a Supreme Court bench on Friday. As per the audio clip, the police officer replied that no orders had reached him.

The former Punjab health minister, without naming anyone, stated that she had made the phone call to find out what “their intentions are”. Making an apparent reference to PTI chief Imran Khan, she conveyed that he was “concerned” about the issues surrounding the reinstatement of the former Lahore police chief.

In her petition filed today, Dr Rashid pointed out that audio conversations of the PTI leadership were being leaked.

“These acts seem as a personal attack and infringement of constitutional rights of freedom of thoughts, speech, and right to dignity and privacy but as a matter of fact these nefarious acts amount to threaten and undermine the constitutional dispensation of rule of law, democracy, democratic institutions and above all the very constitution of Pakistan, 1973.”

She said such acts amounted to depriving political leaders of their basic fundamental rights of freedom of thought and speech and right to dignity and privacy seizing them from political activities “as feeling always under threat that their mobile calls are being secretly taped by agencies to blackmail them.”

She demanded that a judicial commission consisting of senior judges of the high court should be constituted to investigate the matter.

Dr Rashid also sought the court’s directions to stop the airing of leaked audios on the mainstream media.

“It is most respectfully prayed that this petition may kindly be accepted and the very act of audio tape recording and broadcasting on electronic media by respondents may be declared to be in violation of the constitutionally protected rights under articles 2A, 4, 5, 9, 14, 17, 19 i. e. right of freedom of thought and speech, right to dignity, and privacy, right to life and freedom as well as a collective right to be an active member of political party namely PTI for establishing and maintaining rule of law and democracy in Pakistan,” the PTI leader urged in the petition.

Earlier this week, the PTI chief had also written a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and other Supreme Court judges, and sought “enforcement” of the fundamental rights of the public — including the Constitution’s Article 14 (fundamental right to privacy) — in connection with a series of private telephonic conversations of political leaders that have surfaced online over the past few months.

A slew of recordings

In September last year, 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.

The content of the recordings appeared to be informal conversations in the Prime Minister’s 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 had 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 had 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”.

Recently, two alleged audio clips of Elahi surfaced on social media in which he can be heard giving directions to two men regarding fixing certain cases before a particular apex court judge.

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