Another alleged audio leak surfaced on Friday, this time linked to senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry — who has categorically rejected it — purportedly talking about superior court judges.

“I have no connection with this audio,” tweeted Chaudhry.

The leaked conversation, first publicly shared by journalists on social media, shows pictures of Chaudhry and his brother Faisal Hussain, identifying them as the people behind the voices talking about arranging a meeting between judges of the superior courts — a conversation that Chaudhry said never took place.

A voice, implied to be Chaudhry’s, can be heard saying that a senior judge of the Lahore High Court wants to meet a top judge of the Supreme Court. The audio also makes reference to one of the judges linked to an earlier audio leak.

The voice suggested to be Chaudhry’s can also be heard asking the other person to “get four more sections imposed in a case on Tarar so that he feels some pressure”.

While the clip only mentions Tarar and not the full name, it appears to be a reference to PML-N leader Atta Tarar who was named in a hooliganism case filed during the previous Punjab government, led by Chaudhry Pervez Elahi.

The clip — which appears to be a stitched version of different audio bits extracted from a single conversation — has not been independently verified by Dawn.com. The timing of the alleged audio is also not clear from the recording.

In his rebuttal to the audio, the PTI leader dismissed the recording as fake.

“Another fake audio has been thrown in the market in my name. This audio has nothing to do with me,” said the PTI leader, adding that neither did he meet the judges mentioned in the clip nor did he ask any of them to help each other.

Right to privacy

The latest clip comes a few weeks after PTI Chairman Imran Khan wrote 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.

Imran had written a letter to the top judge after a phone call of PTI Central Punjab president Dr Yasmin Rashid with the former CCPO Ghulam Mehmood Dogar was released on social media. In the leaked audio, the PTI leader was allegedly 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. As per the audio clip, the police officer replied that no orders had reached him.

It was only the latest in a spree of private conversations — mostly involving opposition leaders and their allies — that had been leaked.

In his letter, Imran said “various ex-public officials, myself included, and even private members of the public have suffered” from those leaks while specifically mentioning PTI Senator Azam Swati’s alleged inappropriate video leak. He had termed the leaks to be “unverified, edited, tampered, pieced together and even fabricated conversations’.

This audio leak also comes on the heels of two alleged audio clips of Elahi on social media in which he is supposedly giving directions to two men regarding fixing certain cases before a particular apex court judge.

Audio leaks

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”.

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