ISLAMABAD: PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan on Monday said that “state secrets” are now out in the open and have reached Pakistan’s “enemies”.
Khan’s comments came after several audio files — involving conversations of the previous and incumbent government officials — leaked from the Prime Minister’s House.
Speaking during an interview on a private news channel, the PTI chief said that the secure line of the Prime Minister’s House has been violated.
Terming the leaks a “massive violation of security”, the PTI chairman said the prime minister — given his position — talks about the state’s secrets and now, “all those things have been leaked to our enemies”.
“Security agencies should be asked who is responsible for this. Our intelligence agencies should think what they are doing, threatening people,” he said.
The former premier further claimed that an “audio tape” of the conversations was recorded at the PM’s House, adding that not only the tapes recorded during his tenure were leaked, but audios of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif have also been leaked.
“Our intelligence agencies should think about what they are engaging themselves in. They are making people feel threatened,” he said, telling them that “political engineering” was not in their job description and that they were tasked to keep the country safe.
The former PM also recalled that his residence’s security line was also breached and the conversation of his wife, Bushra Begum, was leaked as well — where she could be heard speaking to PTI leader Arslan Khalid.
The cypher controversy
Commenting on the issue of the ongoing cypher controversy, Khan said that its master copy is lying in the Foreign Office.
“They [government] should first ask the Foreign Office about the cypher’s master copy,” the former premier said, adding that the master copy first arrives at the FO and its copies are then sent to the Prime Minister’s house, president, and the chief of army staff.
He added that President Arif Alvi sent the cypher’s copy to Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and that his party had sent one copy to the National Assembly speaker.
“What cypher are they talking about being stolen?” Khan questioned the government, adding they “initially lied” that there is no cypher.
Khan added that the PTI government had declassified the cypher during the last cabinet meeting.
‘It seems like I’m a traitor’
Reiterating his stance on moving towards “true freedom” in Pakistan, Khan said that his upcoming march in Islamabad is a part of the “Haqiqi Azadi” movement.
“We have planned more events after this. No one will be able to guess what will happen, what we’ll do. [I’ve] just shared this with my closest four to five people,” he said.
“Our discussions get leaked, our phones get taped. It seems like I’m a traitor,” the former premier said, claiming that his servants are being paid to leak information.
Case of the audio leaks
Several audios have been leaked online in a span of eight days — three of the incumbent government and two of PTI.
The first was leaked last Saturday, which allegedly featured PM Shehbaz Sharif and a senior official. It contained a discussion regarding PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz asking for a power plant from India to be imported for her son-in-law.
Later on Sunday, two more audios were leaked on social media. One of them was related to a discussion about the PTI’s resignation and another was about former finance minister Miftah Ismail.
The first audio related to PTI was leaked on September 28, in which former prime minister Imran Khan allegedly told his then-principal secretary Azam Khan to “play” with the US cypher.
The second PTI audio leak came to the fore Friday, which exposed Khan’s conspiracy narrative.
In the latest audio, the then-prime minister Khan, ex-minister Asad Umar, and the then-principle secretary Azam could allegedly be heard discussing the US cypher in a meeting and how to use it in their interest.
Following the back-to-back leaks, the National Security Council (NSC) approved the formation of a high-level committee under the leadership of Sanauallah to investigate the matter of the audio leaks.
In its meeting just a day after, the federal cabinet also endorsed NSC’s decision to conduct a thorough investigation into the issue.