Another audio surfaces: Don’t name US, Imran tells aides

News Desk & Our Correspondent
October 01, 2022

The latest 1.09 minute audio clip purportedly features Imran Khan, Asad Umar, Azam Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi

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This illustration shows a screengrab taken from an alleged audio clip featuring (from left to right) PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former prime minister Imran Khan, his then-principal secretary Azam Khan and PTI's Asad Umar. —

ISLAMABAD: Another purported audio clip of PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan and his team has hit the social media a few days after a sound bite allegedly telling his then principal secretary Azam Khan to “play” with the US cipher came to the surface. Though Imran Khan strictly advised his aides against naming the US, he himself named it in a televised speech.

The latest 1.09 minute audio clip purportedly features Imran Khan, Asad Umar, Azam Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Though Imran Khan strictly advised his aides against naming the US, he himself named it.

Imran allegedly could be heard discussing the cipher with the party leaders, reports Geo News. The following is a rough transcription of the audio.

Imran Khan: Shah jee [Shah Mahmood Qureshi], we three [Imran Khan, Azam Khan and you] have to hold a meeting tomorrow along with the foreign secretary [Sohail Mahmood]. [In the meeting], we will ask him to just sit quietly and write the minutes of the meeting about the letter. Azam [Khan] is saying that we make minutes of the meeting [...] and keep the photostat.

Azam Khan:

This cipher came on the 7th, 8th or 9th [March]?

Another person [present in the meeting]: It came on the 8th. Imran Khan: But the meeting took place on the 7th. We do not have to name Americans under any circumstances. So on this issue, please, nobody should name the country. This is very important for all of you. From which country did the letter come? I don’t want to hear it from anyone.

Asad Umar: Are you intentionally calling it a letter? Because this isn’t a letter, it is a transcript of the meeting.

Imran Khan: It is the same thing, whether it’s the meeting transcript or a letter. People won’t understand what a transcript is. You have to say this in your rallies.

On Wednesday, a sound bite of former prime minister Imran Khan allegedly telling his then-principal secretary Azam Khan to “play” with the US cypher had surfaced.

In the audio allegedly featuring Khan, a man could be heard talking about the cypher which Khan — time and again — has claimed mentions the “threat” to remove his government.

Khan allegedly told Azam in the audio — the date of which could not be ascertained — that “let’s just play” with the cypher and not mention America’s name.

In response, Azam tells Khan a scheme of how to use the cypher to forward PTI’s political agenda — and in that, he also suggests using Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood so the matter can be highlighted at a “bureaucratic level”.

In July, senior journalist Ansar Abbasi had warned that the audio would come forward and the PTI, in response to the blog, said that it would “not sit quietly” if such a thing happens.

The development came after the audio leaks of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, federal ministers, and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz surfaced last week.

Meanwhile, the federal cabinet Friday declared that Imran Khan and his associates violated the Official Secret Act with regard to the ‘Diplomatic Cipher’ and also decided to probe the matter through the cabinet’s special committee.

The committee would recommend action against those responsible for the criminal act. The federal cabinet backed the National Security Committee’s (NSC) decision which recommended an investigation into the matter by a high-powered committee.

The cabinet, however, observed that the recent audio leaks also exposed the criminal conspiracy of Imran Khan, his principal secretary and others. During the briefing, it was disclosed that a copy of diplomatic cipher was missing from the record of the Prime Minister Office.

The meeting was informed that there was record of receiving a copy of the cipher during the PTI government but now it was missing. After detailed consultations, it was decided to constitute a special committee of the cabinet to recommend legal action against former prime minister, his principal secretary and involved then senior ministers.

The committee will comprise representatives from the government’s coalition parties and ministers for foreign affairs, interior and law.

The cabinet also noted that the previous government compromised on key national interests for the sake of political mileage by giving colour of meanings and conspiracy to diplomatic cipher and then its copy was stolen from the Prime Minister Office record after committing fraud and fabrication.

“This is a serious violation of Official Secret Act, Constitution, law and rules and an unpardonable act against the state,” the federal cabinet declared. It said national interests were sacrificed for the sake of political interests.

The meeting maintained that the issue should be probed thoroughly and those responsible should be punished as per Constitution and law of the land. The federal cabinet also strongly condemned the PTI workers’ act of harassing, using threatening language, treating information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and her chase by a crowd of PTI workers in London.

“There is no room for such uncivilized treatment with any female or male in Islam, law and even in western culture,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office after the cabinet meeting said.

Terming the act of PTI activists and supporters hooliganism, the cabinet also praised the information minister for her patience, tolerance and courage while facing an untoward situation.

The cabinet members also observed that in general the PTI chairman had also been adopting a biased and insulting attitude while his party leaders and workers also treated female journalists badly.

The federal cabinet also approved excluding 12 names from the Exit Control List (ECL) and inclusion of three names. The meeting on recommendation of the Ministry of Interior apposed SOPs-2022 to follow more easy and transparent method for including and excluding names from the ECL.

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