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Audio leaks: Imran Khan files plea in SC seeking probe into PM House bugging

PTI chairman files plea requesting apex court to declare spying, data recording, audio leaks of PMO, illegal

By Arfa Feroz Zake
October 20, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing a jalsa in Mardan, on October 13, 2022. — screengrab from YouTube/GeoNews
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing a jalsa in Mardan, on October 13, 2022. — screengrab from YouTube/GeoNews 

ISLAMABAD: In the latest move against the incumbent government, PTI Chairman Imran Khan has approached the Supreme Court for a probe into the PM House audio leaks, a recent scandal that stirred controversy in national politics.

In his plea, the former premier has sought the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) or a judicial commission to probe the PM House bugging. He has also urged the top court to declare the surveillance, data recording, and audio leaks of the PM House and PM Office, illegal.

"Declare that the impugned actions, in particular, the illegal surveillance of the PMO and PMH and the release of the surveillance data, especially through the Audio Leaks, are unconstitutional and in violation of law," the PTI chief stated in the plea. 

He appealed to the apex court to supervise the investigations into the audio leaks so it "completes its task in a satisfactory manner" and the "illegal surveillance is put to a permanent end". He also seeks that the probe identifies, retrieves, secures and then if necessary destroys the audio files. 

Moreover, Khan requested the SC to hold the officials involved in the audio leaks accountable.

“Direct the Government and all relevant agencies and authorities to take all necessary steps to prevent the release, publication, dissemination, sharing, broadcast and spread of any of the surveillance data, including the further use of the audio leaks,” said the PTI chief. 

The ministries of Interior, Defence, IT, Information, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, Intelligence Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency have been named as the respondents in the petition by the former premier.

'Audio leaks serious breach of security': Imran Khan

Terming the recent audio leaks a serious breach of security on October 10, PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced that his party will move the court to seek the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe which intelligence agency is involved in the "bugging" of the PM House and Office.

Four audio leaks purportedly featuring the PTI chief have gone viral since last month. Khan was allegedly heard talking about the US cypher and horse-trading in the audios.

The comments made by the former premier in the purported audios suggest that they were recorded before the voting on the no-confidence motion was held against him.

"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 former prime minister wrote on Twitter, claiming that the secure line at his residence was also bugged when he was the premier.

"We intend to go to court to establish authenticity of leaks and then form a JIT to investigate which intel agency is responsible for the bugging and who is leaking out the audios many of which are edited/doctored," he said.

The PTI leader said that it is a critical matter as "sensitive security issues are and have been illegally recorded and subsequently hacked", which implies that the confidentiality of the country's national security has been "exposed" globally.

The PTI chief's allegation of intelligence agencies being involved in bugging comes after the government had categorically stated that no agency was found involved in the security breach.

The federal government had established a committee to investigate the security breach at the PM House and suggest steps to ensure safety.

It is important to note that neither the PML-N nor the PTI contradicted the contents of the audios, however, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif categorically denied that his government has any role in the matter.