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Those playing with national interests will have to face law, PM Shahbaz warns Imran

“Those who are caught red-handed want to avoid punishment for their crimes by defaming institutions,” says PM Shahbaz

By Web Desk
October 03, 2022
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif (L) and PTI Chairman Imran Khan (R). — Twitter/ AFP/File
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif (L) and PTI Chairman Imran Khan (R). — Twitter/ AFP/File 

ISLAMABAD: Strongly denouncing PTI Chairman Imran Khan's "smear campaign against the state institutions", Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif Monday warned that those playing with national interests will have to face the law.

In a statement issued by the PM Office, PM Shahbaz said that the manipulation of diplomatic cypher was equivalent to putting national security at stake. The prime minister vowed that those involved in defaming the institutions would be held accountable before the law.

He accused Khan of hatching a conspiracy for creating chaos in the institutions by forging the cypher.

“Those who are caught red-handed want to avoid punishment now for their crimes by defaming the institutions,” said PM Shahbaz

“Being popular does not mean being exempt from the law. The law is equal for all,” read the statement.

He maintained that the recent audio leaks purportedly featuring Imran Khan and other PTI leaders have exposed and unveiled the truth about a serious conspiracy against the interests of Pakistan.

Cabinet okays legal action against Imran

On October 2, the federal cabinet formally approved the decision to launch legal action against Khan over his recent alleged audio leaks about the US cypher.

In the two audio leaks that took the internet by storm and shocked the public across the country, Khan, Asad Umar, and then-principle secretary Azam Khan could allegedly be heard discussing the US cypher and how to use it in their interest.

In the first audio that was leaked on Wednesday, the PTI chairman was reportedly talking to Azam and directing him to play with the cypher. Azam was then heard advising Khan to hold a meeting with Qureshi and foreign secretary Sohail Mehmood to bring this on record by faking the minutes of the meeting.

Taking notice of the leaks, the federal cabinet formed a committee over the audios on September 30. The committee recommended legal action over the audio leaks purportedly featuring Khan, Azam and others on October 1. Meanwhile, a summary comprising the body's recommendations was presented before the cabinet.

“This is a matter of national security, which has serious implications for national interests and a legal action in this regard is vital,” recommended the cabinet committee.

The federal cabinet approved the summary through circulation. FIA will be given the task to probe into the US cypher and the audios allegedly featuring Imran Khan and others.

— Additional input from APP