- Another alleged audio of PM Shehbaz has been leaked.
- The audio was released on social media platforms.
- The audio contains a conversation about the appointment of a special assistant.
The issue of audio leaks seems to be far from being over as another alleged audio leak of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has come to the fore on social media.
In recent days, several audios, allegedly featuring government officials and PTI leaders, have surfaced as part of a game by the political parties to smear their rivals. The PM has instituted a high-power investigation committee to probe the issue, particularly the leaks that involves the PM House. Former PM Imran Khan also demanded a JIT investigate the issue of bugging the PM House.
In the latest audio leak, PM Shehbaz can be heard conversing with an unidentified person regarding the race to become the Special Assistant.
The person is heard telling the premier in the audio that Ayaz Sadiq claims the PPP members are demanding a cut from “such a PM.” Shehbaz Sharif is heard replying, “Yes, of course. Bilawal said so.”
Later, the person says, “Let’s see now. Then, we have to appoint Zafar Mahmood and Jahanzeb. I will tell you a final number later on.” Shehbaz Sharif responds, asking him to share [the details] with the doctor. “Share with others as well, not just PPP people,” he said.
The unidentified person is heard continuing, “Then, the JUI and MQM will also demand. One MQM member, Malik Ahmad Ali says that he had a critical role in making this whole deal possible.
Shehbaz Sharif asks about the MQM man. The other person replies that he is from Karachi.
The audio leak saga
On October 11, Interior Minister Rana Sanauallah said the culprits behind the audio leaks had been identified, adding that the modus operandi of stealing those sound bites was not bugging but telephone tapping.
The first tape allegedly featured Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and a senior official. It contained a discussion regarding PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz asking her uncle for a power plant to be imported from India for her son-in-law.
On September 25, two more audios were leaked on social media. One of them was related to a discussion about the PTI lawmakers’ resignations and the other was about former finance minister Miftah Ismail.
The first audio related to PTI was leaked on September 28, in which Khan allegedly told his then-principal secretary Azam Khan to “play” on the US cypher.
The second PTI audio leak came to the fore on September 30, which allegedly exposed Khan’s conspiracy narrative.
In it, the then-prime minister Khan, ex-minister Asad Umar, and the then-principal secretary Azam could allegedly be heard discussing the US cypher in a meeting and how to use it to their (PTI’s) advantage.
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.
In its meeting just a day after on September 30, the federal cabinet also endorsed NSC’s decision to probe the matter thoroughly.
However, despite the government’s decision to investigate the matter, a couple more audios were leaked featuring Khan and his aides.
In the first of the two audios leaked on October 7, Khan could allegedly be heard speaking about horse-trading and discussing ‘buying five’ and ‘numbers game’. However, he was speaking alone and no one else could be heard.
In another audio leaked later in the same day, the former prime minister was allegedly talking about making a plan ahead of the no-confidence motion with PTI leaders Shireen Mazari and Asad Umar.