Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday urged the Supreme Court to take up a petition seeking a probe into the recording and leaking of audio conversations of government officials and political leaders, stressing this is a violation of fundamental rights.
In a televised address from his Zaman Park home in Lahore, he recalled the various audio leaks involving him, his wife Bushra Bibi, as well as various PTI leaders and allies. “Our fundamental rights have been violated,” he claimed. “If the prime minister speaks through a secure line and it gets leaked, then it is a violation of the Official Secrets Act. Our judiciary must take action against it,” he added.
Khan, who infamously declared during an interview as prime minister that he had “no issue” with intelligence agencies tapping his personal calls, alleged that a discussion between him and his principal secretary, Azam Khan, had been recorded off a secured line. “I was speaking to my principal secretary when I was the prime minister. It [call] was tampered and leaked. When someone has to be blackmailed, their tapes are leaked,” he said of the call in which he allegedly discusses means to “play with” a diplomatic cipher to propagate a “regime change conspiracy” narrative.
Indicating that the calls were being leaked by the government and the military, he claimed Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz had claimed she possessed several audio and video tapes, adding former Army chief Gen. (retd.) Qamar Javed Bajwa had “also said that he has tapes.” Reiterating his claims of “anyone” being able to make “fake” videos and audios, he alleged that three PTI leaders were currently being blackmailed.
Referring to another recent audio leak—allegedly featuring former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi discussing bench-fixing—Khan claimed this was an attempt to blackmail the judiciary. “[Interior Minister] Rana Sanaullah released the audio to pressure the court,” he claimed, suggesting this was being done to remove Lahore Capital City Police Officer Ghulam Mahmood Dogar from his post. “The Supreme Court must expose these blackmailers,” he demanded.
During his press conference, Khan was flanked by Dr. Yasmin Rashid, who had a call leaked in which she allegedly appears to ask Dogar when he would be restored to his post so they could have “restful nights.” While she sought to clarify it by claiming she was referring to Dogar’s role in the JIT investigating the Wazirabad shooting on Nov. 3, Khan said she would approach court against audio leaks.
Last year, the PTI chief submitted a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a JIT or a judicial commission to investigate the leak of audios from his time as prime minister. The petition, however, was returned with objections, noting that the application did not clarify how Article 184(3) applied to the case.