PMO audio leaks: ‘No internal or external agency involved’

Picture source - AP

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday insisted that no internal or external agency was involved in the security breach at the Prime Minister’s Office that led to audio leaks, saying the probe was pointing toward “individuals” who could be involved in hacking and leaking of private conversations at the PMO.

The statement from the minister comes hours after yet another audio clip went viral on social media on Friday, the third featuring former prime minister Imran Khan. This one centre on “buying five” and a “numbers game”. Last week, an audio clip purportedly revealed a conversation between Imran and then principal secretary Azam Khan about the cipher — shared by Asad Majeed, the then envoy to the US — which the PTI chief has used to advance his foreign conspiracy narrative.

A day later, another clip surfaced — supposedly a continuation of the conversation in the previous recording — purportedly featuring PTI leaders Asad Umar and Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussing the “foreign conspiracy” cypher with the former premier and ex-principal secretary. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, the minister said an investigation into the security breach at the PMO had reached its conclusion, adding it would be decided later if its report would be made public.

“A comprehensive report is being presented to the prime minister and the recommendations in the report will be implemented as soon as the PM issues directives in this regard.” The minister said it had been decided that cyber security protocols should be
defined at a high level and whatever equipment is needed for security should be bought. “However, I am categorically saying that no hostile or internal agency is involved in this. Nowadays, technology has advanced so much that hacking a telephone call is not a herculean task anymore.”

Sanaullah said people were often involved in such activities for money. “But I straightaway deny that any agency is involved in the security breach of the PMO.” Commenting on the PTI’s planned long march on Islamabad, he said there were court decisions that barred rallies in the Red Zone. Some spots have been designated for rallies and public gatherings, he added. The minister underlined that the PTI must file an application with relevant authorities and seek permission for a public gathering at venues which were officially allowed. “In that case, we will fully facilitate them, including providing them security.”

However, the minister added, if the PTI caravan arrives in the capital with the intent to “hijack” the city, they will be stopped “with full force”.


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