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‘Let’s play with it’: Imran allegedly tells Azam about US cypher in leaked audio

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  • Khan, Azam talk about how to “play” with US cypher.
  • Azam purportedly plans out scheme to utilise cypher.
  • PTI leader calls for release of cypher after audio leak.

As the audios of high-profile personalities continue to get leaked, a sound bite of former prime minister Imran Khan allegedly telling his then-principal secretary Azam Khan to “play” with the US cypher has come to the fore.

In the audio allegedly featuring Khan, a man can be heard talking about the cypher which Khan — time and again — has claimed mentions the “threat” to remove his government. 

Khan allegedly told Azam in the audio — the date of which cannot be ascertained at the moment — that “let’s just play” with the cypher and not mention America’s name.

In response, Azam tells Khan a scheme of how to use the cypher to forward PTI’s political agenda — and in that, he also suggests using Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood so the matter can be highlighted at a “bureaucratic level”.

In July, senior journalist Ansar Abbasi had warned that the audio would come forward and the PTI, in response to the blog, said that it would “not sit quietly” if such a thing happens.

The development comes after audio leaks of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, federal ministers, and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz surfaced last week.

PTI calls for releasing cypher

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry responded to the development, saying that “the new leaks only confirm the attempt to hide the US cable from the [then] prime minister [Imran Khan]”.

PTI leader Hammad Azhar said when Imran Khan was the prime minister, his government was removed following the “exact same script as was given in the cypher”. 

“Let that sink in,” he said.

“I think the cypher should be released now and the people of Pakistan should decide whether it was a conspiracy or even more than that.”

‘Imran conspired against Pakistan’

Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman once again, Khan’s alleged narrative of a “conspiracy” against his government.

In a tweet, the minister said the alleged audio reveals that Khan planned on extracting the contents of the cypher that would suit him best.

“If there was actually a conspiracy, then why was Imran Khan planning on ‘playing’ with it?” Rehman asked.

PML-N senior leader Pervez Rasheed said the audio proves that it was no one other than Khan who was involved in a “conspiracy” against Pakistan.

Rasheed reprimanded PTI for misleading Pakistanis, undermining their confidence in national security, and ruining Pakistan’s relations with the United States.

PML-N lawmaker Hina Pervez Butt said for all those backing Khan, the audio leak is an “eye-opener” for them.

PPP’s Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari said: “Imran should be tried for treason.”

Transcript

Imran Khan: Ok, so now let’s just play with it. We don’t need to name America. We will just play over it and say that the date was already there.

Azam Khan: Sir, I was thinking…that we should hold a meeting on this cypher issue. If you might remember, the ambassador mentioned at the last of the letter that we should issue a demarche. If you still don’t want to issue a demarche, because I thought over it last night….how can we cover this? Let’s call a meeting of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Foreign Secretary (Sohail Mahmood). There, we will ask Shah Mahmood Qureshi to read out the letter. So whatever he will tell us, I will type it down and convert it into [meeting] minutes that the foreign minister said this and the foreign secretary said this. After this, we will write the analysis as we deem fit, so it becomes part of the record. In the analysis, we will say that the language used [in the letter] in diplomatic norms is considered a threat …….and things like that. See, the minutes [of the meeting] are in my hand, we can draft them according to our wishes.

Imran Khan: So whom should we call in this meeting? Shah Mahmood [foreign minister], you [Azam], I [Imran], and Sohail [foreign secretary].

Azam Khan: [Yes,] that’s it.

Imran Khan: Alright then, let’s hold this meeting tomorrow.

Azam Khan: [So see, if we do this] then things will come on record. Right now, he is consulate for the state [sic] and when he will read it out, I will copy them easily so it will become part of the record. You should also call the foreign secretary so that this thing can be highlighted at the bureaucratic level, not just the political one. You understand what I’m saying.

Imran Khan: The ambassador wrote it himself

Azam Khan: We don’t have the copy right now. How did they take it [cable] out?

Imran Khan: This was raised from here. He did it. But anyhow, it is a foreign conspiracy.

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A joint parliamentary party meeting is called by PTI and SIC.

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A joint parliamentary party meeting was held on Thursday in Parliament House, Islamabad, by the Sunni-Ittehad Council and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

The sources state that representatives from both parties attended the meeting and discussed a range of topics.

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PTI will petition the SJC to stop the “arbitrary” selection of ad hoc judges.

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Barrister Gohar, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), declared on Thursday that the government would collapse if the PTI was outlawed.

After attending the PTI and Sunni-Ittehad Council (SIC) joint parliamentary party meeting, the PTI chief, along with PTI leaders Omar Ayub Khan, Shibli Faraz, and Asad Qaiser, spoke to the media. They announced that they would petition the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to stop the appointment of ad hoc judges to the highest court.

Since the PTI is widespread throughout the nation, he claimed that it represents 70% of Pakistanis and that it shouldn’t be treated unfairly in any setting.

The PTI head attacked the plan to nominate four ad hoc judges to the supreme court, claiming that doing so will undermine the judiciary’s independence.

“This choice is motivated by bad intentions. This is the moment to hear the rulings of the SC, not to make such choices. He stressed, “We demand that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) release our notifications immediately.

Moreover, Omar Ayub Khan, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, blasted the Chief Justice of Pakistan for appointing judges who share his views and urged the CJP to refrain from assigning the PTI’s cases to ad hoc judges.

Additionally, Senate Opposition Leader Shibli Faraz criticised the government for fabricating accusations against Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan.

Asad Qaiser, a former speaker of the NA, stated that Nawaz Sharif intended to leave the country for London, but he insisted that the former prime minister should apologise to the people before leaving this time. Additionally, he asked the administration to follow the constitution rather than enforcing anarchy throughout the nation.

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A party may be banned by the government under Article 17: Sana Rana

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Article 17 of the Constitution, according to PML-N senior leader Rana Sanullah Khan, gives the government the authority to declare a political party illegal.

During an appearance on a TV talk show, Sanaullah stated that the Supreme Court will review a decree banning a political party within 15 days of the cabinet’s approval.

Sanaullah stated that the government had just so far stated its intentions about the PTI’s prohibition, but that “a ban is imposed on that party if the apex court agrees to the declaration.”
The constitutional procedure will be followed, he said, whenever the administration makes a decision.

Like the PTI, the former minister remarked, the government has the right to voice its opinions and work towards achievement.

“There is no harm in making efforts if the government has an option to get the reserved seats through constitutional means,” he said.

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