Pakistan: Main task of spy agencies is security, not ‘political engineering’ – Imran


Former prime minister Imran Khan has criticised the country’s intelligence agencies over the recent audio leaks – purportedly featuring conversations of incumbent and previous high-level government officials including the premier – saying that their primary responsibility is ensuring security rather than indulging in “political engineering”.

In an interview with a local TV channel, the PTI chairman said tapping of the prime minister’s secure line and subsequent audio leaks was a “very serious security lapse”.

Imran said the leaked audio clips of the prime minister posed a serious threat to the country’s national security as the conversations may contain content that could be useful for hostile foreign elements.

“Question must be asked from security agencies as to who is responsible for this major security breach at the PM House.”

“You are threatening people on social media. This is not your real job… political engineering is not your job, your job is to secure the country,” he remarked.

The plethora of audio leaks that have recently emanated from the PMO are worth-pondering, and serious in essence. A number of tapes that are doing the rounds on social media and television networks are of PTI Chief Imran Khan, PM Shehbaz Sharif and other incumbent and former high-profile government officials.

Recently, there were two audio leaks about the cypher, which the former prime minister had touted in March, weeks before his exit from the government through a no-confidence vote, that it proved that there was a foreign conspiracy against his government.

The first audio surfaced on September 28, while the other came out on September 30. Purportedly, it emerged from the leaks that ousted PM Imran, his then principal secretary Azam Khan and members of his cabinet, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar were consulting about using the classified diplomatic cable for political purposes.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif confirmed last week the authenticity of audio leaks and his conversation with PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz but termed the leaks as a “serious security lapse” and announced the formation of a high-powered committee to probe the issue.

The prime minister while terming the leaking of audio taps allegedly recorded at the Prime Minister’s House involving the premier and other high-profile people “a serious lapse”, “security breach” and “a big question mark”, announced he was forming the committee to probe the matter as the country’s respect was at stake.

“This is a very important matter and this serious security lapse and breach are a big question mark…who will be willing to come to meet the prime minister… anyone will think a 100 times before discussing any sensitive matter at the PM House,” he said.

Long march

Imran Khan has said that his party’s upcoming Islamabad long march is not the last phase of his party’s so-called movement for Haqeeqi Azadi [real freedom], saying that his much-hyped protest rally in Islamabad will be the “biggest” in Pakistan’s history.

“An unimaginable sea of people will march towards Islamabad which will be the biggest in the history of Pakistan and no one can imagine what will happen.”

Imran added that he has planned more events other than the long march to achieve the ‘real freedom’ for the country.

Amid fears of phone tapping, Imran said he was discussing his plans with only four to five close aides. “Everything we say is leaked… our phones are being taped.”

Earlier today, Imran directed party workers to get ready for the ‘Haqeeqi Azadi March’ (real freedom march) on Islamabad.

He said this during a party meeting held at his Bani Gala residence in the federal capital. The meeting, chaired by Imran Khan, was attended by senior leaders including Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pervez Khattak and Yasmin Rashid. The PTI chief, during the meeting, urged workers from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab to get all preparations ready for the decisive round of anti-government protests.

PTI insiders revealed that the call for the long march can be given to party workers any time after 12 Rabiul Awwal (October 9)