- 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”.
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.”
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.