Sana to head panel on audio leaks

PM chairs NSC meeting, instructs law ministry to prepare framework for cyber security


Our Correspondent September 29, 2022
PHOTO: PM OFFICE/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

 

The National Security Committee (NSC) on Wednesday gave the nod to the formation of a body to investigate the recently emerged audio leaks in which the conversations of the central leaders in the coalition government could be heard.

This committee would be headed by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.

The participants of the NSC meeting agreed that in this age of ever-evolving technology and cyber space, a process should be chalked out for the security of government communiques.

Besides, its purpose was also to ensure that security systems were not “breached”.

The NSC met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair.

Defence, energy, information and broadcasting, interior, finance, human rights, and planning, development and special initiatives ministers participated in the huddle.

Chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, services chiefs, national security adviser and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the heads of the intelligence institutions briefed the participants on the security of the PM’s House and other significant places.

It added that the participants were informed that emergency steps were being taken to ensure the security of the Prime Minister’s House and other important places, buildings and ministries to avoid “any such situation” in the future.

“The meeting was told that an investigation is being conducted on the issue of the audios circulating on social media. It was briefed about certain aspects related to the security of the Prime Minister’s House and the fool-proof arrangements taken to remedy them,” it stated.

Furthermore, the NSC directed the law ministry to prepare a legal framework for cyber security.

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 PM Shehbaz himself in conversation with his aides and cabinet colleagues.

Moreover, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has also featured in some of the tapes wherein she is heard mulling and maneuvering the senior officials for some import provisions from India. These are more than enough to create a storm at a time when the coalition government, led by the PML-N, is in a tight corner, and the opposition is out to name and shame it.

The audio posts, nonetheless, pose several harsh questions, and the most significant among them is as to how and who breached the security of the highest executive office in the country.

This could not have been done without a formal plan, and it is tantamount to a conspiracy — and one that could have serious consequences. Notwithstanding the content of the discussion in the leaked tapes, what is more worrisome is the espionage that was done, and what kind of technical cobbling was engaged to record the privy conversations.

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