PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has demanded formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) similar to the Panamagate commission to hold an inquiry into a leaked audio clip in which then prime minister Imran Khan is purportedly talking about using the controversial cypher for political purposes.
In a brief interaction with the media outside the Islamabad High Court following her acquittal in the Avenfield reference, Maryam mocked the political arch-rival of the Sharif family accusing him of conspiring against his opponents in the Prime Minister House.
“I know where the audios are leaked from,” said Maryam, daughter of former three times prime minister Nawaz Sharif. “Imran Khan and his handlers are involved in leaking a purported audio involving me.”
She was referring to audio clips leaked on social media this week, which brought Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, his key ministers as well as the Sharif family, including Maryam Nawaz and her son-in-law at the centre of attention.
Imran Khan took aim at the Sharif family in the wake of the leaked audios, which were authenticated by the government as the prime minister formed a high-level committee for investigating this “security lapse”.
However, another audio leak on Wednesday, brought Imran’s narrative of foreign conspiracy into renewed focus, particularly the diplomatic cable – cipher – he has touted at a public rally in March as a proof of a US-backed conspiracy to topple his government.
نائب صدر پاکستان مسلم لیگ ن مریم نواز شریف میڈیا سے گفتگو کر رہی ہیں https://t.co/kcRhqlDByd— PML(N) (@pmln_org) September 29, 2022
Maryam demanded formation of JIT on the cipher-related audio similar to the JIT constituted more than five years ago to investigate Nawaz Sharif after the infamous Panama leaks. The investigation led to the conviction of Nawaz and Maryam.
“The JIT should be made to investigate what Imran Khan has been doing,” Maryam said, in response to a question. “[Imran was] hatching conspiracies in the Prime Minister House, and all were watching like spectators,” she added.
Maryam and her husband, Capt (retd) Safdar, were convicted and sent to jail in July 2018 in the Avenfield reference, which had been filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). However, both were released on bail in September 2018.
Asked about the possibility of more audios/videos leak, Maryam claimed that a video of her was filmed while she was in NAB custody, but she would not play the woman or victim card on this issue.
“Shame on them if they release this video! I don't use the woman or victim card. Let them release the video, so that the nation could see what they did with Maryam Nawaz in jail,” she added.
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