Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Wednesday confirmed the authenticity of the audio leak – featuring him and his principal secretary at the time, Azam Khan – and said that it is “a good thing” thing that the conversation was leaked, adding that the diplomatic cypher they were discussing should also be released to the public.
The ousted premier talked to media personnel at the Punjab House after an audio clip between the two PTI leaders surfaced online earlier today, wherein they were discussing the diplomatic cypher.
Imran maintained that the cypher itself should be released so that the nation could see “the magnitude of the conspiracy”.
The PTI leader further alleged that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had leaked the audio conversation.
A reporter highlighted that in the audio, Imran had said that he would “play to the cypher”, to which Imran replied that he was yet to play to it completely.
He told the journalists that if they exposed the cypher, he would “play to it”.
The purported audio file starts midway through a conversation between Imran and Azam and is titled ‘Story of the cypher conspiracy part 1’.
“Now we have to play with this. Don’t take America’s name, just play with this,” the PTI chief says allegedly in the audio clip, to which a second voice claimed to be Azam’s advises that a meeting be held on the topic first.
The PTI government’s audio leaks come shortly after PM Shehbaz and key members of his party became the centre of attention over the weekend after audio recordings purportedly of their conversation surfaced on social media.
The audios drew sharp criticism from the opposition, which expressed concerns over the security of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). However, several government ministers insisted that the audios pointed to no wrongdoing.
Amid the audio leaks fiasco which engulfed the entire nation, cyber experts said that the data of all government and private websites that had been hacked during the last year was available on the dark web.
They opined on Monday that the cyber security in Pakistan was not up to the mark as per our strategic planning.
When contacted, Director Forensic Research and Services Centre Lahore Garrison University Kokab Zuberi explained to The Express Tribune what the dark web actually is.
“The dark web is part of the internet that requires special software to access. It is a world of crime which is out of reach of even the law enforcement agencies,” he added.
Zuberi said that the data of all the government and private websites hacked in Pakistan during the last year is also available on the dark web, adding that the hackers use digital currencies including Bitcoin for transactions.
He said that law enforcement agencies, especially those related to cyber security, are busy in operations against dark web operators but it is very difficult to trace them.