Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah claimed on Monday that the leaks controversy, which had put the cyber security of the PM’s official residence and the office at stake, had been resolved and that no “hostile intelligence agency” was involved.

The comments came made during a TV show hours after former prime minister Imran Khan, one of the primary characters in the leaked clips, announced that he would approach the courts for a probe into the matter.

The minister said the controversy was resolved, adding that there was no proof of the involvement of a foreign spy agency in the episode. “Some staff members of the PM’s House have been identified… such things are done for money,” he added.

Sanaullah said that a “tiny” recording device was regularly planted on the premises to record telephonic conversations and informal chats at the PM’s Office. The findings of the investigations being carried out could also be shared with courts through an in-camera briefing, he continued.

According to Sanaullah, the probe would continue. There was no harm in making the report of this investigation public, but a final decision in this regard will depend on PM Shehbaz Sharif, the federal cabinet, and the National Security Committee (NSC).

Interestingly, the government had formed three separate investigation and oversight bodies to probe the audio leaks; one team comprised officials of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB); the second one included officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ascertain how the US cypher went missing from the PM’s House; while a third team was an oversight committee headed by the interior minister to supervise the investigations.

Though Sanaullah confirmed the involvement of some individuals in the leaks, he did not confirm whether any arrests had been made.

Earlier in the day, media reports claimed that two suspects had been taken into custody over their involvement in the leaked clips.

However, there was no official confirmation from the government and relevant quarters in this regard.

THE LEAKS SAGA: Several audios have been leaked online in recent days allegedly featuring government officials and the PTI leaders. 

The first tape allegedly featured Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and a senior official. It contained a discussion regarding PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz asking her uncle for a power plant to be imported from India for her son-in-law.

On September 25, two more audios were leaked on social media. One of them was related to a discussion about the PTI lawmakers’ resignations and the other was about former finance minister Miftah Ismail.

The first audio related to PTI was leaked on September 28, in which Imran allegedly told his then-principal secretary Azam Khan to “play” on the US cypher.

The second PTI audio leak came to the fore on September 30, which allegedly exposed Imran Khan’s conspiracy narrative.

In it, the then-prime minister Imran, ex-minister Asad Umar, and the then-principal secretary Azam could allegedly be heard discussing the US cypher in a meeting and how to use it to their (PTI’s) advantage.

Following the back-to-back leaks, the National Security Council (NSC) approved the formation of a high-level committee under the leadership of Sanauallah to investigate the matter.

In its meeting just a day after on September 30, the federal cabinet also endorsed NSC’s decision to probe the matter thoroughly.

However, despite the government’s decision to investigate the matter, a couple more audios were leaked featuring Khan and his aides.

In the first of the two audios leaked on October 7, Khan could allegedly be heard speaking about horse-trading and discussing ‘buying five’ and ‘numbers game’. However, he was speaking alone and no one else could be heard.

In another audio leaked the same day, he was allegedly talking about making a plan ahead of the no-confidence motion with PTI leaders Shireen Mazari and Asad Umar. 


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