The National Security Committee (NSC) on Wednesday approved the formation of a high-powered committee to probe the issue of audio leaks of the Prime Minister House officials.

The meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and attended by federal ministers, services chiefs, heads of intelligence agencies and other senior officials, took stock of the “serious” matter of the audio leaks.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah will head the committee.

According to a notification, “the meeting considered the issue of audio leaks and the heads of intelligence agencies briefed about the security of the premier as well as the Prime Minister’s House and other important places.

Furthermore, the participants of the meeting considered the issues surrounding cyberspace and other related aspects. They were informed that investigations are being conducted on the issue of audio circulating on social media.”

The notification further mentioned that certain aspects related to the security of the Prime Minister’s House were identified and arrangements were made to counter them accordingly. 

The meeting also decided to prepare a “legal framework” about cyber-security and directed the Ministry of Law and Justice to take necessary steps.

The heads of intelligence agencies gave a detailed briefing on the security of “sensitive” places including the PM House.

The meeting was told that investigations about the leaked audios circulating on social media were underway. The investigators also briefed participants on the fool-proof security arrangements at the PM House, after the identification of some loopholes.

The meeting was apprised of emergency steps being taken to ensure the security of important places and buildings including the PM House and ministries to avoid such incidents in future.

FLOOD SITUATION: The NSC also reviewed the flood devastation, rescue and relief measures. The participants expressed their grief over the loss of lives since June 14 due to monsoon rains and floods and offered condolences to the bereaved families.

The meeting reviewed the steps taken for immediate support of 33 million flood affected people, their shifting to safe places, supply of food, medical treatment and provision of other necessary items.

The participants of the meeting also lauded the role played by the civil administration and the relevant departments, and especially of the armed forces for saving the lives of people trapped in floods, their safe evacuation, and provision of food and other items and appreciated their passion to serve even in the most difficult situation.

They also acknowledged civil society, media and philanthropists for their role and support for the affected people and expressed the hope that they would continue contributing to this noble cause with such a display of spirit.

The meeting also paid tribute to the martyred army officers and soldiers of the Lasbela army aviation helicopter crash incident in Balochistan and said that the nation saluted their martyrs and their families.

The participants reiterated the resolve that support and rehabilitation of the flood-affected people would remain a priority as a national agenda and expressed determination that these efforts would continue with the same display of passion, focus and coordination till the rehabilitation of the countrymen.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood gave a briefing about the prime minister’s recent participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit and 77th United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

He also apprised the meeting of the prime minister’s bilateral meetings with different heads and leaders of the member countries.

FAWAD RIDICULES RANA: Reacting to the appointment of Rana Sanaullah as head of committee, former information minister and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry termed it a “joke.”

“Rana Sahab doesn’t even know the spelling of the cybersecurity, and even if it is to believe that he can move forward with this issue, he should at least have some knowledge about the matter that is to be resolved,” he wrote on Twitter.

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