Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a high-powered committee to oversee the investigation of PMO audio leaks. According to a report, the Committee consists of federal ministers and heads of intelligence agencies. Last month, audios including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N figures, and PTI Chairman Imran Khan were surfacing on social media.
However, the embarrassing leaks hint at weak PM House security arrangements, which everybody considers a highly secure place.
Cabinet Division notified on September 30 regarding the Committee of influential ministers. According to this notification, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah will head this Committee. The Committee includes Minister of Justice and Law Azim Nazir Tarar, Minister of Climate Change Sherry Rehman, and Minister for IT and Telecommunication Aminul Haque. Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI), General of Intelligence Bureau(IB), and the Cabinet’s Secretary are also a part of this Committee.
Moreover, Federal Investigation Agency, ISI, and National Information Technology board will join this Committee. The motive of the Committee will be to review and investigate the cyber security breach at the PM Office. Also, the committee will cover all aspects of the matter within seven days.
According to the report, this Committee will review the current cyber security protocols of the PM House. Likewise, they will suggest immediate measures and action plan to develop foolproof security around the PM House. Also, install a digital ecosystem that insulates the cyberspace of PM House.
The Committee is responsible for revisiting existing safety and cybersecurity guidelines and procedures. Moreover, they will broadly evaluate the existing structure and reassess the risks associated with electronic gadgets, including smartphones, wi-fi, and other cyber devices.
Prime Minster instructed the Committee to present an action plan to protect sensitive data of influential ministers within 15 days.
The Audio Leaks
The conversation leaked of the key government figures, including Maryam Nawaz, Shehbaz Sharif, and other cabinet members discussing governance matters. The leaks promoted concerns over the security of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The recordings surfing social media include official talks highlighting issues like promoting Indian Machinery for a power project. Moreover, the conversation regarding the resignations of PTI lawmakers was also surfacing on social media.
In one clip, Maryam Nawaz and the premier were speaking about Miftah. In the leaked audio, Maryam claims that the premier” does not know what he is doing” and wishes Ishaq Dar to return.
Similarly, in another audio, Maryam Nawaz and PM Shehbaz discussed the return of former Army Chief General Parvez Musharraf. On September 28, an alleged recording surfaced in which Imran Khan was talking to Azam Khan about a code that the PTI leader has long used as proof of a “foreign conspiracy” to remove him from power.
As it is a security lapse, the Committee needs to develop an action plan on an urgent basis. Imran Khan also asked security agencies to answer who is responsible for the audio leaks.
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