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PTI wants apex court to take notice of phone tapping

04 Jul, 2022
<p>PTI leader Shireen Mazari addresses a press conference in Islamabad. Screengrab via YouTube</p>

PTI leader Shireen Mazari addresses a press conference in Islamabad. Screengrab via YouTube

The Supreme Court should take suo motu notice of phone tapping to inquire which agencies were conducting such illegal activities and violating its orders, PTI leader Shireen Mazari said on Monday.

“Illegal phone tapping led to the fall of Benazir Bhutto’s government,” she said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad. “Phones are being tapped despite the 1997 Supreme Court ruling.”

The statement comes against the backdrop of an audio tape apparently pertaining to former first lady Bushra Bibi. The tape, which could not be verified by Aaj News, contains a conversation between Bibi and former focal person to PM on digital Arslan Khalid Arsalan. The former first lady apparently spoke about the social media campaign.

“This is contempt of Supreme Court,” she said and expressed concerns over a news story about the apparent leak of another audio tape between Imran Khan and the former principal secretary.

Mazari was of the view that it was also in violation of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (relating to a restriction against photographs of prohibited and notified areas and wrongful communication) as the conversation on the government issues is part of the law. “If someone does that [taps a phone] they violate Article 14 of the Constitution and we won’t remain quiet about this.”

Mazari alleged that all such moves were being made by the “neutrals” and the “imposed government” in order to hide their conspiracy. She also cast doubts on PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz’s speeches, alleging that the daughter of the former premier interferes in government matters.

An audio tape apparently linked to Bibi surfaced in June. It purportedly contained a conversation between business tycoon Malik Riaz and his daughter on a diamond ring which had been turned down by the former first lady’s ‘front woman’ for not being at par with the then-first lady’s stature. But, Riaz and the PTI had rejected the audio as fake.

The government had offered the unverified audio tapes as proof of Imran Khan and his wife’s corruption. Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb took a stance on June 6 and the Punjab government on July 3 followed a similar route on the recent audio leak.

Punjab minister Malik Ahmed Khan had said the audio tape proved that “she [Bushra Bibi] would fire a bomb if she was political.”

“They are targeting the former first lady since they could not find anything related to corruption,” Mazari said and stressed the need for early elections to overcome the political crisis.