Government formed high powered committee to probe audio leaks

 Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah will head the 12 member committee including DG ISI and DG IB

The Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif formed a high powered committee headed by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah to probe the audio leaks. The federal government issued a notification in this regard yesterday. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah will head the committee which also comprises federal ministers Sherry Rehman, Asad Mehmood, Aminul Haque, and Azam Nazeer Tarar as its members. The Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and federal secretary cabinet has also been included in the committee.

According to the notification issued by the Cabinet Division secretary, the DG ISI or his representative, DG IB, National Telecommunication and Information Security Board’s secretary, and technical experts from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and Federal Investigation Agency will also be included in the committee.

The decision to constitute a high-powered committee to investigate the audio leaks of the Prime Minister’s House was taken at a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC), which was also approved by the federal cabinet.

The committee has been assigned the task and reviews the investigation into the cyber security breach and ensures that it covers all important aspects of the matter. It has also been asked to suggest measures to improve the protocols within seven days. The notification said the committee will also review the existing e-safety and cyber security procedures, broadly evaluate the existing capacity and vulnerabilities of government departments, reassess the risks associated with various electronic gadgets and suggest measures to develop the resilience of government offices against cyber-attacks within 15 days.

The committee will also submit short and medium-term recommendations for securing the sensitive data and information technology environment of important ministries and offices of strategic importance in the next 15 days. It will prepare a draft legal framework for developing a robust and secure cyber ecosystem that ensures seamless cyber security of government offices.

The prime minister had ordered an investigation into several leaked audio conversations allegedly between former premier Imran Khan and his associates, saying the leaks were a risk to national security.

The controversy surrounding the diplomatic cable had initially surfaced when Imran had accused a US diplomat of allegedly threatening a Pakistani diplomat in a meeting, who then informed the Foreign Office about it through a cipher.

The issue came under renewed focus after two audio recordings emerged on the social media, wherein Imran, his principal secretary and cabinet ministers were purportedly discussing how would they “play” with the cipher without naming the country – the US.

The high-powered committee would also look into the issue of the US cipher that Imran claimed contained evidence of the “foreign conspiracy” that led to his government’s ouster “disappearing” from the records of the Prime Minister’s House.

Recently, the FIA was ordered to probe into Imran’s audio leaks. As per the notification, the committee would investigate the matter and prepare its recommendations that would then be presented to PM Shehbaz for consideration.



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