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FIA summons Shah Mahmood Qureshi over audio leaks on cipher on Nov 1

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In a major development, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday summoned former foreign minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in inquiry related to the audio leaks regarding cipher.

It is pertinent to mention here that former foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood also appeared before the investigation team at FIA Headquarters where he was grilled over cipher issue.

Sources said that the Shah Mehmood Qureshi was issued a summons notice for November 1. He has been summoned to the FIA headquarters at 12 noon, where he will be questioned in the ongoing inquiry into audio leaks regarding cipher.

Cabinet okays legal action

Earlier, the federal cabinet had issued a formal approval to pursue legal action against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and his party leaders regarding the ‘cypher’ audio leaks, it was reported.

The Federal Investigation Agency was given a nod of approval by the cabinet to investigate the ‘diplomatic cipher’ audio leaks, wherein the former government high-ups allegedly discussed how would they “play” on the cipher issue.

A cabinet committee was constituted on September 30 to discuss the proceedings regarding the audio leaks featuring the PTI chairman and his party leaders, including General-Secretary Asad Umar, then personal secretary Azam Khan and Vice Present Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The committee recommended legal action in a meeting held yesterday, with proposals presented in the form of a summary before the cabinet for approval.

“This is a matter of national security which could have possible adverse effects on the country’s interest,” the cabinet committee stated in a notification, adding that legal action was “necessary” and the FIA should form a committee comprising senior officials to probe the matter.

“FIA team should take action against offenders as per law,” the committee recommended in the summary.

The former ruling party has been at the center of criticism after the recently-surfaced audio leak purportedly revealed a conversation between Imran Khan, Asad Umar, Azam Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussing the much-touted “threat cipher” – ratcheting up the controversy around the steady drip of damning leaks allegedly offering a glimpse of the inside story.

The 1.09-minute-long audio emerged on social media and featured a conversation purportedly between Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Azam Khan about a strategy to set the stage for a narrative around the Cablegate affair.

Leaked audio

Meanwhile, in a 1.09-minute audio clip was leaked on social media, like previous one from unidentified sources, purportedly revealing a conversation between Imran Khan, his principal secretary Azam Khan, party leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar about diplomatic cypher.

In the alleged audio, the former prime minister can be heard saying: “Shah jee (Shah Mehmood Qureshi), we have to hold a meeting tomorrow, the three of us and the foreign secretary.”

“In that meeting, we’ll ask him [foreign secretary] to write minutes of the meeting about the letter. Azam [Khan] has been saying that we make minutes of that meeting and photostat it,” Imran Khan can be heard saying.

The PTI Chairman ordered the PTI members not to take Americans’ names. “We do not have to take the Americans’ names under no condition. It’s very important for all of you, I don’t want to hear from anyone’s mouth from which country this letter came from,” he added.

Meanwhile, former planning minister Asad Umar can be heard saying: “This [cypher] isn’t a letter, it is a transcript of the meeting.” Imran Khan replied: “Transcript or letter, they are the same thing. People won’t understand what a transcript is. You have to say this in rallies.”
 

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