Panel ON Audio Leaks

Panel ON Audio Leaks


Surprising as it may seem, it emerged on Sunday that the high-powered committee constituted to probe the cyber security breach at the Prime Minister

House that led to audio leaks is moving ahead at a snail’s pace as it has met only once since its inception a month ago.

To add insult to injury, the officials privy to the developments said that the deadlines set against the terms of reference (ToR) have lapsed and the committee,

which was tasked to complete the investigation and submit recommendations within two weeks.

Time has managed to meet only once before one of its members – the law minister – resigned from his portfolio.

Prime Minister

Shehbaz Sharif, while terming the leaking of audio tapes allegedly recorded at the PM House involving himself and other high-profile people

“a serious lapse”, “security breach” and “a big question mark”, had constituted

the committee to oversee the matter as the country’s respect was at stake.

However, the committee constituted on September 30 could meet only once on October 7. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.

who is the convenor of the committee, had directed the committee to complete tasks within the given timeframe.

The official statement issued following the committee’s maiden meeting stated that the committee would complete its recommendation within two weeks which would then be submitted to the prime minister.

However, that did not happen and the minister was not available for comments.

Though the committee has met only once and missed deadlines set against ToRs.

the interior minister was quick to rule out on October 7 the involvement of any internal or external agencies in the cyber security breach and leaking of the audio.

In September

, a 1.43-minute audio clip appeared on social media revealing a conversation between

the former premier Imran Khan and his ex-principal secretary Azam Khan about using the classified diplomatic cable for political purposes.

“We have to play with this. Do not take America’s name, just play with this,” the PTI chief allegedly said in the audio clip.

Later, a 1.09-minute-long audio emerged on social media featuring a conversation between Imran, and Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Asad Umar and Azam about a strategy to set the stage for a narrative around the Cablegate affair.

Earlier than that, in an audio leak, PM Shehbaz could be heard informing a government official about Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President

Maryam Nawaz looking to import machinery from India for a power plant, on the request of her s

A second leaked audio clip that surfaced was between the federal cabinet

members discussing the resignation of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers and seeking final approval on the issue from London.

The back-to-back audio leaks triggered concerns over the security of

the PM House and PM Shehbaz had constituted the committee to oversee an investigation into

the cyber security breach at the PM House and suggest

measures to secure cyberspace and ensure the electronic security of public offices of strategic importance.

“Who will be willing to come to meet the prime minister,

anyone will think a 100 times before discussing any sensitive matter at the PM House Panel ON Audio Leaks

,” PM Shehbaz had said while constituting the 12-member committee.

He also directed

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), among others, were part of it.Panel ON Audio Leaks

The premier had also decided ToRs of the committee whose members

included ex-law minister Azam Nazir Tarar, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman,

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Communication Minister Asad Mahmood and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) IT & Telecommunication Minister Aminul Haq.

The notification stated that ISI DG or his representative, IB DG, technical experts nominated by PTA, FIA, Panel ON Audio Leaks

ISI and National Telecom and Information Technology Security Board

(NTSB) were members of the committee and it can co-opt any other member or expert as per the requirement.

The notification read:

“[Committee would] review the existing cyber security protocols of the Prime Minister House/Office and suggest immediate measures and action

plan to develop foolproof security systems and digital eco-system that insulates the cyberspace of PM Office/House from all kinds of intrusion (in seven days).”

It added that the committee would revisit existing e-safety and cybers

security procedures and guidelines; broadly evaluate the existing capability and vulnerabilities of the government.

departments; and reassess the risks associated with various electronic gadgets including tablets, smartphones, WiFi, and other cyber devices within 15 days.

In particular, it said,

the committee should submit short and medium-term recommendations for securing the sensitive data and information technology environment

of important ministries and offices of strategic importance such as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).Panel ON Audio Leaks

National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), and regulatory authorities within 15 days.

The committee has also been tasked to prepare a draft leg

The committee can also consider any other issues. PM had directed the committee to submit reports as per the given timelines for consideration.

The audio recordings had also triggered a debate if things that would go beyond allegations.

admissions and denials or truth would once again remain buried before the country moves on to some other issue.

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