Cipher scam takes new turn

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THERE were two important developments in relations to the cipher scam on Friday – the Federal Cabinet formed a special committee to determine legal action against all those allegedly involved in the theft of the copy of the cipher from the records of PM House and the contents of the second audio leak on the issue threw more light on how a false narrative was built around the controversy.

The cabinet accused former Prime Minister Imran Khan of sacrificing key national interests for political gains by giving fictitious meaning to the diplomatic cipher.

The reported theft of the diplomatic cable is a serious issue and needs to be probed thoroughly as it amounts to breach of official secrets act.

There are also allegations that the contents of the cable were changed to suit the narrative, which Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif believes has been smashed with the new leaks.

The second audio, supposedly a continuation of the conversation featured in the previous recording, featured voices believed to be those of PTI leaders Asad Umar and Shah Mahmood Qureshi allegedly strategizing the “foreign conspiracy cipher” with the former PM and his then Principal Secretary Azam Khan, prompting Defence Minister Khawaja Asif to say it attracted Article 6.

The cabinet was told that the leaks exposed “the criminal conspiracy of the former government”, while the cipher was given “fictitious meanings for political mileage and subsequently it was stolen after fraud, forgery and fabrication.

” Investigations could make things clear but all these developments highlight the need for steps to ensure transparent working of the country’s highest executive office.

 

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