Shaukat Tarin booked in case for ‘derailing’ IMF deal


The cyber crime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency on Monday registered a case against former federal finance minister Shaukat Tarin over alleged viral audio on social media under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act on the complaint of one Arshad Mehmood. The case was registered against Tarin under provisions of sedition and provocation.

According to the FIR, in the alleged audio leak that had surfaced on the internet, Taimur Saleem Jhagra and Shaukat Tarin were having a conversation with Mohsin Laghari.
“The surplus budget shouldn’t be returned to the federal government,” Tarin was telling Laghari. On Sunday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah allowed the Federal Investigation Agency to arrest former finance czar Shaukat Tarin after the completion of an inquiry against him in the audio leak case.

On Saturday, the agency requested permission from the interior ministry to initiate legal proceedings against Tarin and his detention, claiming that Shaukat Tarin’s conversation was an attempt to derail the IMF deal and he wanted to harm the country’s security and national interests.

Earlier, audio of PTI leader Shaukat Tarin surfaced in which he allegedly asked the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finance ministers to backtrack from the IMF commitments in order to pressurise the federal government.

In alleged audio, Shaukat Tarin said they needed to backtrack from Rs750 billion commitments and tell the lender that the commitment Punjab made was pre-floods and now the province “cannot honour it”.

The PTI leader told the finance minister to draft a letter and send it to him for vetting so it could be sent to the federal government and later on to the IMF representative in Pakistan.
At Tarin’s request, Laghari asked whether Pakistan would suffer if Punjab withdraws from the deal.