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IHC wants to know ‘who records audios’

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has requested the government to provide information about the individuals responsible for recording the audios and has halted the special parliamentary body from taking action
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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has requested the government to provide information about the individuals responsible for recording the audios and has halted the special parliamentary body from taking action against the son of former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.

Justice Babar Sattar made these remarks during the hearing of a petition filed by Najam Saqib, son of ex-CJP Nisar, against a special committee formed by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to investigate audio clips allegedly featuring his voice.

Furthermore, Justice Sattar suspended the summoning notice issued to Najam by the special committee and addressed the objections raised by the Registrar’s Office regarding the application.

The court has also issued notices to the federal government, instructing it to inform the court about the origins of the audios by June 19.

“Who records these audios?” Justice Sattar inquired, seeking a response from the federal government. He further questioned the authority under which the special committee initiated the probe.

Advocate Latif Khosa, representing the petitioner, informed the court that the rules for the special committee would be the same as those for the general committee.

The judge stated that the concerned ministry would have to be made a party to the case.

“In this matter, there is no relevant ministry, but we will do so,” Khosa said.

He added, “We have only challenged the fact that the speaker and the assembly do not have the authority to look into private matters. The petition does not challenge the matter pending in the Supreme Court.”

“The audio leak involves an alleged conversation between two private individuals that Parliament has no right to examine,” he emphasized.

The judge further inquired, “You have also served as a governor. Tell me, who records these audios?”

“Let the parties answer first, and then everything will become clear,” responded Najam’s counsel.

The Petition: In the petition filed on Tuesday, Najam requested the IHC to suspend the committee’s proceedings and prevent it from taking any punitive action. He argued that the alleged audios violated his privacy and constituted illegal surveillance. He urged the court to declare the recording of a private person’s conversation as a violation of basic human rights.

He further contended that the committee formed by the NA speaker to investigate the audios was illegal.

The summons issued by the committee secretary, without any meeting of the committee, which asked Najam, his father, and two other individuals to appear in person, were also deemed illegal according to the petition.

Special Committee: On May 3, NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf established a special committee to investigate Najam’s audio, in which he can be heard allegedly brokering a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket for a candidate of the Punjab provincial assembly, claiming that his father had worked hard to secure the ticket, as per the assembly’s notification.

Mohammad Aslam Bhootani was appointed as the chairman of the committee, which includes Shahida Akhtar Ali, Muhammad Abubakar, Muhammad Barjees Tahir, Sheikh Rohale Asghar, Syed Hussain Tariq, Naz Baloch, and Khalid Hussain Magsi.

Audio Transcripts: Here are the transcripts of the alleged audio calls between Najam Saqib and Abuzar Chadhar, as well as between Najam Saqib and Mian Uzair.

[Transcript of Audio Call between Najam Saqib and Abuzar Chadhar]

Abuzar Chadhar: Sir… sir, Assalamo Alikum.

Najam Saqib: Yes.

Abuzar Chadhar: Your efforts have paid off.

Najam Saqib: I have received the information.

Abuzar Chadhar: Okay, sir.

Najam Saqib: Now tell me, what needs to be done?

Abuzar Chadhar: We are getting the tickets printed. These should be printed. We cannot delay this matter as we are running short of time.

Najam Saqib: You just come to meet Baba to thank him. Nothing else.

Abuzar Chadhar: Yes, obviously, what are you talking about?

Najam Saqib: He will come back by 11 o’clock. You just come to give him a hug. He has worked hard a lot.

Abuzar Chadhar: Very much. I was wondering if I should visit the uncle (Saqib Nisar) first or come after submitting the ticket.

Najam Saqib: As you wish, but make sure that you meet Baba today.

Abuzar Chadhar: Yes, obviously, I have to come straight to him [Saqib Nisar].

Najam Saqib: Alright then.

Abuzar Chadhar: The time will end at 12 o’clock.

Najam Saqib: Get the ticket printed, send the picture, and then come after doing that.

Abuzar Chadhar: Okay.

[Transcript of Audio Call between Najam Saqib and Mian Uzair]

Najam Saqib: Check WhatsApp.

Mian Uzair: Oh yes, has Abuzar sent this to you?

Najam Saqib: Yar (my friend), I’m also a lawyer.

Mian Uzair: No. Has Abuzar sent this to you or [did you] receive it directly?

Najam Saqib: I can receive it directly as well. It’s not necessary that Abuzar sends everything.

Mian Uzair: You want me to bypass him?

Najam Saqib: Do it if you want to, but I have received it from him.

Mian Uzair: Okay.

Najam Saqib: So, who got the job done? No one else has done it.

Mian Uzair: Okay, good then.

Najam Saqib: What’s the scene now?

Mian Uzair: I will talk, okay?

Najam Saqib: What do you mean by you’ll talk about it? It was done and decided.

Mian Uzair: Let me call and tell them to deliver the goods to me.

Najam Saqib: Not only deliver the goods. Don’t take less than 120, or else I’ll break your legs.

Mian Uzair: Yar (buddy), you are again saying such things… on the phone.

Najam Saqib: Yar Uzair, I don’t have any issue with that. Don’t take less than 120 from him.

Mian Uzair: Okay.

Najam Saqib: I’m telling you that I’m not joking. This is a big deal, Uzair.

Mian Uzair: Brother, I have given my word. I am not…

Najam Saqib: You become a… become a… for me. Or I will not even talk to you.

Mian Uzair: Okay then, I’ll do it.

Najam Saqib: Or else, I will deal with him directly. What else can I do other than that?

Mian Uzair: Say it directly, it’s better.

Najam Saqib: He is coming to the office after submitting the ticket. You also come if you want to.

Mian Uzair: Okay.

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