Pakistan former premier question over govt move to form inquiry commission over audio leaks
By The South Asia Times
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday questioned the 13 parties ruling alliance's move to form an inquiry commission to investigate the recent audio leaks in the country.
On Friday federal government notified a three-member inquiry commission including Justice Faiz Esa, senior judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Justice Aamir Farooq, and Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court.
The government was tasked the commission to investigate selected audio leaks regarding the judges and avoided to include high profile audio leaks from Prime Minister offices and others leaders.
“The Federal Government has formed Inquiry Commission under Section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 2017 to investigate into the issue of Audio Leaks. However, the Terms of Reference formed by the Federal Government suffer from a deliberate omission,” Khan said in series of tweets.
“They fail to take into account the issue that who is behind unlawful and unconstitutional surveillance of PM office and sitting judges of the Supreme Court.
“The Commission should be empowered to investigate who are these powerful and unknown elements who tap and record telephone conversation of citizens including high public functionaries. This is serious breach of privacy guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution,” he added.
“Not only those who illegally retrieve data through unlawful phone tapping and surveillance should be held accountable but those who through fabrication and tampering of different phone calls leak them on social media also need to be held accountable.
“Democracies governed by the rule of law propose that the state should not arbitrarily intrude into certain aspects of life. Right to privacy and dignity guaranteed under Article 14 are patently infringed whenever the state unlawfully surveils an individual.
“Some of the recent leaked calls were made over what was supposed to be a secure phone line in the Prime Minister’s Office. Nevertheless, they unlawfully were tapped and fabricated/tampered with. Seemingly, the elements behind such audacious tapping operate in a manner outside the command and even knowledge of the PM of Pakistan,” said Imran Khan.
He added that those who are these actors who are above the law and outside the command of even the prime minister of the country, and who resort to such illegal surveillance with impunity?
“Such elements need to be held identified by the Commission,” Khan concluded.
Prominent journalist Sami Ibrahim says that there is clear division among the top court judges and the government is trying to use these judges against the Chief Justice of Pakistan who ordered last month to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province within 90 days as per the constitution of Pakistan.
“This action is based on malice and they want to use the commission against Chief Justice of Pakistan and another judge of Supreme Court,” he told the Bol News.
Prominent Lawyer Azhar Siddique announced that he is going to challenge the government order in court.
“Government malice and abuse of power obvious! I announce to challenge this commission!!,” he tweeted.