Former Planning and Development minister Asad Umar and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra on Monday defended the recent Shaukat Tarin audio leaks saying they featured ‘nothing objectionable’.
Umar and Jhagra said told journalists there was ‘nothing objectionable’ in the audio featuring Shaukat Tarin, Mohsin Leghari and Jhagra. They claimed that Tarin was merely ‘advising’ the two finance ministers on how to approach the government with a request to renegotiate with the IMF in light of the flood crisis.
Umar accused the federal government of ‘cutting, pasting and editing’ audio clips. He then proceeded to query if anyone could term Tarin’s counsel as anything but sound advice.
The former P&D minister said there was ‘nothing wrong’ with Tarin advising Jhagra and Leghari since he too had essayed a finance portfolio. Noting how Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had approached international organisations for donations, he questioned why the PM could not request the IMF to permit allocations for flood relief.
Audio clips of telephonic conversations between Taimur Jhagra and Mohsin Leghari in conversation with Shaukat Tareen emerged earlier on Monday. As per the clips, the ministers were purportedly intending to derail the upcoming deal with the IMF ahead of the organization’s board meeting today (Monday).