Audio clips of telephonic conversations between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ministers Taimur Jhagra and Mohsin Leghari in conversation with Shaukat Tareen have emerged. As per the clips, the ministers are purportedly intending to derail the upcoming deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of the organization’s board meeting today (Monday).
The two leaked audio clips show former finance minister Shaukat Tareen talking to incumbent Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finance minister Taimur Jhagra and Punjab finance minister Mohsin Leghari.
In the alleged conversation between Tareen and Jhagra, the topic of conversation was a letter that Tareen wanted Jhagra to draft and then send to the federal government as well as the IMF representative in Islamabad, saying that the PTI-ruled KP government will not be able to honor the IMF deal as the flood crisis is using up most of the province’s budget.
At one point Jhagra is allegedly heard saying “This is a blackmailing tactic, because no one is going to let the money go anyway, I know I’m not going to let the money go, I don’t know about [Mohsin] Leghari” to which Tareen replies, “If you won’t let the money go, we need to make sure that he doesn’t either, which is why we need to draft the letter.” Tareen then says that this will show the federal government that they can’t keep the money away from them.
In the second leaked audio clip, Shaukat Tareen is having a conversation with Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari, telling him that he has just spoken to Taimur Jhagra who will be sending him a draft of the letter to the IMF in an hour, and that Mohsin should do the same.
“That’s all we want, this will put some pressure on them,” Tareen is allegedly heard saying, adding, “They get us locked up and file terrorism charges against us and then walk away scot-free; we can’t let that happen.”
Mohsin then asks Tareen if this act will have any negative consequences on Pakistan. “Would Pakistan as a state have to suffer because of this Sir?” asks Leghari, to which Tareen replies, “Well frankly, isn’t the state suffering because of the way they treated your chairman [Imran Khan] and everyone else?”
PTI leader Shireen Mazari seemed to confirm the authenticity of the audio clips in a tweet asking why the privacy of the ministers and Shaukat Tareen was being infringed upon.