In a stunning revelation, seasoned journalist Azaz Syed has claimed that the primary suspect involved in recording – and then leaking – sensitive meetings at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been apprehended by the country’s premier intelligence agency.
In late September, audio files emerged on the dark web, and then on social media, of conversations between prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, his principal secretary Dr. Tauqeer Shah, Maryam Nawaz, and other senior ministers. These conversations reportedly took place in the supposedly secure confines of the PMO. The Intelligence Bureau was tasked with investigating this unprecedented breach of security.
In the end of September, credible sources reported that there would no longer be any audio leaks about the incumbent government, as the person leaking these audios on the dark web had been given a “shut-up call”.
Exclusive: Who is being investigated by #ISI in connection with the audi… https://t.co/PrZYmdiOvy via @YouTube pic.twitter.com/t9cjlDWld5
— Azaz Syed (@AzazSyed) December 28, 2022
Azaz Syed alleged that the main culprit behind the audio leaks was none other that the prime minister’s own aide-de-camp (ADC), Major Arsalan. He explained that Major Arsalan was ADC to Lt. Gen. (retired) Faiz Hameed when he was DG ISI. When Lt. Gen. Faiz was transferred to Peshawar, he “gifted” Major Arsalan to PM Khan as the latter’s ADC.
Major Arsalan continued serving as PM Shehbaz’s ADC, but as investigations uncovered by Azaz Syed reveal, Major Arsalan remained loyally beholden to his benefactor Lt. Gen. Faiz. Major Arsalan had a phone or communication device that he used to record the meetings in PMO, and this device was communicating with only one other device, which was traced to be located in Bahawalpur, as per Azaz.
جب وزیراعظم ہاوس کی آڈیو لیکس کی تحقیقات شروع ہوئیں تو وزیراعظم شہباز شریف کے اے ڈی سی کو ڈی جی آئی ایس آئی ندیم انجم نے اپنی حراست میں لے لیا اور تحقیقات میں اے ڈی سی نے بتایا کہ میں تو اپنے باس جنرل فیض حمید کے حکم پر یہ کام کر رہا تھا pic.twitter.com/HJfF1gcOJJ
— Raza Butt 🎙️ (@SocialDigitally) December 28, 2022
Major Arsalan confessed to his role and volunteered this device, saying he was taking instructions from “his boss”, alluding to former spymaster and then-corps commander Bahawalpur, Lt. Gen. Faiz.
Azaz Syed claims that some information came to then-army chief General Bajwa, who passed it on to DG ISI Lt. Gen. Nadeem Anjum. As the lead panned out, Major Arsalan was identified and apprehended. This was such a big breakthrough that the DG ISI himself went to receive PM Shehbaz Sharif from the airport upon the latter’s return from the UK. According to Azaz Syed, the DG ISI personally informed the premier that the main suspect behind the audio leak from the PMO was in custody.
Dilating on the role of retired Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, Azaz Syed said that once it was proven that the former DG ISI was linked to the audio leaks of a sitting government, action was also going to be taken against him (Faiz), but General Bajwa intervened to stop the process.