Forensic audit of explosive audio clip demanded amid govt backlash

As the government continues to term the ‘leaked audio clip’ of former chief justice Saqib Nisar allegedly passing instructions to convict former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam, opposition quarters, mainly arch-rivals Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have demanded a forensic audit of the tape to "ascertain facts" behind it.

On Sunday night, journalist Ahmed Noorani had shared the audio clip claiming that the former CJP had directed his subordinates to send Sharifs to jail “as institutions wanted to bring Imran Khan into power”. Since then, the traditional and social media spaces remained awash with debate over the audio clip.

The journalist had said that a US-based firm has verified that the voice in the leaked audio clip matched with the retired CJP’s. However, the former top judge of the country has declared it “fabricated”.

Complicating the issue further a private news channel has claimed that the alleged remarks had been concocted using chunks of Saqib Nisar’s previous statements made on different occasions.

سابق چيف جسٹس ثاقب نثار کی مبينہ آڈيو۔ کيا سچ کيا جھوٹ @SAMAATV لے آيا تہلکہ خيز ثبوت۔ کہيں کی اينٹ کہيں کا روڑا نکلا۔ آڈيو ليک کا بيشتر حصہ سابق چيف جسٹس کی دو مختلف تقارير کو کاٹ کر بنايا گيا ہے، سنیے اور سر دھنیے 👇
— Adeel Ahsan (@syedadeelahsan) November 22, 2021

Quoting the latest report, Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar on Tuesday said, "If someone still thinks of the audio clip as not fabricated, then that person should be analysed by a doctor, rather than the analysis of the clip itself."

If one still thinks that the audio is not fake then the person should be analyzed by a doctor instead of the audio. – Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) November 23, 2021 Meanwhile, Ahmed Noorani, who had released the clip two days ago, has said that "any statement given by anyone in recent times can be matched with the remarks given in the past", hence suggesting that the matching of some chunks of the explosive tape cannot declare it “fabricated”. Also read: PTI, PML-N bicker over ‘audio clip’ He further stated that he did not hide the audio clip, but released it as per the standard practice, and went on to add that the tape, without further delay, should be checked through a forensic to prove whether it was fabricated. Different words spoken in any recent statement can be found in past statements. I did not hide the audio, I released it regularly. Instead of wasting time, the real way is to forensicize my audio and prove it wrong. I have regularly issued forensic reports of a large organization. – Ahmad Noorani (@Ahmad_Noorani) November 22, 2021 Supporting the narrative, former prime minister and senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the government should send the audio for forensic, besides "other measures that it may want, but the fact is that the voice in the clip is of the former chief justice".

"No one has so far said that the voice [in the clip] isn’t of the former chief justice," Express News quoted Abbasi as saying.

He also said that regardless of who made the clip or for why, "Nisar should be called in and asked whether or not he made the said remarks".

According to the veteran politician, it was clear that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter were sentenced under a conspiracy.

Nisar, he added, is himself being heard in the clip saying that he had been ordered to send the duo to prison.

Also read: Fawad warns PML-N against ‘targeting’ judiciary, army

"The government’s ministers and rented spokespersons will continue to hold pressers on the issue," he said and added, "the PML-N doesn’t have anything to do with [former Gilgit-Baltistan chief justice] Rana Shamim’s oath or Nisar’s audio, we just demand justice.

"We may be punished if we have fabricated the oath or the clip, but if the oath is correct, then Saqib Nisar must be punished, and if it is wrong, then Rana Shamim should be punished, and if the audio clip is fabricated, then Ahmed Noorani should be taken to book," Abbasi concluded.

Commenting on the development, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry had said that the leaks and videos start emerging as soon as the hearing of cases against Sharif and Maryam starts in courts. “The nation is still awaiting the ‘receipts’ that the Sharif family had promised to give in their defence when the Panama Papers scandal had emerged.”

Also read: Ex-CJ terms audio clip favouring Sharif ‘fabricated’

As the audio clip mentions the name of the incumbent premier, the information minister said that Sharif family did not give a single piece of evidence in their favour but PM Imran presented 40-year-old receipts pertaining to his properties in London.

Adviser to the PM Shahzad Akbar had also came forward to comment on the controversy, saying “the whole drama” was about hearing of Maryam’s appeal in the Islamabad High Court.

In a message on the social networking site Twitter, the PM’s aide said that everything would have been normal had the court not heard the appeals and the cases were adjourned as per the wishes of the offender.

From day one, he alleged, the Sharif family has been using delaying tactics and did not want real facts of the case to be discussed, adding that the funded agenda to make the constitutional institutions controversial was quite an old tactic of the PML-N.

The audio emerged days after the emergence of an affidavit submitted by the former top judge of the Gilgit Appellate Court, accusing Justice (retd) Nisar of “keeping” former PM Sharif and his daughter in prison till the 2018 general elections.

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