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Federal Government Disputes Leaked Letter Alleging Interference in IHC’s Audio Leak Case

ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, the federal government refuted the assertions made in a leaked letter attributed to Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) Justice Babar Sattar, which purportedly accused security agencies of using “intimidatory tactics” in a case related to audio leaks being heard by the high court.

The snippet from the leaked letter, circulated on social media earlier today, purportedly highlighted “interference in the audio leak case,” according to the PTI.

The snippet revealed that the IHC had put heads of state intelligence agencies, institutions, ministries, and media regulators on notice regarding the audio leaks case. The letter raised questions about the legality of the surveillance of citizens and claimed that Justice Sattar received messages from top security officials urging him to “back-off” from scrutinizing surveillance methods extensively.

Justice Sattar stated in the letter that he disregarded these alleged intimidatory tactics, finding them not detrimental to the administration of justice. He also highlighted a “malicious campaign” targeting cases involving the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) as an attempt to influence court proceedings.

The federal government, represented by Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan, addressed the matter in a press conference in Islamabad. While not explicitly naming Justice Sattar, the AGP emphasized that the contents of the letter were an “internal communication” of the court.

The AGP clarified that the judge himself mentioned in the leaked snippet that he did not feel intimidated by the message. However, the AGP acknowledged that Justice Sattar perceived it as interference with the principles of justice.

The AGP explained that certain sensitive matters require communication between institutions, ensuring that sensitive information, such as surveillance capabilities, remains confidential. He underscored the necessity of maintaining national security by sharing such information only in closed-door hearings.

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar and Information Minister Attaullah Tarar also addressed the press conference, echoing the AGP’s stance and emphasizing the importance of national security.

Former president Dr. Arif Alvi weighed in on the matter, emphasizing the pressure judges face, as evidenced by Justice Sattar’s comments.

The government officials collectively rejected any notion of interference in the judiciary, emphasizing the need for collaboration while safeguarding national security interests.

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