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PTI’s Umar and Jhagra defend Tarin-IMF audio leaks, say ‘nothing wrong’ in conversations

ISLAMABAD: PTI Secretary General Asad Umar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra on Monday defended and all but acknowledged the authenticity of the audio leaks attributed to PTI Senator Shaukat Tarin regarding the crucial International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme

Umar said there was “nothing wrong” in the leaked conversations and that Tarin, in the leaked conversations, was merely giving “advice” to PTI’s provincial finance ministers to ask the federal government to renegotiate with the IMF — something he claimed was necessary in light of the devastations caused by the floods.

Earlier on Monday, two audio clips surfaced via TV channels and social media; in one, the man said to be Tarin can be heard guiding Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari to tell the federal government and the IMF that he would not be able to commit to a provincial budget surplus in light of the recent floods that have wreaked havoc in Pakistan.

In the other audio, Tarin can be heard asking Jhagra whether he had drawn up a similar document.

PTI senior leader Shireen Mazari was the first to acknowledge the audio clips, saying there was “nothing illegal or wrong” in the conversations. “We have publicly opposed the terms on which the imported govt is taking loan from IMF.”“But what is illegal is the wire tapping done on conversation without court order. A criminal offence,” she tweeted.

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