13 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The leader of the Pakistani political party Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI), Senator Shaukan Tarin, has been charged with sedition for leaking audio recordings that would have affected the release of funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Tarin, who was also finance minister, is in custody.
The Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency has charged Tarin with the publication on the Internet of audio recordings from a year ago in which Tarin himself and the then finance advisers of Punjab and Khiber Pakhtunjua provinces appear and in which they asks that they write to the IMF retracting their budget commitments claiming that they were signed before the severe floods that affected the country, reports Geo TV.
“You have signed a pledge with the IMF for a budget superhabit of 750 billion rupees — almost 2.6 billion euros –. You have to tell them that the pledge is from before the floods and now you have to spend because of the floods. You have We have to tell them that we are not going to be able to fulfill our commitment,” Tarin argued in the leaked conversation with Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari.
In a second telephone conversation, this time with Khiber Pakhtunjua’s finance advisor, Taimur Jhagra, Tarin asked him to insist in the letter on the enormous needs arising from the floods. “It’s actually a blackmail tactic,” Tarin said.
The audios were published the day that the IMF leadership would study the request to release a new tranche of 1,200 million dollars of the loan agreed with Islamabad, for which the Government accused the PTI of trying to sabotage the agreement.