Both sides, however, have shut their otherwise widely-open eyes to the intimidating security and economic issues confronting the country, and seem to relish wild pleasure in playing the foul game of audio/video leaks.
The sordid history of audio leaks opening the flood gates of political sleaze dates back to mid 90s when the notorious telephonic conversation between Shahbaz Sharif and justice Malik Abdul Qayyum was leaked. From then on, this filthy business continued intermittently. Recently, a spat of audio leaks making the rounds on social media has seriously tarnished the already tainted image of politicians and other quasi-political figures.
The recent audio leaks attributed to Imran Khan the authenticity of which is yet to be established and till such time these audios could safely be called ‘alleged audios’, have set the social media on fire. According to Khan’s opponents and critics, the audio leaks making the rounds on social media these days is just a tip of the iceberg thereby hinting at more such like obnoxious audios that are likely to be leaked in the days to come.
It’s worth mentioning here that Khan has left no stone unturned to malign and defame his political opponents by dubbing them as thieves and dacoits and blaming them to have looted the country’s wealth and stash their ill-gotten wealth abroad, thereby leaving the country and its people impoverished. He has been harping on this sore point day in and day out to make the public believe in his assertion. Now, in turn, he is reaping what he had sown. He is facing the music. After all, at the end of the day, chickens come home to roost.
In order to come out clean in front of the public in general and his blind supporters in particular, Imran Khan must go for a forensic test of the leaked audios attributed to him to establish their authenticity or otherwise, and sue his defamers in a court of law if these audios are found fake or doctored. This is all the more necessary for a leader who never gets tired of moralising on honesty, truthfulness, justice and morality, and also claims to establish an Islamic state in its pristine form on the lines of Riyasat-e-Madina. Besides, Khan has been portraying himself as a morally upright person before the public to the extent that his frantic followers take him as a personality cult and on that basis alone he has been enjoying moral ascendency over his political opponents.
However, in a stunning surprise to all, Imran Khan and his social media activists have kept mum on the recent audio leaks attributed to him and have failed to come up with any strong reaction and rebuttal of the alleged audios, thus putting his claim of moral uprightness and credibility into question. His ominous silence over the issue has further emboldened his opponents to come on him more offensively. He seems to have lost the moral high ground which he once decisively enjoyed over his rivals. This eventually is going to hit him hard in the political battlefield.
It may be recalled that after audios about playing with diplomatic cypher issue and also alleged purchasing of voters to counter the vote of no-confidence were leaked, Khan had predicted that more audios prepared through ‘deep fake technology’ attributed to him would be leaked in the coming days and months. If Khan is so convinced that fake videos are leaked to malign him and defeat him in the political battle then he must go for a forensic test without wasting time and before further damage is done to his reputation.
The foul game of audio/video leaks must come to an end as encroaching upon someone’s privacy can’t be justified and defended in any way. Being Muslims we have to guard the privacy, honour and modesty of fellow beings and this is what Islam teaches us. There are hundred and one other ways to settle personal scores which one can resort to if one strongly feels that there is a need to teach one’s rival a lesson.
Chitral Today is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan newspaper of Chitral. It was launched in 2007 and is run by working journalists.