PTI declared the audio “fake” and PPP leadership remained non-committal over the alleged telephonic conversation between Zardari and property tycoon Malik Riaz
An audio recording of an alleged telephonic conversation between Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Asif Ali Zardari and Malik Riaz came to the media yesterday in which the property tycoon Malik Riaz could be heard telling Asif Zardari that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was desperately seeking for a “patch-up” with him.
However, soon after the audio came into the media, the PTI leadership termed it “fake” and baseless. On the other hand, the PPP leadership remained non-committal while many party leaders claimed that it was real.
ایک کاروباری شخص اور ایک عمران خان کا مخالف سیاستدان آپس میں بات چیت کر رہے ہیں جس میں عمران خان سے منصوب باتیں کی جا رہی ہیں جن باتوں کا حقیقت سے کوئی لینا دینا نہیں ہے-عمران خان کو کسی NRO کی ضرورت نہیں بلکہ یہ تمام لوگ خان سے NRO مانگتے رہے ہیں۔ جو کہ نہیں ملا۔یہ سٹوری جھوٹ ہے
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) May 28, 2022
In the almost 32-second conversation, the date and time of which are not confirmed, Malik Riaz can be heard telling Asif Ali Zardari that Imran Khan had been sending him messages asking him to help “patch up” with the PPP. “Today, he (Imran Khan) has sent too many messages,” the voice believed to be of Mr. Riaz told the former president, who in response said: “It is impossible now.” “It’s okay. I just wanted to bring this to your notice,” said Riaz’s alleged voice.
When contacted, a number of senior PPP leaders said they were not aware of the timing of the purported phone call, but they could confirm that Malik Riaz had been playing the role of a mediator after the submission of the no-confidence resolution against Imran Khan in the National Assembly by the then opposition parties.
Another PPP leader, while claiming that the alleged audio seemed genuine, questioned who was tapping the telephones of the former president. He said it was a serious matter and should be probed.
Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz during his address at a public meeting in Bahawalpur also referred to the leaked conversation and claimed it had been proved how Imran Khan was begging for a deal. On the other hand, PTI spokesman Dr. Shahbaz Gill through his Twitter handle termed the audio recording a “lie” and “far from reality”. “A businessman and an opponent of Imran Khan are talking about things that have nothing to do with reality. Imran Khan does not require an NRO. Instead, all these people kept seeking an NRO (from Imran) which they didn’t get,” tweeted Mr. Gill minutes after the alleged conversation surfaced. He further added: “This story is a lie…. at least, a strong script should have been written.”
Among the highly circulating news on electronic and social media about the alleged recording, there is no official formal reaction from Malik Riaz over the development until now.