ISLAMABAD    -   Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday summoned the Nation­al Security Committee (NSC) meeting to discuss matters re­lated to national security in­cluding audio-leaks allegedly featuring conversation of the premier with high-profile gov­ernment officials.

PM Shehbaz and key members of his party and family became the centre of attention on Sun­day after audio recordings pur­portedly of their conversation surfaced on social media.

The audios drew sharp crit­icism from the opposition, which expressed concerns over the security of the Prime Minis­ter Office (PMO). However, sev­eral government ministers in­sisted that the audios pointed to no wrongdoing.

Soon after the audios sur­faced, there was a storm on so­cial media, many bashing the government and expressing shock at the way sensitive au­dios had purportedly leaked from the PMO. Also several TV channels also splashed their screens with the leaks.

According to an official state­ment issued on Monday, the NSC meeting will take place at the PM House on Wednesday. The top military and civilian leadership including defence minister, inte­rior minister, information min­ister, finance minister and other important cabinet members will participate in the meeting.

The huddle will discuss flood situation, national security and other matters. According to the sources, the NSC meet­ing is expected to make im­portant decisions in view of the audio leaks. The partici­pants will also be briefed on the law and order situation of the country in the meeting.

By Sunday night, the govern­ment didn’t order any inquiry into the leaks, however, Infor­mation Minister Marriyum Au­rangzeb said that Prime Minis­ter Shehbaz would look into it and might order an inquiry on his return from London. “The decision to hold an inquiry into the audio leaks will be taken by Prime Minister Shehbaz once he returns to Paki­stan,” the government’s spokesperson said via phone from London, without denying the au­thenticity of the leaked audios. Reiterating that no inquiry had thus far been ordered by the prime minister, Aurang­zeb said that the audio leaks were a proof of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) policy of promoting merit.

“Nowhere in those au­dio was anyone talking about diamonds and gifts,” the information minister quipped. An­other cabinet member, while speaking on con­dition of anonymity, also said that there was noth­ing controversial in the audio from the ruling party’s perspective.

For a long time, succes­sive governments have been embroiled in audio and video leak scandals but there has never been a comprehensive inqui­ry into any such inci­dent. On every occasion, the truth lay somewhere between the allegations and denials. In the lat­est audio leaks, a voice, purported to be of Prime Minister Shehbaz, in­formed “a government official” about Maryam Nawaz looking to im­port machinery from In­dia for a power plant, on the request of her son-in-law Raheel. A media report about the audio stated that “the official” was apprised that half of the machinery had al­ready arrived. It added that the purported offi­cer could be heard saying that this was a matter of “grave concern” as being a relative of the prime minister, the issue could “wreak havoc if it comes to the knowledge of the ECC (Economic Coordi­nation Committee) and then of the cabinet”.