Sedition case against ex-Pak Finance Minister for ‘sabotaging negotiations’ with IMF

Islamabad, Feb 13 (IANS) A sedition case has been registered against former Pakistan Finance Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Senator Shaukat Tarin in the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing for sabotaging the negotiations between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), media reports said.

The case has been filed by Arshad Mehmood against Tarin under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 for his alleged audio leak that had surfaced on the internet, Geo News reported. Sections 124-A and 505 of Pakistan Penal Code have also been included in the FIR.

A day earlier, the coalition government had allowed the FIA ​​to arrest the former minister after the agency sought the Interior Ministry’s nod to detain him, Geo News reported.

The FIA ​​has completed its probe against Tarin for his leaked audios involving the former Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finance ministers.

The federal probing authority had initiated an inquiry into the matter last year after the alleged telephonic conversations between Tarin and the two provincial finance ministers surfaced that triggered a verbal spat between the government and the PTI for purportedly trying to jeopardize the IMF deal after the devastating floods , Geo News reported.

Last year, ahead of IMF’s board meeting to approve Pakistan’s bailout package, the PTI leader had allegedly made telephone calls to former Punjab and KP finance ministers, asking them to write to the IMF withdrawing from the commitment for the surplus budget.

The leaked audio came to the fore on the day that the international lender’s executive board was scheduled to meet in consideration of Pakistan’s request of releasing the $1.2 billion tranche under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), Geo News reported.