Cell phones barred in Pakistan cabinet meetings

Islamabad, Oct 2 (IANS): Fears prompted by the all-out national security incident after Pakistan Prime Minister Office audios were mysteriously leaked into the public domain remained in the air at the federal cabinet's meeting as the government barred members from taking their mobile phones inside the meeting, the media reported.

Sources said that the meeting chaired by Pak Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was not held until it was ensured that the mobile phones of the cabinet members were collected outside the room, the Express Tribune reported.

The move is the latest measure taken by the government to prevent further security breaches after a slew of audio leaks rang alarm bells in the corridors of power, with the opposition -- mainly PTI -- raising questions about flaws in the cyber security of the highest office of the land.

The meeting also discussed the issue of audio leaks in detail and endorsed the decision of the National Security Committee (NSC) to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. On Wednesday, the NSC okayed the formation of a body to investigate audio leaks.

A day ago, a new standard operating procedure (SOP) was implemented at the PM House whereby staff member and an officer was disallowed from taking their mobile phone inside the building.

PM Sharif had on Tuesday at a press conference called the controversial audio leaks a serious 'security lapse' and said a high-powered inquiry committee would probe into the matter.



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