Pakistan government ordered an inquiry against former prime minister Imran Khan for allegedly politicizing a conversation between a US official and Islamabad's envoy in Washington for his personal political gain, damaging relations between the two countries.
Khan "breached the national security," planning minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Geo television channel on Monday. Action will be taken against him on the basis of outcome of the inquiry by the Federal investigation Agency, he said without elaborating.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's cabinet approved the probe as the government claimed a leaked audio showed the former cricket star telling his top bureaucrat and some of his ex-ministers to "play" with a diplomatic cipher, which alleges Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Donald Lu was annoyed with Khan's government. The agency will also probe some of Khan's ex-ministers.
The leaked conversation took place about a month before Khan's government was toppled by the then opposition through a no-confidence vote in April, according to local media. The audio, which hasn't been denied by the government or Khan, was leaked last week by unknown people on social media.
Pakistan had then protested with the US over the "unacceptable" interference. Sharif's government, which replaced Khan, the country's military and the US have rejected former premier's accusation.
The former cricketer has been facing legal challenges since his removal from power including a police complaint for threatening a female judge and senior police officials. Separately, a High Court has told him to apologize for threatening the judge. Khan has launched a campaign demanding early elections.