London, May 18 (ANI): Noted Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir has rubbished media reports that he had a telephonic conversation with a Taliban spokesperson during which he described former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) official Khalid Khwaja as a Central Investigation Agency (CIA) collaborator.
Khwaja was abducted and killed by the Taliban last month.
Mir denied ever speaking to any Taliban spokesperson, and said that the leaked audiotape was an attempt to malign his image by his 'enemies in the government.'
"I never said these things to these people. This is a concocted tape. They took my voice, sampled it and manufactured this conspiracy against me," The Guardian quoted Mir, as saying.
The tape, in which Mir is purportedly heard asking the Taliban spokesperson to interrogate Khwaja over his links with the CIA and his role in the Lal Masjid siege, has started a debate amidst media circles in Pakistan.
Several senior and respected journalists believe that the voice in the tape sounded exactly like that of Mir's.
"There are serious allegations to be answered. If this tape turns out to be genuine, it suggests a journalist instigated the murder of a kidnapee. A line must be drawn somewhere," The Daily Times Editor Rashed Rahman said.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has also described the audiotape as 'fake', saying it was issued by some secret agency of the country.
"We condemn the reliability of this tape since there was no conversation between us and Hamid Mir. Although we often talk to different media persons. This seems to be a conspiracy to destroy the reputation of the Mujahideens and the brave people of this country who want to dig out the truth and reveal the dark faces of this nation," a statement issued by the Taliban media centre said. (ANI)