Imran Khan wrote a script that was turned into a four-minute speech with the help of a tool capable of mimicking a person’s voice
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is currently imprisoned, has used artificial intelligence to deliver a speech to his supporters. The four-minute address was broadcast during a ‘virtual rally’ attended by more than 4.5 million people across Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.
Pakistani authorities have clamped down on gatherings organized by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party since he was briefly arrested for the first time in May. The former prime minister was sentenced to three years behind bars in August for illegally selling state gifts. The 71-year-old faces a slew of other charges, all of which he claims are politically motivated.
According to PTI representatives, the cricket-star-turned-politician wrote a script for the speech and passed it on to his supporters through lawyers. It was then dubbed with the help of a tool developed by the AI firm ElevenLabs, which can create a ‘voice clone’ of a person based on speech samples.
In his message, Khan accused the Pakistani government of kidnapping and harassing activists from his party.
He also stressed that his “determination for real freedom is very strong,” thanking the PTI social media team for “this historic attempt” to circumvent government restrictions.
Meanwhile, the NetBlocks watchdog reported that it had detected disruptions in social media availability in Pakistan, starting late on Sunday. The group alleged that this may have been due to deliberate “internet censorship.”
Khan was charged by a special court in October with breaching state secrecy laws over an alleged conspiracy to reveal what he characterized as proof of US interference in orchestrating his removal from power last year.
The diplomatic cable at the center of the case was sent by then-Pakistani Ambassador to the US Asad Majeed Khan after his meeting with two senior US State Department officials in March 2022. According to multiple media reports purportedly based on the document, Washington made clear that it was unhappy about Khan’s failure to toe the West’s line. The US officials allegedly hinted to the Pakistani diplomat that if the prime minister lost an impending no-confidence vote in parliament, “all will be forgiven in Washington.”
Khan was ousted about a month after the meeting, and has since mounted a major protest campaign.
While the US has denied exerting any pressure on Pakistan, the International Monetary Fund unexpectedly extended a $3 billion bailout for Islamabad in July – a decision that The Intercept has claimed was influenced by Washington.
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