In Imran Khan Cipher case IHC issues notice to FIA

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Monday issued a notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on the post-arrest bail application of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the cipher case.

The court’s notices came last week during the hearing of Khan’s bail plea challenging the special court’s verdict in the said case. The petition was filed by the PTI chairman on Saturday and was scheduled for hearing today.

The special court – set up under the Official Secrets Act – had rejected the post-arrest bail pleas of Khan and his party’s vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the disappearance case.

Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Aamir Farooq issued a notice in response to the petition of lawyer Salman Safdar on behalf of the PTI chief.

The PTI chief’s legal team repeatedly pushed for an early hearing of the case, after which the IHC chief justice insisted that there was due process, and decided the case accordingly. will be done

The FIA has been directed to submit a reply to the PTI chief’s request.

Imran Khan and Qureshi are on judicial remand till September 26.

Last month, the FIA had registered a case against the PTI chief and his party vice-chairman under the Official Secrets Act for mishandling a secret document and misusing it for political gain.

Subsequently, the two leaders were arrested in connection with the investigation into the case and a special court was set up under the Official Secrets Act to try the accused.

The controversy first emerged on 27 March 2022, when Khan – days before his ouster in April 2022 – published a letter, which he claimed was from a foreign nation, which I was mentioned to remove his government from power.

They did not reveal the contents of the letter nor did they name the nation that sent it. But days later, he named the United States and said Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lowe had called for his removal.

This cipher was about the meeting of Asad Majeed, the former ambassador of Pakistan to America, with Lowe.

Claiming that he was reading the material from the cipher, the former prime minister said that “all will be forgiven for Pakistan if Imran Khan is removed from power”.

Then on 31 March, the National Security Committee (NSC) took up the matter and decided to issue a “strong demarche” to the country for “blatant interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs”.

Later, after his dismissal, Khan’s successor Shehbaz Sharif convened another meeting of the NSC, which concluded that there was no evidence of foreign conspiracy.

The cypher case against the former prime minister took a serious turn when his principal secretary Azam Khan testified before the magistrate as well as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that the former prime minister had used the code for his “political advantage” and to avoid the vote. used an American cipher for Mistrust against him

The ex-bureaucrat said in his confession that he was “happy” when he provided the cipher to the former prime minister and called the language “an American mistake”. According to Azam, the former prime minister then said the cable could be used to “create a narrative against the establishment and the opposition”.

Azam said that the PTI chairman used the word American in political gatherings, despite his refraining from such acts. He mentioned that the former prime minister had also told him that the cipher could be used to draw public attention to “foreign involvement” in the opposition’s no-confidence motion.

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