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Cipher case: Pak court seeks response from investigation agency on Imran Khan's bail request

The FIA launched the case last month and Khan was arrested when he was in the Attock Jail

PTI Islamabad Published 18.09.23, 05:01 PM
Imran Khan

Imran Khan File Photo

The Islamabad High Court on Monday issued a notice to Pakistan's top investigation agency seeking its response to the post-arrest bail plea of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan in a case related to the alleged disclosure of state secrets.

Khan, 70, through his lawyer Salman Safdar filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court on Saturday against rejection of his post-arrest bail by a special court that is proceeding against him and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the case.


The special court on September 13 extended the judicial remand of Khan and two-time foreign minister Qureshi till September 26 in the cipher case.

Both Khan and Qureshi have been accused of violating the secret laws of the country regarding a document sent by the Pakistan embassy in March last year that has gone missing.

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq after hearing the arguments by Khan’s lawyer issued notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and directed it to submit its response to his petition.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing until next week, Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party confirmed in a WhatsApp message.

The FIA launched the case last month and Khan was arrested when he was in the Attock Jail.

Khan has been kept in the Attock Jail since August 5 after his conviction in the Toshakhana corruption case. His sentence was suspended by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on August 29, but he continues to remain in Attock prison in the cipher case.

Qureshi, 67-year-old former foreign minister, was arrested under the Official Secrets Act for violating the secrecy of the official cable sent by the Pakistani embassy in the US to the foreign office when he was the foreign minister.

The cipher case was filed last month against Khan on the allegations of violating secret laws of the country in the matter of a cable sent by the Pakistan embassy in Washington in March last year.

In March last year, ahead of the vote of no-confidence that resulted in his ouster, Khan pulled out a piece of paper - allegedly the cipher - from his pocket and waved it at a public rally in Islamabad, claiming it was the evidence of an “international conspiracy” being hatched to topple his government.

However, during the interrogation with the joint investigation team (JIT) in the jail on August 26, Khan denied that the paper he waved at a public gathering last year was the cipher. He also admitted to losing the cipher, saying he couldn't recall where he kept it.

His principal secretary Azam Khan stated before a magistrate and the FIA that the Khan used it for his ‘political gains’ and to avert a vote of no-confidence against him.

The purported cipher (secret diplomatic cable) contained an account of a meeting between US State Department officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, and Pakistani envoy Asad Majeed Khan last year.

Of late, Khan has come under increased scrutiny following the publication of a purported copy of the secret cable by the US media outlet The Intercept, with many in the previous government led by Shehbaz Sharif pointing fingers at the PTI chief for being the source of the leak.

Khan, who served as the country's prime minister until April last year, currently faces around 180 cases. These cases primarily stem from incidents that occurred following the sacking of the Lahore corps commander's house on May 9.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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