Islamabad [Pakistan], September 23 (ANI): The Islamabad High Court has set a date for the hearing of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s petition seeking post-arrest bail in the cipher case for The News International reported on Saturday.
According to a cause list issued by the IHC registrar for the coming week, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq will hear the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman’s bail petition on Monday September 25.
Earlier this week, the court issued a notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), seeking arguments in the case.
The special court — established under the Official Secrets Act — had rejected the post-arrest bail pleas of Khan and his party’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the case of the missing cipher, The News International reported.
Notably, both Khan and Qureshi are on judicial remand till September 26, in connection with the cipher case.
Last month, the FIA booked the PTI chief and his party’s vice chairman under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly misplacing and misusing the classified document for vested political interests.
Subsequently, both leaders were arrested in connection with the investigation into the case and a special court was established under the Official Secrets Act to try the accused.
The ciphergate controversy first emerged on March 27, 2022, when Imran Khan — just days before his ouster in April 2022 — brandished a letter, claiming that it was a cipher from a foreign nation, which mentioned that his government should be removed from power, according to The News International.
He did not reveal the contents of the letter nor mention the name of the nation that had sent it. But a few days later, he named the United States and said that Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu had sought his removal.
The former prime minister, claiming that he was reading contents from the cipher, said that “all will be forgiven for Pakistan if Imran Khan is removed from power”.
The cipher case against the former premier became serious after his principal secretary Azam Khan stated before a magistrate as well as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that the former PM had used the US cipher for his “political gains” and to avert a vote of no-confidence against him, The News International.
The former bureaucrat, in his confession, said when he provided the ex-premier with the cipher, he was “euphoric” and termed the language a “US blunder”. The former prime minister, according to Azam, then said that the cable could be used for “creating a narrative against establishment and opposition”.
Azam said the US cipher was used in political gatherings by the PTI chairman, despite his advice to avoid such acts. He mentioned that the former prime minister also told him that the cipher could be used to divert the public’s attention towards “foreign involvement” in the opposition’s no-confidence motion, according to The News International. (ANI)
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