Cipher Gate Controversy, Details, and Updates


Less than a month before his downfall in April 2022, Chairman of the PTI Imran Khan displayed a letter, saying it was a cipher from a foreign country, in which it was suggested that his government be overthrown. This is when the Cipher Gate scandal first surfaced.

Imran Khan omitted to disclose the letter’s contents and mention the nation that sent it. But a few days later, he named the country and claimed that Donald Lu, assistant secretary of state for affairs in South and Central Asia, had requested his removal. The message concerned Majeed’s encounter with Lu as a former Pakistani ambassador to the US.

According to Imran Khan, who claimed to be deciphering the cipher, “All will be forgiven for Pakistan if Imran Khan is removed from power.” The National Security Committee (NSC) then addressed the Cipher Gate situation on March 31 and resolved to send a “strong demarche” to the nation for its “blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan.”

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When the NSC met later, after Imran Khan had been removed from office, Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister at the time, declared that there was no proof of a foreign conspiracy in the cable. The former prime minister, then-federal minister Asad Umar, and then-principal secretary Azam are said to have been overheard discussing the US cipher and how to utilize it to their advantage in the two audio releases that stunned the public after these events.

The federal cabinet took notice of the situation on September 30 and established a committee to investigate the information contained in the audio leaks. The FIA was given the case in October after the cabinet approved taking legal action against the former prime minister.

When the FIA was assigned the assignment to investigate the case, it summoned Khan, Umar, and other party leaders. However, the PTI leader contested the summons and obtained a court order granting a delay. In July of this year, the Lahore High Court recalled the stay order against Khan’s call-up notice from the FIA.

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