FIA submits challan in cipher case against Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi


The challan in the cipher case has been submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi today (Saturday, September 30).

According to the media reports, the Federal Investigation Agency said in the challan of the cipher case the PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi were found guilty in the matter and requested the court to conduct their trial and sentence them in the case. The media reports stated that former PTI secretary-general Asad Umar’s name was not added to the list of accused. Meanwhile, Chairman PTI’s former principal secretary Azam Khan has been named as a “strong witness” in the case.

According to the sources, the FIA also included Azam’s comments made under Sections 161 and 164 with the challan, and the PTI leader exploited the state secret by keeping the cipher to himself. According to the sources, Khan had a copy of the encryption but did not give it back. The transcript of Khan and Qureshi’s speech from March 27 was also included in the FIA. On that day, the former premier displayed a letter that he said was a cipher from a foreign country and called for the overthrow of his government.

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In addition, the agency included a list of 28 witnesses on the challan after recording their testimony in accordance with Section 161. According to further information from sources, the list of witnesses now includes former foreign secretaries Asad Majeed, Sohail Mehmood, and the then-assistant foreign secretary Faisal Niaz Tirmizi.

In the cipher case, the PTI chairman and vice chairman’s judicial remand was prolonged by the special court from September 26 until October 10. The PTI chairman and vice chairman were both charged by the FIA last month for allegedly misplacing and abusing confidential papers for their own political gain.

The FIR read, “Consequent upon the conclusion of the inquiry No. 111/2023 dated 05.10.2022, registered in the CTW, FIA Islamabad, it transpired that former prime minister namely Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, former foreign minister namely Shah Mahmood Qureshi and their other associates are involved in communications of information contained in the secret classified document (Cipher Telegram received from Parep. Washington dated 7th March 2022 to Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to the unauthorized person (i.e. public at large) by twisting the facts to achieve their ulterior motives and personal gains in a manner prejudicial to the interests of state security.”

Both leaders were subsequently detained in connection with the case investigation, and a special court was set up in accordance with the Official Secrets Act to hear the case’s defendants.

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