Pakistan: Imran Khan and Qureshi Indicted in Cipher Case
Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi have been indicted in the cipher case. Khan was arrested on August 29. This case goes back to March 27, 2022 when he displayed a paper during a political rally in Islamabad. He told the rally that the paper was evidence of an international conspiracy.
Formal investigation in the cipher-gate was initiated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on July 19, 2023 following a call for an official inquiry against Khan and his associates. Khan and Qureshi, according to the challan papers, were charged under sections 5 and 9 of the OSA.
The latest indictment follows the one in October 23. Khan and Qureshi have pleaded not guilty. A fresh trial has been started by the special court headed by Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain.
Imran Khan Wants US Envoy Summoned
During the hearing, Imran Khan asked for a US envoy and former army general to be summoned. Babar Awan, Khan’s lawyer, told the media that his client during the hearing said the US embassy representative should be called and he also took the name of a former general.
Qureshi also asked the special court to summon President Dr Arif Alvi to testify before the court whether he had assented to the changes to the Official Secrets Act, 1923. Awan said there has been a deliberate attempt to hinder Khan and the PTI from engaging in the upcoming general elections.
Khan told the media that the so-called London Plan was at work under which Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif was brought back to the country and he was put behind bars. He claimed that May 9 violence was also part of the London Plan and that his arrest was illegal.
Imran Khan Ready for Upcoming Elections
Despite the cipher case, Imran Khan and his PTI are preparing for the upcoming elections. Awan said the PTI will contest from every seat. “Our candidates will contest from every seat. No other party is as prepared for election as we are. The Constitution says and people believe that the way forward for Pakistan is to close these fictitious cases and trials.”
The lawyer added that the people should be given a chance to elect leaders of their choice.