PTI founder’s counsel concludes arguments


Salman Safdar says cipher copy was in custody of Azam Khan, he was responsible for his safety.

ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) founder’s counsel Tuesday concluded his arguments in appeals of former prime minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi against their conviction in the cipher case.

A special bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing in the appeals moved against their conviction in the cipher case. During the hearing, Salman Safdar Advocate, representing the PTI leaders, stated that the cipher was in custody of Azam Khan as he received the cipher. He added that the cipher copy issued to the Principal Secretary was not returned. He contended that cipher copy was in safe custody of Principal Secretary Azam Khan and it was his primary duty to protect the same. At this, the IHC Chief Justice asked that what Azam Khan received in the official movement will not be considered the responsibility of the Prime Minister. Safdar replied that if Azam Khan had received it, it was also his responsibility to return it. 

Justice Aamer asked, “Did Azam Khan give you the copy? What is your position? Did the prime minister take it or not?” Barrister Safdar said his position was that the cipher copy was lost from the Prime Minister’s office and this is what Azam Khan said. He added that when the cipher copy was not found, the foreign ministry was informed. He further said that according to the mechanism if the cipher is lost it was necessary to report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which happened on March 28 and according to the mechanism the departmental inquiry has to be done by the senior officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which did not happen.

In response to queries from the bench, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) lawyers elaborated on the timeline of events surrounding the receipt and transmission of the cipher. They highlighted the protocols in place for the preservation of official documents and emphasized the gravity of their disappearance. Later, the bench deferred hearing of the case till Wednesday (today) for further proceedings.

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