Asad Umar secures pre-arrest bail in cipher case

ISLAMABAD (NATION MON­ITORING): PTI leader Asad Umar on Tuesday secured pre-arrest bail from a spe­cial court in Islamabad — es­tablished a day earlier to hear the cases filed under the Of­ficial Secrets Act — in the on­going cipher case. The bail was approved with surety bonds of Rs100,000. Talking to reporters outside the court, he also refut­ed media reports regarding his arrest by the Federal Investi­gation Agency (FIA). These re­ports emerged after a first in­formation report (FIR) was registered against PTI Chair­man Imran Khan and party leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi under the Official Secrets Act. It also named Umar as one of the “associates” that investigators wanted to question in this con­nection. A day earlier, the spe­cial court remanded Qureshi into FIA custody for four days. Separately, the agency also re­cently interrogated Imran in Attock jail, where he is cur­rently serving a sentence in the Toshakhana case. Umar, along with PTI lawyer Babar Awan, reached the special court in Is­lamabad on Tuesday. In an ap­plication submitted in court, he said the FIR was registered against him “in collusion with the government with mala fide intentions and ulterior mo­tives”. It stated that the peti­tioner was “falsely implicat­ed” in the case to “blackmail, harass, pressurise and humili­ate” him. “The story narrated in the FIR is false, frivolous, fab­ricated, concocted, unfounded and vexatious and the petition­er has no concern whatsoever with the alleged offences men­tioned,” the plea added. Umar further said in the petition that he was ready to join the inves­tigation “as and when required” and prayed that he be grant­ed bail before arrest. Talking to reporters later outside court, Umar rejected reports of his ar­rest. There was speculation that he was picked up in the cipher case along with PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi. “Reports of my arrest are false,” Umar told reporters. “I was not arrested by FIA. I have come to the court to receive pre-arrest bail.