Cipher case: FIA submits challan against PTI chairman, Qureshi in court

The FIA has submitted challan of the cipher case in a special court constituted under the official secrets act.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and party’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been indicted in the challan.

The FIA pleaded to the court for trial and conviction of the Chairman PTI and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Sources said that former minister and PTI leader Asad Umar has not been named in the list of the accused.

Former principal secretary to the PM Azam Khan has become a strong witness in the FIA’s case. His statement under 161 and 164 has also been annexed with the challan, according to sources.

“The chairman PTI kept cipher with him and misused the state secret,” sources said. “A copy of the cipher given to the chairman PTI was not returned back,” according to sources.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi delivered a speech on March 27 and later assisted the PTI chairman. “Transcripts of PTI chairman and Qureshi’s speeches have also been attached with challan,” sources said.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has also submitted a list of 28 witnesses in the court with challan, sources shared.

Statements of 27 witnesses recorded under section 161, have also been annexed with the challan.

Incumbent Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed Khan, former foreign secretary Suhail Mehmood, additional foreign secretary Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, have been among the FIA witnesses in the case.

All persons involved in delivery of the cipher from the foreign ministry to the prime minister, have been named in the list of witnesses in the case, sources added.

Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain, who heard the case at the Attock District Jail under the Official Secrets Act 2023, extended the judicial remand of Imran Khan till October 10 in the missing cipher case, a classified state document.

Cipher case

The first information report (FIR) was registered on August 15 under the Official Secrets Act. It was registered on the complaint of the Home Secretary.

Former prime minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were nominated in the report, while names of former principal secretary Azam Khan and former planning minister Asad Umar were also mentioned.

According to the report, action also will be taken against Azam Khan and Asad Umar after the authorities reached the conclusion that they were also involved in misusing the classified documents.

The FIR stated that the former prime minister and foreign minister distorted the facts of the diplomatic cipher. “A conspiracy was launched to misuse the contents of the cipher to fulfill nefarious purposes”, it added. It further stated that former premier and top diplomat endangered the state interests.

The report claimed that former prime minister asked Azam Khan – the then principal secretary – to “manipulate the contents of cipher”. “The former premier deliberately kept the copy of diplomatic cipher, which was sent to the PM office”, it added.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt