The Islamabad High Court Monday issued a notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's petition seeking post-arrest bail in the cipher case. The court's notices came during the hearing of Khan's bail petition challenging the special court's decision in the said case last week. The plea was filed by the PTI chairman on Saturday and was fixed for hearing today. The special court — established under the Official Secrets Act — had rejected the post-arrest bail pleas of Khan and his party's Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the case of the missing cipher. IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq issued notices in response to the plea filed by lawyer Salman Safdar on behalf of the PTI chief.
The Islamabad High Court has taken action on a petition by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. This petition seeks post-arrest bail for Khan in the cipher case. During the hearing, the court issued notices to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) regarding Khan's bail request. This move comes after the special court, which operates under the Official Secrets Act, denied post-arrest bail for both Khan and his party's Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case.
Khan's plea for bail was filed on Saturday and brought before the court today. The Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq issued the notices in response to the petition, which was presented by lawyer Salman Safdar on behalf of PTI's leader. Khan's legal team had requested an expedited hearing, but the Chief Justice emphasized that there is a proper procedure to follow, and the case will be decided accordingly. The FIA has been instructed to provide a response to Khan's petition.
Currently, both Khan and Qureshi are on judicial remand in connection with the cipher case until September 26. Last month, the FIA charged the PTI leader and the party's vice chairman under the Official Secrets Act, alleging that they mishandled and misused a classified document for their political advantage.
The cipher case originated on March 27, 2022, when Khan displayed a letter, claiming it was a cipher from a foreign nation. He alleged that the document called for his government's removal from power. He initially didn't reveal the contents of the letter or name the sending nation but later identified the United States and accused Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu of seeking his ouster.
The National Security Committee (NSC) took up the matter, leading to tension between the two nations. After Khan's removal from office, the NSC found no evidence of foreign conspiracy in the cipher.
The cipher case intensified after Khan's principal secretary, Azam Khan, stated that the former prime minister had used the US cipher for political gains and to deflect a vote of no-confidence against him. Azam reported that Khan had used the cipher in political gatherings and aimed to create a narrative of foreign involvement in the opposition's no-confidence motion.
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