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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ex-COAS Bajwa ready to appear as witness in cipher case

Imran Khan is charged under the Official Secrets Act, of 1923, and the special court has scheduled his indictment for December 12. Khan had previously alleged that General Bajwa acted on directives from US diplomat Donald Lu.

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan may face an unexpected development in the cipher case, as former army chief General (r) Qamar Javed Bajwa has expressed his “willingness to appear” as a witness.

During a previous hearing, Khan mentioned his intention to include General Bajwa and US embassy officials as witnesses. Sources indicate that General Bajwa may indeed appear as a witness, pending approval from military authorities.

Read more: Imran Khan selects Barrister Gohar for the position of PTI chairman

Imran Khan is charged under the Official Secrets Act, of 1923, and the special court has scheduled his indictment for December 12. Khan had previously alleged that General Bajwa acted on directives from US diplomat Donald Lu. However, statements from prosecution witnesses, including the former secretary of foreign affairs and Pakistan’s ex-ambassador to the US, contradict Khan’s claims.

The cipher in question pertains to a conversation between Lu and the ambassador, deemed offensive, leading to recommendations for a demarche. The National Security Committee found no evidence of conspiracy during both Imran Khan’s and Shehbaz Sharif’s governments. Despite this, Khan insists he is a victim of a regime-change conspiracy, originally blaming the US and later suggesting the conspiracy originated within Pakistan.

Witness statements contradict Khan’s narrative, suggesting graver charges against him, including using secret communication for political gain, harming Pakistan’s relations with the US, and mishandling the document. Statements from Azam Khan, the then secretary to the PM, and Sohail Mehmood, the foreign secretary at the time, reveal Khan’s intent to create a political narrative against opposition parties using the cipher.

Read more: Pakistan’s Imran Khan denied court-ordered public trial – lawyer

Asad Majeed Khan, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, emphasized that his communication with Lu did not mention “threat” or “conspiracy,” and National Security Committee meetings found no evidence of a foreign conspiracy for regime change in Pakistan.