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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Khan Seeks Testimony of Bajwa and US Envoy in Cipher Case, Indictment Date Set

Imran Khan calls for the summoning of US envoy and ex-army general in the cypher case, as a special court sets December 12 for the indictment of PTI leaders in the cipher trial.

The special court overseeing the cipher case involving Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi has set a fresh indictment date for December 12, 2023. This decision follows the court’s determination to file charges afresh due to directives from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to conclude proceedings within a month.

The leaders are being tried under Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act 1923. The case stems from an incident in March 2022 when Imran Khan, before his ouster, brandished a piece of paper, allegedly a classified cipher, claiming an international conspiracy against his government. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) booked both leaders for the “wrongful use” of official secret information and illegal retention of the cipher.

Imran Khan‘s counsel, Babar Awan, revealed that Imran desires the summoning of the “US envoy and an ex-army general” by the special court. Imran contends that representatives from the US embassy should also testify.

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During his interaction with the media, Imran vowed to include General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa and US embassy officials as witnesses in his defense, claiming Bajwa acted on directives from the US. The special court’s decision to hold open-court hearings in Adiala jail and its subsequent directives have sparked controversy, especially regarding limited media access during proceedings.

Despite facing legal challenges, Imran Khan remains resolute, predicting a victory for PTI in the upcoming February 8 polls. He dismissed reports of negotiations in jail and emphasized that his arrest was part of a plan.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, co-accused in the cipher case, declared that PTI is in his heart, and he doesn’t need any post within the party. Imran’s bold move to name high-profile witnesses in his defense indicates a strategic shift in the case.