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Friday, May 24, 2024

US State Dept Avoids Detailed Comment on Imran Khan’s Cipher Case Sentence

During the daily press briefing on Tuesday, spokesperson Matthew Miller stated, "It’s a matter for the Pakistani courts." He emphasized that Khan's sentencing was a legal issue ultimately under the jurisdiction of Pakistani courts.

The United States State Department refrained from offering detailed comments on the 10-year sentence imposed on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan in the cipher case, as reported by The News on Wednesday.

During the daily press briefing on Tuesday, spokesperson Matthew Miller stated, “It’s a matter for the Pakistani courts.” He emphasized that Khan’s sentencing was a legal issue ultimately under the jurisdiction of Pakistani courts.

Read more: Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan, wife Bushra Bibi sentenced to 14 years in state gifts case

“We have been monitoring the case, or cases I should say, brought against the former prime minister, but we do not have any remarks on the sentencing,” he remarked.

Both Khan and party leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi received 10-year sentences each in the cipher case, relating to allegations that Khan disclosed the contents of a secret cable sent by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington to the government in Islamabad.

This marks the second conviction for the embattled PTI founder in recent months, following a three-year sentence in a corruption case. Although his jail term was suspended pending appeal, it had already barred him from participating in the general elections the following month.

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Miller, commenting on the sentencing, reiterated that the prosecution of the former prime minister is a legal matter, and the State Department would defer to Pakistani courts regarding such matters. However, he stressed the importance of a democratic process that allows broad participation and respects democratic principles.

Regarding other related inquiries, Miller declined to comment on the notices served to 47 journalists by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for allegedly running a smear campaign against the country’s judiciary, stating he was not familiar with the reports.

When asked about US President Joe Biden’s policy on Pakistan and whether he has gained more respect among ordinary Pakistanis, Miller refrained from speaking on behalf of the people of Pakistan. Instead, he highlighted the US’s engagement to promote stability, democracy, and economic ties with Pakistan, aiming to improve the lives of its people, affirming the continuation of this policy.