In Islamabad, a special court convened under the Official Secrets Act has extended the judicial remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan and the party’s Vice Chairman, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, until October 10 in the cipher case.
Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain presided over the proceedings, which took place at Attock jail. PTI legal representatives, including Barrister Salman Safdar, Latif Khosa, Umer Niazi, and Naeem Panjutha, appeared before the court, alongside the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team.
Meanwhile, Qureshi arrived at the Federal Judicial Complex in handcuffs, accompanied by an FIA team, where his attendance was recorded. Subsequently, the court extended his judicial remand until October 10.
Last month, the FIA charged Imran Khan and the PTI’s Vice Chairman under the Official Secrets Act, alleging the mishandling and misuse of classified documents for political gain.
According to the FIR filed against the PTI leaders, “Following the conclusion of inquiry No. 111/2023 dated 05.10.2022, registered in the CTW, FIA Islamabad, it was revealed that former Prime Minister Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and their associates were involved in disseminating information from a secret classified document (Cipher Telegram received from Parep. Washington dated 7th March, 2022 to Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to unauthorized individuals (the general public) by distorting the facts to further their hidden agendas and personal interests, in a manner prejudicial to state security.”
Subsequently, both leaders were arrested as part of the investigation, and a special court was established under the Official Secrets Act to prosecute the accused.
Lawyer Khosa, speaking to the media, expressed that if the FIA had submitted the challan (formal charge sheet) in court, Imran Khan would have been granted bail today. He also voiced concerns about violations of law and the Constitution in the country.
Regarding the arrest of PTI leaders despite court-issued bail, the counsel for Imran Khan remarked that court orders are being disregarded by the authorities and cited the example of Parvez Elahi, who has been granted bail multiple times but remains in custody.
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