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IHC Nullifies Imran Khan And Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s Conviction In Cipher Case

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ISLAMABAD: In a significant development favoring the embattled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Islamabad High Court (IHC) delivered a verdict on Monday, annulling the conviction of party founder Imran Khan and Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the high-profile cipher case. This case had entailed accusations of misusing and misplacing a classified diplomatic document.

Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC announced the concise verdict following pleas challenging the conviction in the cipher case.

Earlier this year, both the PTI founder and the party’s vice-chairman were handed down 10-year prison sentences in the cipher case, marking a significant legal blow.

The cipher case revolves around allegations that the former prime minister publicly disclosed the contents of a secret cable sent by the Pakistani ambassador in Washington to the government in Islamabad.

Ciphergate: Unraveling the Controversy

The saga began on March 27, 2022, when Imran Khan, shortly before his ouster in April 2022, brandished a letter during a public rally, alleging it to be a cipher from a foreign nation that colluded with his political adversaries to topple the PTI government. Although he did not divulge the letter’s contents or specify its origin, Khan subsequently accused the United States of orchestrating his removal, implicating Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs, Donald Lu.

The cipher reportedly detailed a meeting between Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US and Lu, prompting Khan to assert that his removal from power would absolve Pakistan of all transgressions.

Following these events, the National Security Committee (NSC) convened on March 31, resolving to lodge a strong protest with the US for its alleged interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

Subsequently, a meeting of the NSC, chaired by then-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, concluded that there was no evidence of foreign conspiracy in the cable.

In the wake of these revelations, two audio leaks surfaced, capturing conversations purportedly involving Imran Khan, former federal minister Asad Umar, and then-principal secretary Azam strategizing on leveraging the US cipher to their advantage.

Stay tuned for further updates…

 

Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi is an award-winning digital, print, and broadcast investigative journalist who is the co-founder of The Scoop. He also hosts his web shows 'The Scoop' and 'The Hassan Naqvi Show'.

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