The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has strongly rejected the charges presented by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the cipher case, terming the submitted challan as “devoid of substance.” The party spokesperson criticized the charges against former Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, stating that they were baseless.
The PTI spokesperson emphasized that the original cipher document remained at the Foreign Office, rendering the allegations against the former Prime Minister without merit. The document had been declassified by the federal cabinet, making the Official Secrets Act inapplicable and effectively ending the case.
Imran Khan had consistently called for an impartial investigation into the cipher case and had even appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the President for progress in this regard. However, the spokesperson noted that progress remained elusive.
The spokesperson highlighted several concerns, including the secretive nature of the trial within prison walls and significant delays in court proceedings. The PTI maintained that any verdict from an unlawful trial of a baseless case would lack legitimacy and would not be accepted by the nation.
In the pursuit of justice, the PTI advocated for the establishment of an independent and equitable judicial commission to investigate the cipher case and uncover the truth. The PTI Core Committee formally requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan to expedite the hearing of petitions related to the scheduling of general elections in the country, emphasizing the importance of adhering to constitutional requirements.
The committee raised concerns about the caretaker prime minister’s international travels using official resources, condemning the practice amid economic difficulties and resource shortages. They urged transparency regarding the expenses incurred on the caretaker premier’s entertainment from the national exchequer, emphasizing the importance of fiscal accountability.
In a separate report, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted a challan in the cipher case against Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. According to the FIA, Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi were found guilty in the matter, and the agency requested the court to conduct their trial and sentence them in the case.
Imran Khan’s former principal secretary, Azam Khan, was named as a “strong witness” in the case, and the FIA attached his statements recorded under Sections 161 and 164, along with the challan. The FIA also mentioned that Imran Khan had a copy of the cipher but did not return it.
The agency submitted a list of 28 witnesses to the court and included the names of former foreign secretaries as witnesses. The special court had extended the judicial remand of Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case.
The ciphergate controversy first emerged on March 27, 2022, when Imran Khan brandished a letter, claiming it was a cipher from a foreign nation that wanted his government removed from power. He accused the United States of involvement, which later led to a series of events and investigations related to the cipher case.