FIA questions Imran Khan in ‘Ciphergate saga’ case

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    The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan questioned Imran Khan, the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), for nearly two hours in a case related to the “Cablegate saga.” This saga involves a cipher allegedly containing details of a threat made by the United States against the previous Pakistani government.

    On March 27, 2022, during a public gathering in Islamabad, Imran Khan presented a letter as evidence of an “international conspiracy” supported by the US to overthrow his government.

    Last week, the FIA summoned Imran Khan after the Lahore High Court withdrew a stay order against the investigation into the audio leak related to the US diplomatic cable.

    The FIA is investigating the former prime minister for allegedly making a confidential diplomatic cable public and keeping it in his possession.

    Imran Khan appeared before the joint investigation team of the FIA, and after nearly two hours of questioning, he left the FIA headquarters.

    Earlier, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi was also interrogated for nearly two hours by the FIA in connection with the same investigation.

    The controversy began when Imran Khan, just before his removal from office, revealed a cipher from a foreign nation that allegedly mentioned his government should be removed from power. He later named the United States as the sender and claimed Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu sought his removal.

    The matter was taken up by the National Security Council (NSC), which decided to issue a strong demarche to the country for interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs. However, later investigations found no evidence of a foreign conspiracy in the cipher.

    Subsequently, audio leaks surfaced involving the former prime minister, Asad Umar, and Azam Khan allegedly discussing the US cipher and how to use it in their interest.

    On September 30, the federal cabinet formed a committee to probe the contents of the audio leaks. In October, action was initiated against the former prime minister, and the case was handed over to the FIA.

    Imran Khan challenged the FIA’s summons but lost the legal battle, leading to his recent interrogation by the agency.