Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s judicial remand extended in cipher case until September 26

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In the cipher case, the judicial remand of Imran Khan, the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and the Vice Chairman of the party, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has been extended until September 26 by a special court operating under the Official Secrets Act.

Imran Khan has been in jail since August 5, following his conviction in the Toshakhana case for not accurately declaring gifts received while in office.

Although the Islamabad High Court (IHC) overturned a lower court’s decision that sentenced him to three years in prison with a Rs100,000 fine, preventing him from participating in upcoming elections, he remains incarcerated due to his arrest in the cipher case.

Last month, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officially arrested the former prime minister and former foreign minister in the cipher case, charging them under the Official Secrets Act.

During the recent hearing, Judge Zulqarnain instructed the FIA to present a challan in the cipher case on September 26.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi was taken into custody on August 19 from his residence in Islamabad in connection with the same cipher case, while Imran Khan was arrested in the cipher case while serving his sentence in Attock jail.

The first information report (FIR) against the PTI leaders stated, “Following the conclusion of the 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 on March 7, 2022, to the Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to unauthorized individuals (i.e., the public at large) by distorting the facts to serve their hidden motives and personal gains, in a manner detrimental to state security interests.”

The Law Ministry established the special court under the Official Secrets Act to handle the cipher case, and ATC Judge Zulqarnain was given an additional responsibility to preside over the proceedings.

Recently, the IHC reserved its verdict on Khan’s petition challenging the Law Ministry’s decision to conduct his trial in Attock jail, citing security concerns.