The Federal Investigation Agency has submitted a charge sheet to the special court prosecuting the former prime minister and foreign minister under the Official Secrets Act.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has charged former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as being responsible for the illegal retention and the subsequent misplacement of the secret cipher containing the diplomatic cable received from the Pakistani embassy in Washington in March 2022.
Saturday, the FIA presented the indictment to the special court assessing the case under the Official Secrets Act. According to the indictment, Imran violated the Official Secrets Act by illegally retaining and utilizing the Prime Minister House copy of the cipher.
The agency has requested that the case proceed to trial, where the involvement of the two defendants will be proven and they will be sentenced accordingly. In the cipher case, it is pertinent to note that both Imran and Qureshi remain in prison on judicial remand. According to sources, former federal minister of planning Asad Umar is not on the list of suspects.
The FIA, on the other hand, has submitted a list of 28 witnesses, including Azam Khan, Imran’s erstwhile principal secretary, who is designated as a state witness. His recorded statements under Sections 161 and 164 are appended to the charge document.
Witnesses also include former Pakistani ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan, who later became foreign minister, and former foreign minister Sohail Mahmood. Also included as witnesses are the former additional secretary for foreign affairs, Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, and all officials engaged in transporting the cipher from the Foreign Office to the Prime Minister’s House.
Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s accusations in the cipher case have sparked significant legal and political debate in Pakistan. It is anticipated that both the public and the media will pay close attention to the case as it develops. The outcome of the trial will establish if these accusations are true and any potential repercussions for the defendant as well as the Pakistani political system as a whole.