Thu, 07 Dec 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 26 (ANI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman, Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the vice chairman, had their judicial detention in the cipher case extended by a special court on Tuesday by 14 days now, reported Dawn.

The cipher case refers to a diplomatic document which reportedly went missing from Imran Khan's possession. The judicial remand of Khan and Qureshi has been extended till October 10.

According to the PTI, it contained a US threat to depose Imran from office. It was discovered that the PTI chairman had been held on judicial remand in the cipher case after the Toshakhana case's three-year prison sentence was suspended, Dawn reported.

Imran's special court proceedings are being held at the Attock jail "for security reasons," according to a notice from the law ministry.

Notably, Imran's judicial detention along with Qureshi's was originally prolonged until September 13 and then again until September 26.

The special court earlier this month denied the bail requests of both leaders. Imran then went to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to ask for post-arrest bail. The former premier had been sent to the Adiala prison, under an IHC order. However, security concerns and the lack of a documented order are the major reasons he is still being held at the Attock prison.

The hearing was held behind closed doors today at the Attock prison, and it was presided over by Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain. Extensive security preparations were made outside the jail before the hearing, according to Dawn.

The law ministry had yesterday issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the hearing to be held at the Attock jail. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team and Imran's lawyers Salman Safdar and Umair Niazi attended the session. The PTI leader's attorneys Naeem Haider Panjotha and Latif Khosa also arrived at the jail to take part in the session. The ex-premier's legal remand was then extended to October 10. The court further directed the FIA to file a challan of the matter as soon as possible.

The cipher controversy first emerged on March 27, 2022, when Imran Khan just days before his ouster in April 2022 brandished a letter, claiming that it was a cypher from a foreign nation, which mentioned that his government should be ousted from power, according to The News International report.

He did not reveal the contents of the letter and the name of the nation that had sent it.

However, a few days later Imran Khan named the United States and said that US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu had sought his removal. The PTI chairman had claimed that he wasreading contents from the cypher and said that "all will be forgiven for Pakistan Imran Khan is removed from power". (ANI)

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