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HomeSouth AsiaCipher case: Pakistani government challenges Imran Khan

Cipher case: Pakistani government challenges Imran Khan

Islamabad, Pakistan: The Pakistan government lodged a challenge in the Supreme Court on Thursday against the acquittal of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case. This case revolves around an incident where Khan presented a piece of paper, allegedly a diplomatic communication, during a public rally in Islamabad, claiming it as evidence of a conspiracy against his government by a foreign entity, notably referring to US diplomat Donald Lu, who was central to the cipher controversy.

Khan showcased the cipher paper just two weeks before the PTI government was ousted in April 2022 through a vote of no-confidence in Parliament. Initially, Khan and Qureshi were sentenced to 10 years in prison in the cipher case by a special court under the Official Secrets Act in January. However, they appealed the sentence, and last week, the Islamabad High Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, accepted their appeals, thus acquitting them in the case.

The federal government has contested their acquittal in the Supreme Court, which will ultimately determine their fate in the case. The petition argued that the IHC’s decision was “perverse, arbitrary, and contrary to the available evidence” and therefore should be overturned. It highlighted that the IHC failed to consider the evidence and the defendant’s admissions adequately, rendering the judgment legally unsustainable. As of now, the apex court has not scheduled a hearing date.

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