Imran Khan questioned for two hours in US cipher case

1690309885 Imran Khan questioned for two hours in US cipher case
Former prime minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with AFP at his residence in Lahore on May 18, 2023. — AFP
Former prime minister Imran Khan speaks throughout an interview with AFP at his residence in Lahore on Could 18, 2023. — AFP

Ex-prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was questioned for round two hours by a Federal Investigation Company’s (FIA) joint investigation group in a case involving the diplomatic cable — a cipher that the previous ruling celebration claimed accommodates particulars of a risk made by the USA in opposition to the earlier authorities.

Imran, throughout a public gathering on March 27, 2022, in Islamabad, waved a letter claiming that it was proof of an “worldwide conspiracy” backed by the US to topple his authorities.

Final week, the investigation company summoned the deposed prime minister — who was faraway from workplace by way of a no-confidence movement in April final yr — immediately (Tuesday) after the Lahore Excessive Courtroom (LHC) withdrew a keep order in opposition to the call-up discover to Imran by the FIA into the audio leak involving the US diplomatic cable.

The FIA launched investigations in opposition to the ex-prime minister for allegedly making public a confidential diplomatic cable and maintaining it in his possession.

As per particulars, the PTI chief appeared earlier than the joint investigation group of the federal probe authorities at its headquarters. After almost a two-hour-long interrogation, the deposed premier left the FIA headquarters.

A day earlier, the FIA interrogated PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi for almost two hours in reference to its ongoing probe into the controversial US cipher.

Qureshi appeared earlier than an eight-member group headed by FIA Islamabad Zone Director Rana Abdul Jabbar after it had summoned him — as he is without doubt one of the central characters within the cipher saga on account of his place because the overseas minister throughout PTI’s tenure.

Officers from completely different FIA wings and one grade-19 officer every from three completely different intelligence establishments had been additionally current in the course of the PTI vice chairman’s interrogation.

The cipher drama took a brand new flip final week when former premier’s then-principal secretary Azam Khan “recorded” an announcement, terming the US cipher a “conspiracy” utilized by the ex-PM to “manipulate for making a narrative in opposition to institution and opposition.

Azam, who had been “lacking” since final month, recorded his assertion below CrPC 164 earlier than a Justice of the Peace, sources mentioned.

In response to the event, Imran termed Azam an “trustworthy man” and mentioned he wouldn’t settle for the assertion till he heard the bureaucrat say it himself.

The PTI, nevertheless, termed the assertion attributed to the ex-principal secretary, on the US cipher conspiracy “unverified”, and mentioned it was a “set of contradictions”.


The controversy first emerged on March 27, 2022, when Imran — simply days earlier than his ouster — brandished a letter, claiming that it was a cipher from a overseas nation, which talked about that his authorities must be faraway from energy.

He didn’t reveal the contents of the letter nor point out the identify of the nation that had despatched it. However a couple of days later, he named the USA and mentioned that Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu had sought his elimination.

The cipher was about former Pakistan ambassador to the US Asad Majeed’s assembly with Lu.

The previous prime minister, claiming that he was studying contents from the cipher, mentioned that “all will probably be forgiven for Pakistan if Imran is faraway from energy”.

Then on March 31, the NSC took up the matter and determined to concern a “robust demarche” to the nation for its “blatant interference within the inside affairs of Pakistan”.

Later, after his elimination, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif convened a gathering of the NSC, which got here to the conclusion that it had discovered no proof of a overseas conspiracy within the cipher.

Months later, two audio leaks took the web by storm and shocked the general public after these occasions. The previous prime minister, then-federal minister Asad Umar, and Azam may allegedly be heard discussing the US cipher and tips on how to use it of their curiosity.

On September 30, the federal cupboard took discover of the matter and constituted a committee to probe the contents of the audio leaks.

In October, the cupboard gave the inexperienced sign to provoke motion in opposition to the previous prime minister and handed over the case to the FIA.

As soon as the FIA was given the duty to probe the matter, it summoned Imran, Umar, and different leaders of the celebration, however the PTI chief challenged the summons and secured a keep order from the court docket.

On July 18, the Lahore Excessive Courtroom recalled the keep order in opposition to the call-up discover to Imran by the FIA.

The FIA then once more issued summons to Imran, Umar, and Qureshi.