Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cites International Concerns in PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s Cipher Case Hearing
In a recent development, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has expressed concerns about holding an open hearing for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s bail plea in the cipher case, citing potential risks to international relations. The cipher case revolves around a diplomatic document reportedly missing from Imran Khan’s possession, which the PTI claims contained a threat from the United States to remove Imran Khan from office.
The incident occurred following a bomb attack near government buildings in Ankara, with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claiming responsibility. Subsequently, Imran Khan’s three-year jail term in the Toshakhana case was suspended, but he remained in judicial remand in the cipher case.
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Earlier this month, Imran Khan’s post-arrest bail plea, along with that of PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, was rejected by the special court. In response, Imran Khan approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking relief.
However, in a recent twist, the FIA filed a plea in the IHC requesting in-camera proceedings for Imran Khan’s bail application in the cipher case. The agency argued that the release of certain statements and content in an open court could jeopardize relations with other countries.
During the hearing, Imran Khan’s lawyer, Barrister Salman Safdar, pointed out the contradiction between the FIA’s request for secrecy and the agency’s earlier claim that Imran Khan had already made the cipher public.
The IHC reserved its verdict on the FIA’s plea, emphasizing the importance of balancing transparency with security. Meanwhile, the court also acknowledged the complexity of the case, which revolves around a secret document decoded by the Foreign Office.
In a separate development, an IHC bench accepted PTI’s petitions challenging the trial courts’ decisions to dismiss Imran Khan’s bail in nine cases related to violent protests. The IHC set aside the trial courts’ verdicts and directed them to reconsider the bail petitions.
These legal proceedings underscore the intricate nature of Imran Khan’s legal challenges and the delicate balance between transparency and national security concerns in high-profile cases.