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Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Acquitted in Biggest Cipher Case

© AP Photo / STRPakistan's ex-cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, center, is surrounded by his supporters as he arrives to lead what organizers are calling the "peace march," in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.
Pakistan's ex-cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, center, is surrounded by his supporters as he arrives to lead what organizers are calling the peace march, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. - Sputnik India, 1920, 03.06.2024
PTI founder Imran Khan and PTI vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi are expected to remain in jail due to Imran's conviction in the Iddat case and Qureshi's recent arrest in connection with May 9 2023 incident.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) acquitted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and party Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi after they contested their conviction in the сipher case on Monday.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb rendered a brief verdict upon accepting the appeals of the former Prime Minister and diplomat against their convictions in the case.

Despite this decision, it is anticipated that both individuals will remain in prison due to Imran's sentence in the Iddat case and Qureshi's recent arrest in the 9 May 2023 cases.

A special court, established under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), sentenced both Khan and Qureshi to 10-year prison terms each in January after Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain appointed a state counsel for them.

Cipher That Proves US Was Behind Khan's Ouster

The Cipher case revolves around a diplomatic document that the Federal Investigation Agency's charge sheet alleges was never returned by then-Prime Minister Khan, who contended that the document contained a threat from the US aimed at destabilizing his government.

The politician has repeatedly suggested the existence of a cipher detailing US pressure on Pakistan to oust him from power through a vote of no confidence. Although he never revealed its full contents, he occasionally cited statements attributed to US officials promising that "all will be forgiven" if the politician is removed from office.

Ironically, Khan was sentenced to jail on charges of "disclosing state secrets" for disclosing this "cipher."
Pakistan's ex-Prime Minister and his PTI government were ousted from power in April 2022 through a parliamentary vote of no confidence, a move for which the former PM openly holds the United States responsible.

According to Khan, Washington was displeased with his independent foreign policy, including efforts to improve ties with Russia.

The cipher case stemmed from Khan's public exhibition of a paper during a rally in Islamabad on March 27, 2022, claiming it as evidence of an "international conspiracy" before a vote of no-confidence led to his government's removal.

The FIA began its probe into the so-called "cipher-gate" on July 19, 2023, after the previous coalition government initiated an official inquiry against him and his close associates for violating the OSA.

He was arrested on August 5, following his conviction in the Toshakhana case. Later, he was also arrested in the cypher case on August 29.
According to the challan papers, both Imran and Qureshi were charged under sections 5 and 9 of the OSA, which carry the possibility of the death penalty or life imprisonment.
Previously, the cipher trial commenced inside the Adiala jail, but an IHC division bench subsequently annulled all proceedings, ordering a fresh open-court trial.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand on September 15, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 30.05.2024
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