The Pakistan Cabinet approved the commencement of judicial proceedings against the former prime minister Imran Khan. An investigation was launched after two audio tapes emerged that allegedly have former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his aides discussing a US diplomatic cypher.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif presided over the cabinet meeting on Friday. According to Geo News on Sunday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Khan was accused by the cabinet of forsaking national interest for personal gain. The “theft” of diplomatic cypher records is described as an “unforgivable crime” and a breach of the Official Secrets Act of 1923
The federal cabinet stated that “vital national interests were compromised” as a result of the cable being stolen. It also noted that the cypher was obtained through fraud, forgery, and fabrication. The cables were interpreted in a manner to further political goals.
Political goals were prioritised above crucial national interests which is an act of unpardonable crime against the state, it was noted. In response to the audio leaks, the cabinet formed a committee and recommended legal action. The cabinet stated that legal action is crucial since this is a question of national security, which has major repercussions for national interests. It has asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will look into the situation.
The cabinet meeting was called after a copy diplomatic cypher was reported to be found missing from the PMO files. After learning that a copy of the diplomatic cypher was missing from the PM House files, the federal cabinet convened. In audio tapes that were allegedly leaked on Wednesday, Khan is heard allegedly instructing one of his aides on how to utilise a US cypher. According to reports, the PTI leader instructed his assistant to “play with” the cypher and make it look like a foreign plan to topple his government.
The aide, who is believed to be the former principal secretary Azam Khan, is heard suggesting Imran Khan meet with Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the foreign secretary Sohail Mehmood to record this by fabricating the meeting minutes.
According to ARY News, Maryam Nawaz, vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), sought a raid on Imran Khan’s home on Saturday to find the missing copy of the cypher. She accused him of conspiring to distort normal diplomatic communication for personal advantage.
A cypher is allegedly supposed to be a secret diplomatic cable. The leak of such a cypher fanned speculation that the US sought to overthrow Imran Khan’s administration and bring about a change of government in Pakistan.
The cypher allegedly contains minutes of the meeting between then-envoy Asad Majeed and State Department representative Donald Lu. It has been at the centre of PTI’s assertion that the US plotted with individuals inside of Pakistan to remove Imran from power.