Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan booked under Official Secrets Act in Cipher case

19 August, 2023 | Aditi

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The PTI leader Imran Khan has been charged under Section 5 of the recently modified law for violating the Official Secrets Act of 1923 in connection with the Cipher case.

Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, has been charged with violating the Official Secrets Act of 1923 in connection with the Cipher case.
After discovering his deliberate involvement in misusing the classified document through an investigation, the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) counter-terrorism wing registered the case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman, who was removed from office following a no-confidence motion in April of last year.
According to government sources, the PTI leader has been charged under Section 5 of the recently modified law. Authorities were reluctant to release a copy of the FIR.

If Section 5 violations are established in a court of law, they can result in sentences ranging from two to 14 years in jail and, in some circumstances, even the death penalty.

When the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman displayed a letter in March in year 2022, he claimed it was proof of a “international conspiracy” supported by the US to overthrow his government.
A joint investigative team (JIT) from the Federal investigative Agency (FIA) questioned former Imran Khan inside the Attock jail earlier on Wednesday in connection with the cable gate scandal.

Notably, the cipher case against Khan became serious after his principal secretary Azam Khan testified before a magistrate and the FIA that the former PM had exploited the US cipher for his ‘political benefits’ and to avoid a vote of no-confidence against him.
According to the former bureaucrat’s confession, he was “euphoric” when he gave the cipher to the previous premier and called the language a “US blunder” at the time.
The former PM allegedly stated that the cable might be utilized for “creating a narrative against establishment and opposition” at that point, according to Azam.

Despite his recommendation to the PTI chairman to refrain from such behaviour, according to Azam, the PTI chairman employed the US cipher at political events. He said the former prime minister had also warned him that the cipher may be used to draw attention away from “foreign involvement” in the opposition’s no-confidence motion.

Imran did not disclose the letter’s contents or identify the country that sent it when making his assertions. However, he mentioned the United States a few days later and claimed that “Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu had sought his removal.”

The former prime minister is currently imprisoned at Attock Jail after being found guilty by a trial court in Islamabad of concealing the proceeds of Toshakhana (state depository) gifts that he received from foreign dignitaries while serving as the nation’s prime minister from 2018 to 2022. The court also fined him PKR 1,000,000 and sentenced him to three years in prison.
After his conviction, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared him ineligible to occupy public office for a period of five years.

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