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Saturday, March 02, 2024  
21 Shaban 1445  

Imran Khan, Qureshi arrested in cypher leak case

The FIA arrested Qureshi from his Islamabad residence shortly after he held a press conference
Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is facing terrorism charges, appears in court to extend pre-arrest bail, in Islamabad, Pakistan September 1, 2022 - REUTERS
Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is facing terrorism charges, appears in court to extend pre-arrest bail, in Islamabad, Pakistan September 1, 2022 - REUTERS

PTI Chief Imran Khan was arrested in the US cypher case along with PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi who was arrested from his Islamabad residence earlier.

The PTI chief is doing time in the Attock jail after he was convicted in the Toshakhana criminal case on August 5.

Earlier, Qureshi was arrested in Islamabad shortly after addressing a press conference against the delay in holding general elections.

The FIA arrested him from his Islamabad residence.

The FIA officials were moving him to the agency’s headquarters in the capital city.

Sources said that Qureshi was nabbed in connection with a diplomatic cypher at the heart of PTI’s claim about a US conspiracy to remove Imran Khan from power.

At the presser on Saturday, Qureshi confirmed reports that he had met with foreign ambassadors in Islamabad, including Donald Blome, but said that he did not discuss with them Imran Khan’s release or the diplomatic cypher.

The PTI chief made the claim about cypher and conspiracy in March 2022 but later retracted it partially saying it was Gen Bajwa and not Washington that hatched the conspiracy.

Earlier this month, when the alleged contents of the cypher were published by The Intercept, the government booked Imran Khan for leaking the cypher under Official Secrets Act, though it did not confirm the authenticity of what was published by the online American magazine.

Call to CJP Bandial

Qureshi told the press conference the PTI was going to challenge the Council of Common Interests (CCI) decision to notify the latest census, a step that mandated the ECP to hold elections under fresh delimitation. This in turn means the election would be delayed until February.

But Qureshi said the election could not be postponed beyond the 90-day period mandated in the constitution and if that happened the party would approach the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Qureshi also urged the chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, to take suo motu notice.

PTI confirmed the arrest of its vice chairman in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Shah Mahmood Qureshi was arrested by a heavy contingent of police from his residence in Islamabad. Shah Mehmood Qureshi is being transferred to FIA headquarters,” the party account wrote on X.

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