- Ruling issued on a petition against PM's intent to disclose letter in public
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday cautioned Prime Minister Imran Khan over making public the "threat letter," saying that doing so would amount to breaching section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, Aaj News reported.
The court gave the warning on a petition filed by a citizen, Naeem Khan, through his counsel Ali Raza.
The petitioner said he had been aggrieved by Mr Khan’s statement that he would disclose the contents of a confidential letter. He pointed out that Mr Khan could not disclose it as the prime minister was barred from doing so under Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah stated in the order that “the worthy prime minister is an elected leader of the treasury benches. The court is confident that as an elected prime minister he would not disclose any information or act in breach of Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, nor the oath taken by him under the Constitution”.
Justice Minallah cautioned that “any decision taken by the worthy prime minister has to be in consonance with his obligations under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and in letter and spirit of the oath of the office”.
He said “the court has trust and confidence that the worthy prime minister of Pakistan would not reveal any information which may be prejudicial to the national interest and national integrity of Pakistan nor that he would act in any manner that would have the effect of violating his oath”.
The court disposed of the petition without issuing the restraining order, observing that “passing a restraining order would unjustifiably reflect lack of confidence in an elected prime minister”.
Speaking at an event earlier, PM Imran had said that he would “share the letter with Pakistan’s top journalists and one representative from each ally”.
He added that people can make whatever decision they want, but warned that they should be aware of the fact that, directly or indirectly, they may become a part of a "huge international conspiracy".
"The letter shows how big a conspiracy it is against the government, and it is a far bigger conspiracy than what I am telling to you," the PM added, currently facing a no-confidence vote.