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ISLAMABAD: A special court, on Wednesday, rejected the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s request for an extension of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s physical remand and sent him to jail in the cypher case registered against him and PTI Chairman Imran Khan under Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.

The FIA produced Qureshi before special court judge Abu Al-Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain after the expiry of the previous two-day physical remand.

Qureshi’s lawyers, Shoaib Shaheen and Babar Awan, and FIA prosecutor Shah Khawar appeared before the court.

The judge was conducting an in-camera hearing of the case in the special court, which was recently established under the Official Secrets Act.

At the start of the hearing, prosecutor Khawar requested the court to extend the physical remand of Qureshi to conduct further investigation from him.

Qureshi’s lawyer opposed the FIA’s prosecutor’s request regarding the extension of Qureshi’s remand.

Awan also filed Qureshi’s post-arrest bail application before the court.

The court issued notices to both parties and sought arguments on Qureshi’s bail plea during the next hearing to be held on September 2.

According to the copy of the FIR registered on August 15, consequent upon the conclusion of inquiry No 111/2023 upon the complaint registered in the Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW), FIA, it transpired that former prime minister namely, Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, former foreign minister namely, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and their other associates are involved in the communication of information contained in the secret classified document (cypher telegram received from Parep Washington dated March 7, 2022, to secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to the unauthorised persons (i.e., public at large) by twisting the facts to achieve their “ulterior motives” and personal gains in a manner prejudicial to the interests of state security.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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