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ISLAMABAD/ATTOCK: A special court, on Wednesday, extended the judicial remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and PTI’s vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi till September 26 in the cypher case registered against him and his other party leaders under Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.

The special court judge, Zulqarnain, again reached the Attock jail after the Law Ministry issued a notification expressing no objection to conducting the trial of the cypher case against Imran Khan in Attock jail.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) prosecutor, Zulfiqar Naqvi, and PTI chief’s lawyers, Barrister Salman Safdar and Naeem Haider Panjutha appeared before the court.

At the start of the hearing, the court marked the attendance of the PTI chief.

The PTI chief’s lawyer, Naeem Haider Panjotha, after the hearing, tweeted and confirmed that the special court then extended Khan’s judicial remand for another 14 days.

The court issued directives that the accused be presented again on September 26 and also directed the FIA to submit a challan in the case during the next hearing.

The proceedings of the said case due to said reasons commenced within the premises of Attock jail, it said. The order further said that the previously accused Khan was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

According to the written order of the court, it received the notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice with regard to conducting the jail trial of accused Imran Khan confined at Attock jail in the cypher case.

It says that the accused has not raised any serious objection with respect to the facilities of jail being under trial prisoner requested for extension of time while meeting his wife in jail premises in isolation, however, this court further feels appropriate to issue direction to the superintendent jail for further betterment and providing more facilities in the light of the jail manual.

On the last date of the hearing, it was directed to the investigation officer (IO) to submit the challan of the instant case but today, he further requested and sought time for submission of the challan. As per the request of IO, the instant matter was adjourned till September 26, the order says.

Meanwhile, the PTI vice chairman was presented before the special courtjudge at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) Islamabad, after the expiry of his judicial remand. The police bring Qureshi to the court in handcuffs. On his way to the courtroom surrounded by police personnel, Qureshi said that he had been in politics for the past 40 years.

When Qureshi arrived at the special court, the court staff informed him that the judge had gone to Attock jail for a hearing and said they would ask the judge if Qureshi could be allowed to return after marking his attendance.

The court allowed Qureshi to leave the premises after marking his attendance and subsequently, the special court extended his judicial remand till September 26. Talking to the media after appearing before the court, he reiterated his support for the PTI Chairman Imran Khan and called for transparent elections to steer the country out of the current economic, constitutional, and political crises.

To a question, he said that he never even thought of harming the country’s interest.

“We never committed treason against the country and will never do so. If I have committed treason, then I should be hanged. Where he is imprisoned, the gallows is located a few yards away,” he said.

He said that Imran Khan was the PTI chairman and is. There is no ambiguity on this, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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