Pak court issues notice to FIA on bail plea of Imran

Islamabad, Sept 19:  The Islamabad High Court on Monday issued a notice to Pakistan’s top investigation agency seeking its response to the post-arrest bail plea of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan in a case related to the alleged disclosure of state secrets.

ImranKhan, through his lawyer Salman Safdar filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court on Saturday against rejection of his post-arrest bail by a special court that is proceeding against him and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the case. The special court on September 13 extended the judicial remand of Khan and two-time foreign minister Qureshi till September 26 in the cipher case. Both Khan and Qureshi have been accused of violating the secret laws of the country regarding a document sent by the Pakistan embassy in March last year that has gone missing. Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq after hearing the arguments by Khan’s lawyer issued notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and directed it to submit its response to his petition. Later, the court adjourned the hearing until next week, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party confirmed in a WhatsApp message.

The FIA launched the case last month and Khan was arrested when he was in the Attock Jail. Khan has been kept in the Attock Jail since August 5 after his conviction in the Toshakhana corruption case. His sentence was suspended by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on August 29, but he continues to remain in Attock prison in the cipher case. Qureshi, 67-year-old former foreign minister, was arrested under the Official Secrets Act for violating the secrecy of the official cable sent by the Pakistani embassy in the US to the foreign office when he was the foreign minister. The cipher case was filed last month against Khan on the allegations of violating secret laws of the country in the matter of a cable sent by the Pakistan embassy in Washington in March last year. In March last year, ahead of the vote of no-confidence that resulted in his ouster, Khan pulled out a piece of paper – allegedly the cipher – from his pocket and waved it at a public rally in Islamabad, claiming it was the evidence of an “international conspiracy” being hatched to topple his government.