Imran Khan can be charged with treason in cypher case: Pakistan defence minister

ISLAMABAD (PAKISTAN): Pakistan defence minister Khwaja Asif on Friday said that the ‘cypher gate‘ can lead to former prime minister Imran Khan being charged with treason and subsequently disqualified from holding a public office, Geo News reported.

Defence minister Khawaja Asif has said that the Cypher gate can lead to former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s treason trial and disqualification.
The federal minister said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief used a “diplomatic cypher for political purposes and he could be charged with treason for using the classified document for vested interest”.

“Article 6 can be imposed on the PTI chief,” Asif said while referring to the law that deals with high treason under which an accused can be sentenced to death and life imprisonment.
He termed the former principal secretary to the ex-PM Azam Khan’s confessional statement “important”, saying the former premier’s aide has validated his opponents’ allegations.
Notably, Imran’s top aide had revealed in the confessional statement that the then-prime minister last year used the diplomatic cypher sent by Pakistan’s envoy to Washington to concoct a narrative against the establishment and opposition, Geo News reported.
Earlier on Thursday, law minister Azam Khan said that the PTI chief “can be sentenced to up to 14 years for using diplomatic cypher for political purposes”.
Azam, who has been “missing” since last month, has recorded his statement under CrPC 164 before a magistrate, Geo News reported citing sources.
The matter pertains to the allegations levelled by Imran Khan, who was ousted via a parliamentary vote in April last year.
On March 27, 2022, Khan alleged that Washington orchestrated a plan to remove him from office and brandished the cypher at a public rally to back his claims. The US has time and again denied such allegations, terming them “categorically false”, Geo News reported.
In his confession, Azam claimed that when he shared the cypher with Imran, the former premier was “euphoric” and termed the language as a “US blunder”.
“There can be no bigger betrayal than this,” Asif said while referring to the confessional statement that purportedly validated the ruling coalition’s claims that the PTI chief jeopardised the country’s national security by using the classified document for political purposes.
“National security was compromised and the official secrets act was violated,” Geo News quoted Asif as saying.
Earlier on Thursday, Imran termed the revival of the cypher controversy “an attempt to disqualify him” from contesting elections by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government.
Addressing his supporters via video link, the PTI chief accused prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Asif Ali Zardari, and others of hatching a plot to remove him from the political arena, Geo News reported.

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