Qureshi’s remand extended by two days in cypher case

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vice chairman and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s physical remand was extended by two days on Monday by the special court hearing cases pertaining to the Official Secrets Act.

The PTI stalwart was produced in court the case about the missing cypher after completing his earlier three-day physical remand. Following an in-camera hearing, the court handed Qureshi back to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for another two days.

The special court, in its remarks, stated that no further physical remand will be given if the prosecution fails to proceed in the case further.

Two days earlier, Qureshi had moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to declare orders pertaining to his physical remand null and void. The PTI vice-chairman filed a petition against three orders of physical remand passed by the trial court on August 20, 21 and 25.

“The Official Secrets Act court’s order to give physical remand should be declared null and void,” said the petition, further maintaining that “an order for a judicial remand should be passed”.

He further stated in his plea that a “malicious case” was filed against him with the “connivance of the federal government” for “political vendetta”.

Last week, the FIA arrested Qureshi from his residence in the federal capital.

The agency has booked former premier Imran Khan and Qureshi among others for “wrongful use” of official secret information and illegal retention of the cypher telegram – an official secret document – with malafide intention.

The FIR No 6/2023 read that the role of the former prime minister’s principal secretary Azam Khan, ex-planning minister Asad Umar, and other associates involved would be determined during the course of investigations.

The counter-terrorism wing (CTW) of the FIA had registered a case under sections 5 (wrongful communication, etc, of information) and 9 (attempts, incitements, etc) of the Official Secrets Act of 1923 read with Section 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of then interior secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar in Islamabad.

The FIR revealed that the case had been registered upon the conclusion of an enquiry No111/2023 dated Oct 5, 2022, registered in the FIA’s CTW.

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