Azam Khan records another statement in cipher case

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ISLAMABAD: Azam Khan, the former principal secretary of the then prime minister Imran Khan, recorded his statement in the cipher case, ARY News reported.

As per details, the cipher case proceeded against former prime minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the Official Secret Act court where Azam Khan recorded his statement under oath.

The Ex-principal secretary stated that he received the cipher copy from his staff in March 2022, which he handed over to the Prime Minister. According to him, the Prime Minister retained a copy of the cipher, later he said it went missing.

Azam Khan said that the Master Cipher copy was with the foreign ministry and a meeting was held in Bani gala and the copy was narrated during a meeting in Banigala. It was then decided to present the cipher in the federal cabinet. The cabinet referred the matter to the National Security Committee to determine the appropriate response to the US.

In the National Security Committee meeting, a decision was reached to issue a demarche to the concerned country for interfering in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

Furthermore, he explained that the tradition of returning the cipher copy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not fulfilled during his tenure. He indicated that he informed the Prime Minister, Military Secretary, and relevant staff multiple times about not returning the cipher copy and Military Secretary, ADC, and staff were tasked with addressing the matter.

Cipher case

The first information report (FIR) was registered on August 15 under the Official Secrets Act. It was registered on the complaint of the Home Secretary.

Former prime minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were nominated in the report, while names of former principal secretary Azam Khan and former planning minister Asad Umar were also mentioned.

According to the report, action also will be taken against Azam Khan and Asad Umar after the authorities reached the conclusion that they were also involved in misusing the classified documents.

The FIR stated that the former prime minister and foreign minister distorted the facts of the diplomatic cipher. “A conspiracy was launched to misuse the contents of the cipher to fulfill nefarious purposes”, it added. It further stated that former premier and top diplomat endangered the state interests.

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