Irked by reports in the media regarding the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) reservations about its Chairman Imran Khan’s shifting to Adiala Jail, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamer Farooq Friday asked if the party is dissatisfied with the court’s relevant orders issued last month. 

The judge questioned Khan’s lawyer, Sher Afzal Marwat, during the hearing of the plea filed for early pronouncement of reserved judgment on the PTI chairman’s petition against his jail trial and change of judge in the cipher case.Khan was moved from the Attock jail to Adiala jail on September 25, a day after the IHC ordered his transfer during a hearing of a plea concerning prison amenities for the PTI chief.Justice Farooq had stated in the verdict that Khan was an under-trial prisoner in the cipher case, which was registered in Islamabad. Therefore, he should be held in custody at Adiala, not Attock, as he was held in the latter prison for the Toshakhana case, which remains suspended.During the course of today’s hearing, the judge asked Marwat if there was dissatisfaction over the court’s order on his transfer, reminding the lawyer that the petition was filed by his client for his transfer from Attock to Adiala jail.“Then why is there so much controversy from your side in the press?” the chief justice questioned the counsel.Responding to the judge’s query, Marwat said no such statement has been officially issued by the party.Speaking about the level of facilities provided to the former prime minister, his counsel said: “We knew that B class would be given in Adiala Jail, but it was not given.”The judge assured Marwat that Khan would be provided with a better class after the court issued a relevant order following a petition filed by the PTI chairman’s other lawyer, Latif Khosa.Meanwhile, IHC during the hearing also hinted that it would issue a verdict within two to three days on the petition.Marwat said: “The jail trial for the cipher case has started, but no decision has been made on our request.”He added that the case is scheduled for a hearing in jail again on Monday.“I will expedite the matter. Not on Monday, but I will decide within two to three days,” Justice Farooq said, responding to the lawyer.The court maintained that the decision on the request against the jail trial and the judge’s appointment was already reserved.It should be noted that both Imran Khan and his party’s Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi are behind bars on judicial remand till October 10 in the cipher case.The two were arrested last month by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in connection with the investigation into the case under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly misplacing and misusing the classified document for their vested political interests.A special court was subsequently established under the Official Secrets Act to try both the accused.“Consequent upon the conclusion of the enquiry No. 111/2023 dated 05.10.2022, registered in the CTW, FIA Islamabad, it transpired that former prime minister namely Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, former foreign minister namely Shah Mahmood Qureshi and their other associates are involved in communications of information contained in the secret classified document (Cipher Telegram received from Parep. Washington dated 7th March, 2022 to Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to the unauthorised person (i.e. public at large) by twisting the facts to achieve their ulterior motives and personal gains in a manner prejudicial to the interests of state security,” read first information report (FIR) registered against the PTI leaders.


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2023-10-07

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