The Islamabad High Court (IHC) is set to hear the post-arrest bail petition of PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Monday, September 25. Chief Justice Aamer Farooq will lead the hearing. Previously, the court had invited comments from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Both Imran Khan and PTI’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi were denied bail in the missing cipher case and are currently in custody till September 26.
Background of the Ciphergate Controversy
The scandal, termed ‘Ciphergate’, surfaced on March 27, 2022, when Khan, just prior to his removal from office in April, flaunted a letter allegedly from a foreign nation suggesting his government’s dissolution. He later pinpointed the U.S. as the sender, specifically mentioning Donald Lu, the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs. The cipher reportedly covered a meeting between Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Asad Majeed, and Lu. After conducting a National Security Committee meeting, Khan’s successor, Shehbaz Sharif, stated they found no evidence of foreign intervention related to the cipher. The case intensified when Khan’s principal secretary, Azam Khan, confessed to the FIA that Khan had leveraged the US cipher for political advantages.