Former prime minister Imran Khan sees the resurgence of the cipher controversy as an apparent bid to disqualify him from contesting elections by the ruling parties who, according to him, have “shot themselves in the foot”. The PTI chairman, who had promised a ‘proper expose’ on the controversy, spoke for almost half an hour but did not provide any fresh evidence to back oft-repeated allegations.
In his address, Imran Khan accused Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari, and ex-COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa of hatching a conspiracy to remove him.
Referring to the US demand in the cipher to topple the government and his decision to go to Russia, he said the US was actually addressing the former army chief since he was the only person having the power to topple the government.
The former premier also refused to accept the alleged statement attributed to his aide, Azam Khan. Fearing that his aide was forced to give the statement, he said until he would listen to the said statement from Azam Khan in person, he would not believe it.
In light of an alleged confession by one of his closest aides, the government is planning to prosecute former prime minister Imran Khan under two separate sections of the Official Secrets Act for “retaining” the confidential cipher in a purported bid to stall his ouster from power.
Azam Nazeer Tarar said that a merit-based investigation will be held into the cypher case. “The penalty for using a classified document for personal gains is 14-year jail.”
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