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Azam Khan throws wrench in case, reveals key details in cipher testimony



In a significant development in the “cipher case” against former prime minister and founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, key witness Azam Khan, Khan’s former principal secretary, revealed crucial details about the controversial diplomatic cable.

The court dismissed a written request from the PTI founder’s lawyers to have Azam Khan take an oath on the Holy Quran, emphasizing that the court had already mandated the Holy Quran for oaths. Azam Khan proceeded to testify after taking the oath on the Quran.During the proceedings at Adiala Jail, significant progress was made in the cipher case, with five witnesses providing their statements, shedding light on the alleged involvement of key figures in the matter. PTI founder’s lawyers had earlier sought a Quranic oath from Azam Khan before his statement, a request that was firmly rejected by the court.Judge Abul Hasnat Zul-Qarnain expressed discontent with the unnecessary application, emphasizing the court’s commitment to upholding Islamic practices.During the hearing held at Adiala Jail, Khan’s aide, Azam Khan, confirmed that he discussed the contents of the cable with Khan after receiving it from the Foreign Secretary. He further admitted that he personally handed the copy to Khan, which has since gone missing. This raises questions about potential mishandling of classified information.On March 9, 2022, Azam Khan’s staff provided him with a copy of the cipher, which he subsequently handed over to Imran Khan the following day. Notably, the former prime minister retained the copy, and despite Azam Khan’s reminders to return it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the cipher copy was not returned during his tenure.With Azam Khan’s testimony concluded, the court has recorded statements from 15 witnesses in total. The next hearing is set for January 22nd, where further developments and testimonies are expected. This case continues to draw widespread attention in Pakistan, as it could have significant political and legal implications for both Khan and his former Foreign Minister.

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