IHC resumes Imran, Qureshi appeals today

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will resume hearing in the appeals of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi against their convictions in the cipher case. A special bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb will oversee the proceedings.

Last week, lawyer Salman Safdar, representing Imran Khan, concluded his arguments alleging negligence on the part of former Chief Secretary Azam Khan and the Ministry of External Affairs in securing the classified documents. He pointed out discrepancies in following the rules for protecting confidential diplomatic cables, which resulted in the misplacement of the cipher.

Safdar argued that Azam Khan failed to adhere to protocol by not controlling the movement of the confidential documents and maintaining proper records. He also accused the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of failing in its duty to investigate and inform the Intelligence Bureau (IB) according to established procedures. During the hearing, Safdar emphasized that the responsibility for the safekeeping of the figure lay with Azam Khan, who allegedly failed to return the document as required. In response to questions from the bank, FIA lawyers provided details of the timeline surrounding the receipt and transmission of the figure, underscoring the seriousness of the disappearance.

Judge Miangul Hassan expressed surprise at the lack of charges against Azam Khan for negligence or intentional loss. The procedure sheds light on procedural errors and raises questions about responsibility in the handling of secret documents within government services.