Incarcerated former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan Monday said he will name former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa and United States embassy officials as witnesses in his defence in the cipher case.
The cipher case is based on allegations that Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi violated the secret laws of the country while handling a communication sent by the embassy in Washington in March 2022, newswire PTI reported.
A special court on Monday ruled that Khan and Qureshi would be indicted on December 12 in the cipher case for allegedly leaking a diplomatic cable.
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During an informal conversation with journalists in Adiala jail during the cipher case hearing, the 71-year-old former prime minister said that "Will include General Bajwa and US embassy officials as witnesses. General Bajwa did everything on Donald Lu's directives."
Lu is a United States diplomat serving as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. Khan clamied that Lu was allegedly involved in the "foreign conspiracy" to overthrow his government through a no-confidence vote.
The special court established under the Official Secrets Act 2023 held an open court hearing in Adiala jail where Khan is imprisoned. The court is conducting the trial afresh after the Islamabad High Court nullified the jail trial on November 21. Both of them were indicted on October 23 but the indictment was cancelled after the IHC order.
The cricketer-turned-politician predicted that his party would win the February 8 polls, adding that he was arrested under a plan. He also said that he did not face any difficulties in jail.
Khan also spoke about the allegations put forward against him by Khawar Maneka the former husband of his wife Bushra Bibi. He stated that he saw his wife's face for the first time after their nikkah.
The former prime minister also claimed that Bushra's sons were being forced to give a statement against their mother.
Meanwhile, Qureshi, the co-accused in the cipher case, said that the PTI was in his heart and no one could take it out of there. "I do not need any post in PTI anymore," said Qureshi while talking to journalists.
The cipher case was launched in August this year after a case was filed against Khan for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act by disclosing a secret diplomatic cable - called the cipher - sent by the country's embassy in Washington in March last year.
The diplomatic cable reportedly went missing from Khan's possession.
Khan and Qureshi, who had claimed that the cable contained a threat from the United States to topple the PTI's government, were indicted on October 23.
Both Khan and Qureshi have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Khan was ousted through a vote of no-confidence in April 2022. More than 150 cases have been registered against him since his ouster from power. (With inputs from agencies)