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Cipher saga: PTI says The Intercept story strengthens Imran Khan’s stance

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Thursday asserted that the contents of the US cipher bolsters party chief Imran Khan’s narrative that his government was ousted under American pressure following his Russia visit in February 2022.

The party’s statement came after a foreign media outlet, The Intercept, published a report about the secret document which has been at the centre of controversy since March last year.

In a statement on micro-blogging platform X, previously known as Twitter, the party said the then National Security Committee (NSC), chaired by former premier Khan, also rejected the contents of the cipher as intervention in Pakistan’s internal affairs. Later, the NSC meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also endorsed the previous NSC meeting decisions.

However, the party laments, “The ruling group denied the existence of the cipher, sometimes calling it meaningless and worthless. Another folly was committed by trying to blame the PTI Chairman for bringing the cipher to the fore.”

“It is necessary that the discussion and criticism on this secret post should be kept in its proper context,” the PTI added.

It should be admitted that in fact there was interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan, the PTI said and added that interference in Pakistan’s internal matters resulted in no-confidence motion against then Prime Minister Imran Khan.

A day earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif once again rejected his predecessor’s claims about his government’s removal under a US backed “conspiracy”, asking that if the same was true, would Pakistan have bought cheaper oil from Russia.

The premier’s statement came in response to a foreign news organisation’s report on the US cipher which claimed to substantiate former prime minister Imran Khan’s allegations that he was removed under American pressure after his Russia visit.

Similarly, Senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah said there was nothing new in a foreign media outlet’s story about the US cipher, which claimed to substantiate PTI chief’s allegations.

“Though there is nothing new in this story, the investigation needs to held to establish the authenticity of the information or source document,” he said. 

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No “major breakthrough” in the opposition-led JUI-F and PTI meeting

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Maulana Fazalur Rehman stated that mending rifts in relationships and getting rid of resentment in an interview with the media in Islamabad with a team from the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Ayeen-e-Pakistan that paid him a visit.

While no significant progress was made at the meeting, all sides decided to keep in touch in order to plan for the future.

“A positive message,” according to the JUI-F chief, was received with open arms by the delegation. Taking a “united” stance on national issues was the primary goal of the meeting, he said.

Democracy is losing its appeal, and Pakistan’s parliament and constitution are losing their respect. In parliament, Maulana Fazalur Rehman continued, “we should have a single voice.”

Remarking on the event, National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub thanked the JUI-F leader for ‘warmly’ receiving the group.

We had a fruitful discussion in the meeting, he declared, urging the opposition parties to work with the PTI to “protect” the constitution.

Constitutional violations and a lack of a rule of law are the claims made by Omar Ayub. According to him, there was “no reason” why the police searched the PTI’s Islamabad central secretariat office.

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In the instance of illegal recruitment, Pervaiz Elahi is granted bail.

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The earlier-reserved court ruling was delivered by LHC Judge Sultan Tanveer Ahmad on Tuesday.

LHC had filed a post-arrest bail motion, according to the former chief minister.

On October 25, 2023, Pervaiz was taken into custody by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

From June 1 to September 18, Elahi has been arrested in a number of crimes; the most recent one was reported by the Punjab ACE on September 18.

More: Pervaiz Elahi’s condition “deteriorated” in Adiala jail; he was hurried to PIMS.

In the Punjab Assembly, Elahi illegally hired 12 people for grade 17 positions, according to information provided by an ACE representative.

In the provincial assembly, the candidates were chosen through record-altering.

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The bail petition of Parvez Elahi in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by the ATC.

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A bail application filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party, in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on the grounds of prematurity.

ATC Judge Arshad Javed announced the decision during today’s hearing.

The counsel representing Parvez Elahi contended that there was a significant likelihood of his client being arrested in relation to the Jinnah House attack case. It was stated that the ex-Chief Minister had previously been held in custody on judicial remand in other cases.

The petitioner requested the court to authorise the release of Parvez Elahi on bail in the Jinnah House attack case.

Nevertheless, the prosecution argued that the bail petition did not meet the necessary legal criteria, emphasising that Parvez Elahi had not been apprehended in connection with the case.

Considering these considerations, the court rejected Parvez Elahi’s request for release, stating that it was premature since he had not been arrested in the Jinnah House attack case.

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