Home Latest News Special Court Grants FIA 4-day Physical Remand of PTI’s Qureshi

Special Court Grants FIA 4-day Physical Remand of PTI’s Qureshi

Court formed by interim government under amended Official Secrets Act, specifically to hear cases related to the legislation

by Staff Report

File photo of Shah Mehmood Qureshi

A special court in Islamabad, formed to hear cases filed under the amended Official Secrets Act, on Monday granted the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) a four-day physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case.

Qureshi was arrested by the FIA on Saturday evening, and presented a day later before a local magistrate, who had granted his physical remand for one day. On Monday, he was presented before the special court for the hearing of the cipher case registered under the amended act. During proceedings, the FIA prosecutor informed Judge Abul Hasnat that the agency was seeking 13-day physical remand of Qureshi to ensure the recovery of a cipher copy that has the allegedly gone missing and was in the custody of former prime minister Imran Khan. Qureshi’s counsel opposed this, maintaining his client was innocent and was being “politically victimized.”

The in-camera hearing, which was barred to media, was also reportedly informed that PTI chief Khan had already been interrogated in connection with the case at Attock Jail, where he is currently serving out a three-year prison term. After the completion of arguments, the court reserved its verdict, eventually announcing that FIA officials would be required to present Qureshi before the court on Aug. 25 (Friday).

The special court has been formed in light of the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which has become a point of great controversy following President Arif Alvi claiming he “disagreed” with it and had sought its return to Parliament unsigned. However, the law ministry has argued that as the president neither assented or objected to the bill, it was “deemed” to have been granted assent after the passage of 10 days.

Both Khan and Qureshi—as well as other PTI leaders such as Asad Umar—are facing a probe in the cipher case in light of the amended legislation. According to the FIR registered by the FIA, both the PTI chief and the former foreign minister had revealed the contents of the classified document to unauthorized persons and twisted facts for “political gains” in a manner “prejudicial” to state security.

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