Breaking News: Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi granted bail in cypher case
Islamabad: In a surprising turn of events, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has granted bail to former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the cypher case. The apex court accepted their bail petitions and ordered their release from Attock jail, where they have been lodged since March 2023.
The cypher case is related to a missing document that Imran Khan claimed to have received from former US President Donald Trump during his visit to Pakistan in 2019. He said that the document was a cipher that contained important information about US-Pakistan relations and security issues. However, he could not produce the document or explain how he lost it. The FIA team questioned him about the case and he denied that the paper he waved in public was a cipher.
Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi were convicted and sentenced to three years in prison by a trial court in Islamabad for concealing proceeds of state depository gifts that they received from foreign dignitaries as the prime minister and foreign minister of Pakistan from 2018 to 2022. They challenged their conviction and sentence in the Supreme Court and also filed several bail applications in different courts. However, all of them were rejected until today.
The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, heard the bail pleas of Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi and granted them relief on humanitarian grounds. The court observed that both the accused were suffering from various health issues and needed proper medical treatment. The court also noted that the prosecution had failed to establish a direct link between the cypher case and the state depository gifts case. The court said that the bail was subject to the condition that the accused would cooperate with the investigation and appear before the court whenever required.
The bail order of the Supreme Court has sparked mixed reactions from the political circles and the public. The supporters of Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi celebrated the decision and welcomed them outside the jail. They chanted slogans in their favor and expressed their confidence that they would prove their innocence in the court. The leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the party founded by Imran Khan, hailed the verdict as a victory of justice and democracy. They said that the cypher case was a fabricated and politically motivated case to malign and persecute their leaders.
On the other hand, the opponents of Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi criticized the decision and accused the Supreme Court of being biased and influenced by external pressure. They said that the cypher case was a serious matter of national security and integrity, and the accused should not be given any leniency. They also questioned the timing of the bail order, which came just a few days before the general elections scheduled for January 2024. They alleged that the bail was a part of a deal to pave the way for Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi to return to power.
The cypher case has been one of the most controversial and sensational cases in the history of Pakistan. It has raised many questions and speculations about the nature and content of the document that Imran Khan claimed to have received from Donald Trump. It has also exposed the alleged corruption and misuse of state funds by the former prime minister and foreign minister. The case is still pending in the Supreme Court, and the final verdict is expected to have a significant impact on the political scenario and the public opinion of Pakistan.