ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government on Thursday challenged in the Supreme Court the acquittal of former prime minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case. The case pertains to the incident in which Khan showed a piece of paper – allegedly a copy of a diplomatic communication – at a public rally in Islamabad, claiming it as proof of a conspiracy against his government by a foreign power, referring to US diplomat Donald Lu, who has been at the centre of the cipher controversy.
He had brandished the cipher paper just two weeks before the ouster of the PTI government in April 2022 through a vote of no-confidence in Parliament.
Khan and Qureshi were sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment in the cipher case in January by a special court, established under the Official Secrets Act.
However, they challenged the sentence and last week a bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) consisting of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb accepted their appeals, acquitting them in the case.
The federal government challenged their acquittal in the Supreme Court which would decide the final fate of the two in the case.
The petition argued that the IHC order was “perverse, arbitrary and contrary to the material available on the record” and thus liable to be set aside.
“That the impugned judgment/short order does not reflect any ground of acquittal of the respondent, even it is not observed that the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond any shadow of doubt,” the government said in its plea.
“That with utmost respect it submitted that the IHC has not appreciated the evidence available on the record as well as the admission of the accused, while acquitting the respondents, as such the impugned judgment is not sustainable in the eyes of law,” the plea concluded.
The apex court has so far not set a date for hearing.

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