Pakistan: Former PM Imran Khan ‘mentally tortured’ in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, claims lawyer

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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
Image Source : AP/FILE Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Imprisoned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan is being “mentally tortured” in the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, alleged his lawyer Naeem Hairder Panjotha on Saturday.

According to the PTI chief counsel, Imran is kept in a small room of the C-class jail and is not allowed by authorities to come out of the room to take a walk, reported Pakistan-based ARY News. Panjotha also laid doubts on the quality of food served to the former premier.

Reacting to a challan issued by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) declaring Imran and his deputy Shah Mahmood Qureshi ‘guilty’ in the cipher case, Panjotha alleged that it is part of a campaign to keep him out of Pakistani politics.

The former PM, who has been detained since August 5 after his arrest following his conviction in the Toshakhana case, is currently serving his sentence in the cipher case in Adiala jail after being shifted from Attock prison. The Islamabad High Court suspended his sentence in the Toshakhana case on August 29.

 

FIA’s chargesheet in cipher case

The FIA on Saturday declared the ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan and his aide, ex-Foreign Minister Qureshi, guilty in the cipher case pertaining to alleged disclosure of state secrets. The chargesheet was submitted by the FIA to a special court established under the Official Secrets Act.

The country’s top investigation agency has also requested the court to start the trial and sentence them in accordance with the law. Additionally, PTI’s former general secretary Asad Umar’s name has not been added to the list of accused. Imran’s former principal secretary Azam Khan has been named as a “strong witness” in the case.

Imran’s PTI rejected the chargesheet and called for the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the cipher case. The party’s spokesperson said that the challan was “meaningless and bogus as cipher case”.

Imran Khan and Qureshi were booked last month for misplacing and misusing the classified document for their vested political interests. The ex-PM’s judicial remand was extended till October 10 in the cipher case on Tuesday.

What is the cipher case?

Last year, Imran Khan alleged that the US orchestrated a plan to remove him from office and brandished a cipher at a public rally to back his claims. The US has time and again denied such allegations, terming them “categorically false”.

According to Khan’s then-principal secretary Azam Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief was allegedly “euphoric” after seeing the cipher and decided to use it to build an “anti-establishment narrative” on the back of a “blunder” committed by the US. 

“The cipher copy was retained by Imran Khan and the next day (March 10) when he asked for it, Imran Khan replied that he had misplaced it,” the confession statement said, adding that the PTI chief did not return the original cipher despite repeated requests.

Meanwhile, in another setback for the former premier, a joint investigation team has informed an anti-terrorism court in Lahore that Imran and several top leaders of his party were directly involved in orchestrating the unprecedented anti-government violence on May 9.

ALSO READ | Pakistan: Top probe agency declares jailed ex-PM Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi ‘guilty’ in cipher case

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