Islamabad, Nov 20 (PTI) Pakistan's former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday moved the Supreme Court to seek post-arrest bail in the cipher case.
Qureshi, also the Vice Chairman of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has approached the apex court, requesting it to annul the Islamabad High Court's decision of November 8 as the court did not properly consider the facts in the case.
Qureshi, 67, was indicted along with Khan, 71 for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act by disclosing a secret diplomatic cable (cipher) sent by the country’s embassy in Washington in March last year.
They were arrested in August.
On Monday, the petition, filed on behalf of the senior politician, stated that the Islamabad High Court did not properly assess the facts in the matter, News International reported.
"A baseless and political case has been made against the petitioner," the plea read.
Moreover, the petition said that FIR does not comply with the law.
Qureshi added that the FIR filed in the case has no direct connection with him. The petition further stated that Qureshi enjoys immunity under Article 248 of the Constitution on the basis of being the foreign minister, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.
Earlier, Qureshi's bail application was rejected by the high court in a hearing conducted by Justice Aamer Farooq.
The petition also mentioned that the courts did not give due consideration to the core principles of bail as held by the superior courts.
It also mentioned that the court's order failed to give due consideration to the fact that the petitioner's role is distinguishable from that of the principal accused and that the only allegations against the petitioner as mentioned in the challan dated March 3 is that of a speech given in a political rally.
PTI Chairman Khan has also filed a plea in the Supreme Court, on November 3, seeking post-arrest bail in the cipher case.
Both the leaders are imprisoned in the Adiala jail. Khan and Qureshi have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The caretaker government in Pakistan has approved the jail trial of Khan and Qureshi in the case based on an alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act while dealing with a secret diplomatic cable by the Pakistan embassy in Washington in March 2022. The duo were booked by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the case in August.
The purported cipher (secret diplomatic cable) contained an account of a meeting between US State Department officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South & Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Pakistani envoy Asad Majeed Khan last year. PTI AMS AKJ AMS