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Officials didn’t follow rules in handling cipher, IHC told

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ISLAMABAD: The counsel for former prime minister Imran Khan, Barrister Salman Safdar, accused ex-principal secretary Azam Khan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of not following rules for protecting secret documents, which led to the charge of misplacing the cipher against Mr Khan.

Barrister Safdar argued before the Islamabad High Court division bench on Tuesday that Azam Khan was required to monitor the movement of the confidential diplomatic cable and register its location according to Rule 6 (III) of the Secretariat Instructions. He claimed that Azam Khan did not follow the rules and maintain a record of the secret document.

The counsel also stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was required to hold an inquiry and inform the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and register an FIR under Section 8.17 of the Manual of “Security of Classified Matters in Government Departments.” However, the ministry did not follow the rules, and Azam Khan’s negligence led to the FIA sabotaging its own case by citing him as a prosecution witness.

Barrister Safdar concluded his arguments, and the bench adjour­ned further hearing till Wednesday (today). Special prosecutor retired justice Hamid Ali Shah will advance arguments from today.

The petition stated that Bushra Bibi suffered from health issues and believed that it was due to eating a poisonous meal. She also claimed discomfort in the sub-jail environment and requested her shifting to Adiala jail.

Bushra Bibi’s petition

Separately, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb issued notices to the government and the administration of Adiala jail on the petition of Bushra Bibi against alleged violation of her rights.

Bushra Bibi claimed that she was poisoned and subjected to psychological torture in her Banigala residence, which has been declared a sub-jail.

The petition requested the court to ensure protection of her fundamental rights and allow her medical check-up by Shaukat Khanam Memorial Hospital.

Plea dismissed

In another development, the court dismissed a petition filed by Bushra Bibi seeking her transfer from her Banigala residence to Adiala jail due to non-prosecution as her lawyers remained absent during the hearing.