Pakistan detains opposition “cypher”
After calling for “level playing fields” for Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in the nation’s impending general elections, Qureshi, a two-time former foreign minister, was taken into custody.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a close ally of imprisoned former prime minister Imran Khan and a former foreign minister of Pakistan, was jailed after authorities claimed he had used a diplomatic cable for personal advantage.
In an effort to rally support before a vote on a no-confidence motion in April, Khan had asserted that the United States was behind a plot to overthrow his government. He resigned following the vote, and he later claimed to be aware of a covert communication, known as the “cypher,” that revealed the US was responsible for his removal. The former prime minister eventually recanted his accusations against the US but never divulged what was in the cable.
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The content of the “cypher,” which suggests the US administration wanted to depose the former prime minister last April, was published earlier this month by the US-based news outlet The Intercept.
After holding a news conference to announce that his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party would file a legal challenge against any poll postponement and to seek a “level playing field” for the party in the nation’s approaching general elections, Qureshi was apprehended on Saturday.
Since Khan’s detention earlier this month, he has been in charge of the PTI. Since May, thousands of its members, including its top leadership, have been detained in a crackdown that was ostensibly ordered by Pakistan’s mighty military.
The PTI vice president was detained in connection with the “cypher” investigation and his alleged role in disclosing government secrets and endangering state interests, according to Pakistan’s interim interior minister Sarfraz Bugti.
According to the law, all persons named in the case will be arrested, according to Bugti.
The Official Secrets Act was broken, and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has filed a lawsuit against Khan and his close associates, including Qureshi.
After the classified document was made public by The Intercept, which claimed that Khan’s PTI party was not the source of the secret cable but rather a military official, the agency broadened the scope of its inquiries.
Qureshi was already collaborating with the investigators, thus there was no reason to arrest him in the cypher case, according to PTI.
Qureshi, according to the party, was penalised for sticking with Khan and disclosing intentions to postpone the general elections.
According to Qureshi, his party will approach the supreme court to ensure that elections would take place within 90 days as required by the constitution, even if the electoral commission claimed that this was impossible.
If the 90-day deadline is missed, it will be unconstitutional, Qureshi said during the news conference on Saturday.
One of the many lawsuits brought against PTI Chairman Khan since his resignation last year prohibits him from running in any elections for five years. The politician who played cricket denies any misconduct.
Arrested for speaking out against election rigging
On the social networking site X, formerly known as Twitter, PTI spokesman Zulfi Bukhari denounced the arrest, claiming that he was “arrested for doing a press conference and reaffirming PTI stance against all tyranny and pre-poll rigging that is going on currently in Pakistan.”
The election is scheduled to take place by November, 90 days after the dissolution of parliament last week, but uncertainty surrounds the exact date as the country deals with constitutional, political, and economic difficulties.
In its final hours, the departing administration authorised a new census, necessitating the creation of new election boundaries by the Election Commission.
According to a former commission official, it may take six months or longer to redistrict hundreds of federal and provincial constituencies in a nation with 241 million citizens.
According to state television, the election commission announced on Thursday that new constituencies would be finalised by December 14. The commission will then confirm the date of the election.
On Monday, a little-known politician named Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar took the oath of office as prime minister.
Caretakers typically only have the authority to supervise elections, but Kakar’s setup is the most powerful in Pakistani history because to legislation that gives it the authority to make economic policy choices.