Cypher thing was joke and it is still the same — what a pity on both PTI and PDM

Cypher thing was joke and it is still the same -- what a pity on both PTI and PDM

By Irum Saleem

The cypher thing was a joke to begin with and it is still the same.

Little that can be described as revelatory in the ‘confessional statement’ being attributed to Azam Khan, principal secretary to former prime minister Imran Khan, Dawn mocks it as well.

It had been widely known, following the ‘audio leaks’ saga of last year, that he was privy to how the so-called ‘Ciphergate’ controversy came into being, as well as the PTI leadership’s actual motives for giving it air.

Leaked recordings of his conversations with Imran Khan on the matter had already established that the former PM had discussed the prospect of ‘playing up’ the contents of a diplomatic cable from Washington for political purposes, and it was evident that the move was aimed at building political momentum on PTI’s side at a time when the party was facing defeat in the vote of no-confidence brought against its government by the combined opposition.

“With elections around the corner, it seems a last-ditch attempt is being made to knock Imran Khan out of the race. The means being adopted to do so are troubling. One of the senior-most officers of the state, Azam Khan remained missing for over a month after he disappeared soon after leaving his house in Islamabad for an appointment on June 15.

Hours after reports surfaced that he had ‘exposed’ his former boss, he was quietly returned home. His lawyer said he was “in no condition” to comment on the firestorm his alleged confession has kicked off. No one has satisfactorily answered where Azam Khan had been while the state searched for him as a ‘missing person’,” the paper says.

Instead, the FIA and interior ministry seem more concerned with nabbing the former PM. A statement made before a magistrate, if duly recorded, does have evidential value, but there are far too many missing pieces in this puzzle. Could this be why the interior minister has sought Imran Khan’s trial in a special court under the Official Secrets Act?

In a late-night address a day after Azam Khan’s supposed statement, the PTI chief said the cipher he received from Washington had alerted him to a conspiracy to take down his government.

To this day, only a handful of people actually know what it said. The public only knows it was problematic enough for it to be termed ‘blatant interference’ in the country’s affairs by the NSC on two separate occasions.

Imran Khan believes that a full inquiry into the matter will uncover a conspiracy in which key political leaders and the former army chief will be found involved.

Since it has once again dragged the matter into the limelight, perhaps it is time for the state to lay the facts before the public and put the matter to rest. It has already become an international embarrassment for the country.

Let this joke be over now. PAK DESTINY

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