Taking political disputes to courts 

Cipher audios

Political parties retard the growth of democratic culture and institutions by taking political disputes to courts instead of resolving them through talks inside and outside parliament. Despite being victims of the bad practice during the last four years and more, the major parties in the ruling alliance would have added to their prestige if they had defeated PTI fair and square in the next elections rather than proceeding to get IK out of the ring through what could be termed a technical knockout. The federal government has decided to take legal action against IK over the ‘cipher’ audios.  As if the audios were not enough Imran Khan seems to have also lost the copy of the cipher he had waved in the public meeting in March. FIA has been directed to investigate the matter seeking the assistance, if necessary, of other security agencies. As PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz put it, Imran Khan deserves to be made an example. The statement reveals vengeance more than political wisdom. Apparently despite being in power for six months the ruling alliance is not confident of winning the next election fair and square.

Imran Khan is not innocent either. The cipher was sent by Pakistan’s ambassador in US to FO. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan instead decided to present the diplomatic cipher as a threatening letter, almost an ultimatum, by a foreign power that was not to be named. The plan was prepared by a team led by IK himself.   As the audios reveal Imran Khan and his principal secretary Azam Khan strategised their moves on the cipher. They were joined in the next meeting by the then Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi and Federal Minister Asad Umar. The team of four decided to play with and make use of a classified diplomatic cable for political purposes. They blamed the US and local collaborators for the removal of IK’s government.

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Imran Khan’s opponents have interpreted the plan as a violation of the PM’s oath as well as of the official Secrets Act. They maintain Imran Khan was sacrificing key national interests for political gains by sexing up a diplomatic cipher. Shah Mahmud Qureshi and Fawad Ch have welcomed the probe ordered by the federal government. What remains to be seen is if the judiciary is satisfied with the probe and the case prepared on its basis.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]


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