In a swift, surprising move, a special court in Karachi sentenced former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to 10 years in prison each on Tuesday. The conviction stems from the controversial “Cipher Case,” involving allegations of mishandling classified diplomatic documents.

The court, established under the Official Secrets Act, announced the verdict after a marathon hearing that saw the defense accused of delaying tactics. Notably, just last Friday, the prosecution requested the court to limit the defense’s cross-examination, citing deliberate attempts to prolong the trial.

What is the Cipher Case?

The saga began in August 2023 with the registration of an FIR (First Information Report) under the Official Secrets Act. The report, filed by the Home Secretary, accused Khan and Qureshi of mishandling sensitive diplomatic documents related to foreign relations. While details remain under wraps due to the nature of the case, the report also mentioned the involvement of other former officials, including Azam Khan and Asad Umar.

The court’s swift decision and the potential penalties for Umar and Khan have sent shockwaves through Pakistani politics. Whether this marks the end of the case or just the beginning of a lengthy legal battle remains to be seen. The coming days and weeks will likely see further developments in this high-profile saga.

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