Monday March 04, 2024

Imran Khan to file ‘lawsuit against State Department official in US’

"PTI believes US embassy in Pakistan was completely involved in conspiracy to topple Imran Khan’s govt," says ex-PM's sister

November 17, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu. — AFP//Files
PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu. — AFP//Files

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has decided to initiate legal proceedings against a top American diplomat, Donald Lu, in a US court on the allegations of toppling his government, the deposed prime minister's sister Aleema Khan said on Friday,

Aleema shared the future strategy of the PTI chief — who remains incarcerated in the Adiala jail — during a press conference after a meeting with Khan in the prison.

“[The] PTI chairman said if he does not get justice from Pakistani courts then he would file a case against Donald Lu in US courts,” the sister said, adding that the PTI believes that the US embassy in Pakistan was completely involved in the conspiracy to topple Khan’s government.

Aleema said that the Islamabad High Court had issued a stay order in the cipher case and those clauses were added in the case that can lead to a death sentence or life imprisonment.

“We should be told what crime was committed by the PTI chairman that such clauses were added. Rana Sanaullah registered a case against the PTI chairman [we] should get justice in Pakistan,” said the former prime minister’s sister.

She shared that her brother was in good health and had developed a good routine during his incarceration. She also added that she did not receive any complaints from the PTI chief regarding his food.

The PTI chief is currently in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, along with his deputy Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in the cipher case.

A special court was hearing the case but IHC issued a stay order on Khan’s appeal and now the PTI chief has been kept in confinement in a case registered against him by the National Accountability Bureau.

The cipher controversy first emerged on March 27, 2022, when Imran Khan — less than a month before his ouster in April 2022 — while addressing a public rally waved a letter before the crowd, claiming that it was a cipher from a foreign nation that had conspired with his political rivals to have PTI government overthrown.

He did not reveal the contents of the letter nor did he mention the name of the nation it came from. But a few days later, he accused the United States of conspiring against him and alleged that Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu had sought his removal.

The cipher was about former Pakistan ambassador to the US Majeed's meeting with Lu.

The former prime minister, claiming that he was reading contents from the cipher, said that "all will be forgiven for Pakistan if Imran Khan is removed from power".

Then on March 31, the National Security Committee (NSC) took up the matter and decided to issue a "strong demarche" to the US for its "blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan".

Later, after his removal, then-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif convened a meeting of the NSC, which came to the conclusion that it had found no evidence of a foreign conspiracy in the cable.

In the two audio leaks that took the internet by storm and shocked the public after these events, the former prime minister, then-federal minister Asad Umar, and then-principle secretary Azam Khan could allegedly be heard discussing the US cipher and how to use it to their advantage.