Cabinet committee formed to probe cypher ‘stolen’ from PM House

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Committee was formed after cabinet was told that cypher being used by Imran was missing from PM Office’s records
ISLAMABAD
The federal cabinet on Friday announced the formation of a committee to investigate the diplomatic cypher that it was told had been “stolen” from the records of the Prime Minister’s House, a statement issued by the premier’s office said.
Former premier and PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who was voted out through a no-confidence motion, had brandished a “threat letter”, which was the cypher, on March 27 at a public gathering before his ouster, claiming that his government had been threatened by the US and the Opposition was involved in the conspiracy.
The statement from the PM office, issued after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, said that the body was given a briefing on the issue of diplomatic cypher where it was revealed that the copy of the relevant document was missing from the Prime Minister House’s records.
“The meeting was told that although there is a record of the receipt of the cypher sent to the former premier at the Prime Minister House, its copy is not available in the record,” said the statement. As per the law, the cable is a property of the Prime Minister House, it added.
The statement said that the meeting termed the “theft” of the letter a serious matter and after a detailed consultation, the cabinet formed a special committee to launch an investigation.
The committee will recommend what legal action the government should take against Khan, the then principal secretary to PM Azam Khan, and former ministers. The committee will include foreign, interior, laws ministers and representatives of all the coalition partners of the government.
Cabinet backs NSC decision on probe of audio leaks
On the issue of recent audio leaks, the cabinet endorsed the National Security Committee’s (NSC) decision to conduct a thorough investigation of the issue.
The cabinet also “expressed serious concern” on how the recent audios of former prime minister Khan, former principal secretary to the prime minister Azam and other persons related to the diplomatic cipher have “exposed the criminal conspiracy of the former government and prime minister Imran Niazi”.

The body noted that the cypher was given “fictitious meanings” for political gains and harm “key national interests”, adding that after committing “fraud, forgery and fabrication” the letter was stolen.

“This is a serious violation of the constitutional oath, other relevant laws, especially the Official Secrets Act. It is an unforgivable crime against the state as political interests were given priority over key state interests,” said the cabinet. It added that due to this it was necessary to investigate the whole matter carefully and to determine the responsible parties and punish them as per the law.