- State Department Spocks has expressed displeasure over the Cipher Saga.
- Miller says Imran’s allegations are “completely baseless”.
- He made it clear that the US does not get involved in domestic political issues.
Washington: The State Department on Wednesday again rejected allegations made by former Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding US ciphers, following fresh claims by a close aide of the former prime minister.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller was asked to comment on the confessional statement recorded before a magistrate by Azam Khan – Imran’s former principal secretary – in which he accused his boss of manipulating the cables for his own political goals and creating an anti-establishment narrative.
This matches similar remarks from a US Department of State official, who termed the entire cyber affair with Pakistan as “bogus”.
“So there are a lot of similarities between the Deputy Assistant Secretary and [Pakistani] interior Minister. So basically the cipher was fake?”
To this, Miller said: “I don’t know how many times I can answer this question from the podium and give only one answer, namely that these allegations, such as they are, are completely baseless.”
When the US official asked Imran another question regarding the treason charge based on a confession made by his former aide, he skipped answering.
“I will obey you.”
Miller also clarified that the US does not get involved in domestic political issues and does not take sides of political parties in Pakistan or any other country.
On Wednesday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the government would initiate criminal proceedings against the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on charges of leaking official secrets.
The decision was taken after Azam recorded his statement in a court under section 164 of the CrPC before a judicial officer.
The PTI chief lost power in April 2022 in a no-confidence motion, which he said was joined by Washington after his visit to Moscow.
Imran, who was ousted by a parliamentary vote in April last year, alleged on March 27, 2022, that Washington planned to remove him from office – and waved the cipher at a public rally to back up his claims. The US has repeatedly denied such allegations and described them as “blatantly false”.
Imran traveled to Moscow on the eve of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Sanaullah said that the principal secretary also testified that when Imran was asked to return the letter, he told that he had lost the copy of the letter.
The interior minister said, “It is a crime to reveal an official secret.” He said the state would file charges against Imran in the court.
He said, “I don’t think he has lost the copy. It is still with him. It has to be recovered from him.”
Imran said that he did not believe that his former secretary could testify against him. In another case, after a court hearing, he told reporters, “I won’t accept it until I hear it directly from him.”