Decoding the Cipher Case: Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s Legal Challenge

In a significant legal development, former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and ex-Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi find themselves in the midst of the Cipher case.

This legal saga revolves around a classified cable sent to Islamabad by Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington in 2022, bringing forth a series of explosive allegations and legal consequences.

The Political Shift

In April 2022, Imran Khan’s removal as the country’s prime minister through a parliamentary vote marked a turning point. The subsequent events unfolded dramatically as Khan presented a document at a rally, claiming it to be the elusive Cipher cable.

According to Khan, this document provides undeniable proof of a conspiracy involving the Pakistani military and the United States to dismantle his government.

The Alleged Conspiracy

Imran Khan asserts that the conspiracy originated after his Moscow visit, just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite Khan’s claims, both the Pakistani military and the U.S. Administration vehemently deny any involvement in such a plot.

Accusing the U.S. of collusion with the opposition, Khan’s allegations faced a swift denial from the White House. The statement emphasized unwavering support for Pakistan’s constitutional process and the rule of law.

The Classified Diplomatic Cable

At the heart of the matter is a classified cable sent from Washington to Islamabad. While the specifics remain undisclosed under Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, it is believed to detail a crucial meeting in 2022 between U.S. State Department official Donald Lu and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S., Asad Majeed.

Charges and Pleas

Facing charges under Section 5 and Section 9 of the Official Secrets Act, Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi pleaded not guilty on January 30th, just nine days before the general elections.

In a significant development, a specialized court under the Official Secrets Act sentenced both former ministers to 10 years in jail, marking a critical juncture in the Cipher case.


The Cipher case unfolds, revealing diplomatic complexities, political drama, and legal intricacies. As this legal journey continues, its impact on Pakistan’s political landscape remains profound.