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Ex-COAS Bajwa 'willing' to appear as witness in cipher case

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Ex-COAS Bajwa 'willing' to appear as witness in cipher case

Backdrop of the Cipher Case

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The cipher case, involving former prime minister, Imran Khan, has seen surprising turns as Khan has recently expressed his wish to include General Bajwa and US embassy officials as witnesses. In response to this, reliable sources suggest that General Bajwa might agree to be a part of the case as a witness. However, such a move would require approval from military authorities.

Charges against the Former Prime Minister

Imran Khan, along with his deputy Shah Mahmood Qureshi, faces legal scrutiny under the Official Secrets Act, 1923. The court assigned for their trial is set to deliver their indictments on December 12. Khan alleges that General Bajwa was largely directed by Donald Lu, creating a difference of opinion between him and other prosecuted witnesses thus far in the case.

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Conflicting Allegations and Interpretations

These allegations made by Khan conflict with the statements given by the prosecution witnesses, among who are the former secretary of foreign affairs and Pakistan's former ambassador to the US. Their interaction with US diplomat Donald Lu led to the ambassador sending a cable to the foreign ministry, routinely done in such matters.

Offensive Contents of the Cipher

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The contents of the cipher, encapsulating the conversation between Lu and the ambassador, were viewed as offensive. As such, not only did the Pakistani ambassador advise issuing a demarche to Washington, but the National Security Committee (NSC) of the cabinet also supported the issuing of a demarche. The NSC, which scrutinized the cipher content during the tenures of both Khan and later Shehbaz Sharif governments, found no evidence of a conspiracy.

Conclusion

The overall scenario of the cipher case has been tumultuous, with multiple claims and counter-claims from related parties. As the situation currently stands, the involvement of retired General Bajwa as a witness could bring a new dimension to this highly debated case. It remains to be seen how the implications of his testimony will affect the resolution of allegations raised by Khan. As of now, it is clear that the complexity of the cipher case is far from resolved.

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