Former foreign minister and PTI stalwart Shah Mahmood Qureshi moved the Islamabad High Court on Saturday (IHC) to declare orders pertaining to his physical remand null and void. The PTI vice-chairman, arrested in the cypher case registered under the Official Secrets Act 1923, filed a petition against three orders of physical remand passed by the trial court on August 20, 21 and 25. “The Official Secrets Act court’s order to give physical remand should be declared null and void, said the petition, adding an order for a judicial remand should be passed. It further stated that a “malicious case” was filed against Qureshi with the “connivance of the federal government” for “political vendetta”. Qureshi further added that an investigation was conducted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). “I neither took the cypher telegram nor disclosed its transcript to any unauthorized person. Records prove that the cypher is with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he stated. The PTI stalwart maintained that despite all these facts, the FIA arrested and successfully obtained physical remand. “The trial court granted physical remand, despite the prosecution failing to produce any evidence. Even in the FIR, the cypher is alleged to be in the possession of someone else,” he pleaded. The federation and the home secretary have been made parties in the petition submitted. Qureshi, in the end, stated that he had conveyed the message to the then-prime minister as per the law while performing his duties as foreign minister. Last week, the FIA arrested Qureshi from his residence in the federal capital. The agency had booked former premier Imran Khan and Qureshi among others for “wrongful use” of official secret information and illegal retention of the cypher telegram – an official secret document – with malafide intention. The FIR No 6/2023 read that the role of the former prime minister’s principal secretary Azam Khan, ex-planning minister Asad Umar, and other associates involved would be determined during the course of investigations. The counter-terrorism wing (CTW) of the FIA had registered a case under sections 5 (wrongful communication, etc, of information) and 9 (attempts, incitements, etc) of the Official Secrets Act of 1923 read with Section 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the then Interior Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar in Islamabad. The FIR revealed that the case had been registered upon the conclusion of an enquiry No111/2023 dated Oct 5, 2022, registered in the FIA’s CTW. It read that Imran, Qureshi, and their associates were involved in the communication of information contained in a secret classified document – a cypher telegram received from Parep Washington dated March 7, 2022, by the foreign affairs secretary – to unauthorised persons (public at large) by “twisting the facts to achieve their ulterior motives and personal gains in a manner prejudicial to the interests of state security”.