A special court established under the Official Secrets Act on Wednesday extended Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s judicial remand until September 13 in the case pertaining to the missing cypher. On March 27, 2022, ahead of a vote of no-confidence that resulted in his ouster, former premier Imran Khan had pulled out a piece of paper – allegedly the cypher – from his pocket and waved it at a public gathering in Islamabad, claiming it was evidence of an “international conspiracy” being hatched to topple his government. Though the cypher issue never really faded out, it resurfaced after a US publication recently published its contents. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has now launched a thorough probe into the alleged “disappearance” of the diplomatic cypher, booking Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi under the recently enacted Official Secrets Act. Earlier, a special court established to try the case under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, ordered the Attock jail superintendent to keep Imran in “judicial lockup and produce him on 30.08.2023 before this court”. Imran’s number 2 in the PTI, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has already been arrested in the same case. It should also be noted here that though the FIA had requested the court to grant physical remand for Imran Khan, the court had rejected the plea and sent him on judicial remand instead. According to the FIA, once judicial remand has been granted, pleas for physical remand are no longer admissible and only a bail application can be filed before trial begins. Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain of the special court held the hearing on the case against the PTI chief at the Attock jail Wednesday. Imran Khan’s legal team including lawyers Salman Safdar and Intezar Panjutha were present at the Attock jail The PTI chief was brought before the court for attendance after which the court proceeded to extend his judicial remand. A post-arrest bail application was also filed by the PTI chairman’s legal team. The lawyers argued that there is no legitimate Official Secret Act case against Imran and that the entire matter had been concocted for political revenge. Meanwhile, a petition challenging the law ministry’s notification to transfer the court to the Attock jail has been filed with the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Notably, the interior ministry, in view of security concerns, had written a letter on August 29 seeking permission to conduct a jail trial of the PTI chief on August 30. The law ministry replied that it had no objection in this regard. In his plea, Imran Khan through his lawyer Sher Afzal Marwat has said that the notification is ‘illegal’ and requested the IHC to quash it. He has also challenged the authority of Islamabad’s Anti-Terrorism Court-1 (ATC) judge Zulqarnain to hear the cases registered under the Official Secrets Act. According to the application, the judge does “not meet even the basic qualification criteria required in this case”. The law secretary, interior secretary, chief commissioner, IG, DGFIA, superintendent Adiala jail and superintendent Attock jail have been made parties to the matter.