by Ryan Grim and Murtaza Hussain at The Intercept_
A crucial document from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, undermines a major plank in the high-profile prosecution of the country’s former prime minister, Imran Khan.
Khan remains behind bars while he faces trial for allegedly mishandling a secret document, known as a cypher, which the prosecution claims compromised the integrity of the encrypted communication system used by the state’s security apparatus. But according to an ISI analysis leaked to The Intercept, that claim is entirely false. Internally, the agency concluded that the leak of the text of a cypher could in no way compromise the integrity of the system, an assessment contrary to public claims made repeatedly by prosecutors.
The main charge against Khan relates to his handling of a diplomatic cable describing a key meeting in March 2022 between U.S. and Pakistani officials in Washington. Khan, while prime minister, had repeatedly alluded to the existence of a cypher that outlined U.S. pressure on Pakistan to remove him from power in a vote of no confidence. Though he never disclosed its full contents, at times, in public speeches, he quoted statements recorded in it from U.S. officials promising to reward Pakistan for his ouster. At one rally, Khan even waved what he said was the printed text of the document, without revealing its exact contents…Continue Reading