SM Qureshi disqualified for five years

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday disqualified former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for five years following his conviction in the cipher case this week.
The disqualification comes five days before the February 8 general elections, which the PTI is contesting amid a state crackdown and without its iconic electoral symbol – bat.
According to a notification – a copy of which is available with ARY News, the former foreign minister has been disqualified over the 30 January judgment, handed down by Special Court judge in “The State versus imran Ahmed Khan Niazi and Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi” case.
“Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been held guilty u/s 5(3)(a), 5(1)(c) punishable u/s 5(3)(b) of OSA, 5(1)(d) Punishable u/s 5(3)(b) of OSA and Section 9 of the OSA read with 34 PPC and has been held guilty in light of charge u/s 5(3)(a) of the OSA, 1923 read with section 34 PPC and convicted and sentenced u/s 5(3)(a) read with section 34 PPC and convicted and sentenced u/s 5(3)(a) read with section 34 PPC and punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term of 10 years, guilty in light of charge u/s 9 read with section 5(3)(a) of OSA, 1923 and is convicted and sentenced u/s 5(3)(a) of OSA, 1923 with rigorous imprisonment for a term of 10-years,” read the notification.
As a consequence, the notification stated, Qureshi has become disqualified under Article 63(1)(h) of the Constitution of Pakistan read with Section 232 of the Elections Act, 2017.
Therefore, the PTI vice chairman is dis-qualified to contest General Elections-2024 and any subsequent elections for a period of five years.
On Jan 30, a special court established under the Official Secrets Act handed both former prime minister Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi 10 years in jail in the cipher case.
The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic document that the Federal Investigation Agency’s charge sheet alleges was never returned by Imran. The PTI claimed the document contained a threat from the United States to oust Imran as prime minister.
Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi were facing trial in cipher case in Adiala Jail from last year for ‘distorting’ the facts of the diplomatic cipher.
Read more: Imran Khan sentenced to 31 years in jail in a week
Both the PTI leaders were accused of conspiracy to misuse the contents of the cipher to fulfill nefarious purposes.
Cipher case
The first information report (FIR) was registered on August 15 under the Official Secrets Act. It was registered on the complaint of the Home Secretary.
Former prime minister and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were nominated in the report, while names of former principal secretary Azam Khan and former planning minister Asad Umar were also mentioned.
According to the report, action also will be taken against Azam Khan and Asad Umar after the authorities reached the conclusion that they were also involved in misusing the classified documents.