Pakistan’s ex-PM Imran Khan goes from high office to high-security prison after sentencing

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan awoke Sunday as an inmate in a high-security jail after a courtroom handed him a three-year sentence for corruption, a growth that would finish his future in politics.

The courtroom dominated Saturday that nationwide cricketing hero Khan, who was ousted in a no-confidence vote in April 2022 however stays the nation’s main opposition determine, had hid property after promoting state items.

The jail sentence may bar him from politics beneath a regulation that prohibits anybody with a legal conviction from holding or working for public workplace. He may additionally lose the chairmanship of the get together he based, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI.

Khan was arrested Saturday at his residence within the jap metropolis of Lahore and brought to jail.

Authorities figures on Saturday welcomed Khan’s arrest and conviction, with the Overseas Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari describing it as “comeuppance” for the opposition chief.

Critics say efforts to place him behind bars are politically motivated and have intensified forward of elections attributable to be held later this 12 months.

They argue that Khan’s recognition and a big assist base, mixed together with his means to mobilize large crowds, pose a risk to the ruling coalition and its backers in Pakistan’s highly effective navy that has been the ultimate arbiter of the nation’s politics since independence from Britain in 1947.

It’s the second time this 12 months that Khan has been detained, becoming a member of different former Pakistani prime ministers who had been arrested and seen navy interventions all through the nation’s political historical past.

However his present keep on the Attock jail is a far cry from his custodial situations in Could, when he was taken to a well-appointed guesthouse on a police compound in Islamabad beneath a Supreme Court docket order. He was then allowed guests and conferences with get together colleagues.

Attock, in jap Punjab province, is infamous for its harsh situations and its inmates embrace convicted militants. Khan’s jail time period began Saturday, nevertheless it was not instantly clear if he’ll spend the three-year sentence in Attock.

Authorities have additional tightened safety across the jail, which already has armed guards in watchtowers, by erecting obstacles and blocking roads to maintain individuals away. They’ve additionally instructed locals to not enable media onto their roofs to cease images and movies from leaking.

PTI lawyer Shoaib Shaheen informed The Related Press that police on the jail refused entry to a authorized crew who went to see Khan. He mentioned the get together would file an enchantment as there have been “loads of loopholes within the verdict.”

In Could, Khan’s arrest on corruption fees brought about a wave of violent protests that swept the nation. Days later, Pakistan’s Supreme Court docket ordered his launch, saying his arrest was unlawful.

Khan’s requires mass protests have to this point failed to realize traction amongst his supporters with police making far fewer arrests than they did in Could as individuals largely stayed off the streets.

On Sunday, tons of of individuals gathered on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, to sentence the arrest.

One supporter, Sumera Jarar, accused the federal government of violating human rights. She mentioned PTI supporters would transfer ahead with Khan and Pakistan “step-by-step”.

Native get together official Mir Atique mentioned: “Imran can’t be faraway from individuals’s hearts, even in the event you disqualify Khan from the ballots or take away or expel all indicators of Imran Khan.”

However a few of Khan’s closest colleagues defected from his get together after the Could violence as authorities cracked down on the PTI, leaving him more and more remoted.

Karachi-based analyst Tauseef Ahmed Khan, who’s unrelated to the previous premier, mentioned the state of affairs is tough for Khan, nevertheless it doesn’t essentially herald the tip of his political profession.

“All of it depends upon his braveness and persistence,” mentioned Khan the analyst. “If he lacks each, it’s easy and the tip of the sport for him. However in any other case he can come out as an amazing chief if he can bear the hardship of jail for a couple of years.” Related – Biden student loan cancellation plan for borrowers who were misled blocked by federal appeals court

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