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Pakistan’s Former PM Imran Khan Appeals Against Conviction and Three-Year Prison Sentence

Pakistan's Former PM Imran Khan (Via Imran Khan/Twitter)

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan has appealed against his conviction and three-year prison sentence in a corruption case, his lawyer Naeem Haider Panjutha said. The Islamabad High Court will hear the appeal on Wednesday. Khan was convicted and jailed on Saturday on charges of concealing assets after selling state gifts he received while in power. He has denied the charges, saying he did not violate any laws.

Khan’s lawyers have appealed to the court to set aside his conviction, declaring it “illegal and without lawful authority”. They also requested the court acquit Khan, claiming he was arrested illegally. Panjutha met Khan at the high-security Attock jail in eastern Punjab province, where the former cricket star has been held since being ousted in a no-confidence vote in April 2022.

Khan’s removal from power was seen as a major upheaval in Pakistani politics, and his conviction and imprisonment have further escalated tensions. Since his sentencing, Khan has called for mass protests, but so far, he has failed to generate significant support among his supporters. Critics claim that Khan is being politically victimised by the government, a charge the government denies.

Pakistan’s Former PM Imran Khan (Via Imran Khan/Twitter)

Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Inaf, has also accused the government of political vendetta, and critics have pointed out the unfair treatment of the former premier. The Pakistan Muslim League party, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who replaced Khan last year, will face tough competition from Khan’s party in the upcoming elections.

Pakistan’s Election Commission has disqualified Khan from running for office for five years, based on his conviction and sentence. However, if Khan’s conviction is overturned by the Islamabad High Court, he will be allowed to contest the polls.

Despite the harsh conditions at the Attock jail, Khan has maintained a high morale, according to Panjutha, who has visited him twice since his imprisonment. Khan’s legal team has also approached another court to seek better facilities for their client.

The outcome of Khan’s appeal is uncertain, but it is likely to have a significant impact on Pakistan’s political terrain.

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