Imran Khan faces extended jail time amid new legal challenges

Imran Khan

Imran Khan faces extended jail time amid new legal challenges

As Pakistan’s political landscape continues to evolve, former Prime Minister and PTI founder Imran Khan may face prolonged incarceration due to strategic legal maneuvers. Despite recent court reliefs, authorities are exploring options to keep him detained indefinitely.

Imran Khan has seen a series of cases against him dismissed, raising hopes among PTI leaders and supporters that he might be released soon. However, official sources suggest a different scenario. A controversial tweet by Khan concerning the 1971 incident has prompted the FIA to consider new charges. Concurrently, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is preparing to file Tosha Khana Reference II against Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, at an opportune moment.

Sources indicate this tactic aims to ensure both remain behind bars despite recent acquittals in other cases. Khan has been convicted in four separate instances, with three resulting in either acquittals or suspended sentences. His current incarceration hinges on one remaining conviction.

NAB has reportedly completed its investigation into the second Tosha Khana case and is ready to present its findings to the accountability court. The first Tosha Khana reference saw Khan and Bushra Bibi sentenced to 14 years in prison and fined over one billion rupees before the February 8 elections. This sentence was suspended by the Islamabad High Court upon appeal.

Imran Khan’s legal troubles began with his disqualification from the National Assembly by the Election Commission of Pakistan on October 21, 2022, for concealing the sale of expensive gifts. This led to criminal proceedings and an eventual three-year prison sentence in August last year, which was also suspended on appeal.

Additionally, Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi were sentenced to 10 years in prison in the cipher case, but this sentence was overturned by the Islamabad High Court. Khan has also been acquitted in several May 9 related cases.

Currently, the main barrier to Khan and Bushra Bibi’s release is their conviction in the Iddat case, where both were sentenced to seven years in prison shortly before the February 8 election. Although Khan’s legal team anticipated an acquittal last week, a judge’s recusal has delayed proceedings, with a request for a new judge submitted to the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court.

These developments highlight the complex and ongoing legal battles faced by Imran Khan, suggesting his stay in jail may extend further as new cases and appeals unfold.  (Monitoring Desk)