October 4, 2023

By Riazat Butt | Related Press

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested Saturday after a courtroom handed him a three-year jail sentence for corruption, a improvement that might finish his future in politics.

The courtroom dominated that 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 presents. Police moved shortly to take the previous cricket star from his house within the japanese metropolis of Lahore to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, senior police officer Ali Nasir Rizvi mentioned.

Efforts to place the divisive politician behind bars have stepped up forward of normal elections this 12 months as a result of his reputation and huge assist base, mixed together with his means to mobilize large crowds, pose a menace to the ruling coalition and its backers in Pakistan’s highly effective army that has been the ultimate arbiter of the nation’s politics since independence from Britain

That is the second time this 12 months that Khan has been detained, becoming a member of different former Pakistani prime ministers who’ve been arrested and seen army interventions through the years. He has been slapped with greater than 150 authorized circumstances since his removing from workplace, together with a number of on expenses of corruption, terrorism and inciting folks to violence over lethal protests after his arrest in Might when his followers attacked authorities and army property throughout the nation.

The jail sentence might bar Khan from politics forward of this 12 months’s elections beneath a legislation that claims folks with a legal conviction can not maintain or run for public workplace. His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf celebration, or PTI, mentioned it is going to problem the choice.

Info Minister Maryam Aurangzeb denied Khan’s arrest had something to do with upcoming elections and mentioned Khan had been given each alternative to defend himself towards the asset concealment expenses.

“As a substitute Imran Khan used the time to delay the courtroom proceedings and went forwards and backwards to the excessive courtroom and supreme courtroom to halt this case,” she mentioned.

Aurangzeb added that Khan has been “confirmed responsible of unlawful practices, corruption, concealing property and wrongly declaring wealth in tax returns.”

His former political secretary, Aun Chaudhry, mentioned Saturday’s occasions will support political stability, whereas International Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari described the day’s developments as comeuppance for Khan.

PTI spokesman Rauf Hasan described the asset concealment trial because the “worst in historical past and tantamount to the homicide of justice.”

Cops detain a supporter of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023. Khan’s three-year jail sentence might bar him from politics forward beneath a legislation that claims folks with a legal conviction can not maintain or run for public workplace. (Mohammad Sajjad/Related Press)

In Lahore, a bunch of pro-Khan attorneys reached his Zaman Park house and chanted slogans protesting his conviction and arrest. In the identical metropolis, supporters of a rival political celebration handed out sweets to have a good time the detention.

Khan’s celebration launched a video message displaying him at his Lahore house behind a desk with the Pakistani and PTI flags within the background. It wasn’t instantly clear when the recording was made.

He informed his supporters that he can be in jail by the point the message reached them and that they need to not keep quietly of their houses.

“I’m not doing this for my freedom,” he mentioned. “I’m doing it for my nation, you, your youngsters’s future. If you happen to don’t rise up to your rights, you’ll reside the lifetime of slaves and slaves would not have a life.”

He urged folks to peacefully protest till they get their rights, specifically a authorities of their selection via voting and “not the one like at this time’s occupying energy.”