Islamabad, Aug 9 (EFE).- Imran Khan, Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister and opposition leader, has been banned from holding public office for five years.
The decision by the election commission on Tuesday evening, which prevents him from participating in the upcoming elections later this year, comes in the wake of Khan’s conviction and subsequent three-year prison sentence over allegations of corruption.
Khan, a former cricketer who switched over to politics and enjoys widespread popularity in the country, has denied any wrongdoing.
He remains hopeful of having his conviction overturned through an appeal process, set to commence on Wednesday.
Khan was taken into custody on Saturday after a court found him guilty of corruption, leading to a three-year imprisonment term.
The charges against him stem from accusations of unlawfully selling state gifts during his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to 2022, as well as failing to disclose the monetary gains derived from these transactions.
The Islamabad High Court is scheduled to review the appeal presented by the legal team of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
Khan’s lawyers have raised concerns about his detention conditions, claiming that he was held in a cell infested with insects. They have urged the court to transfer him to a different prison facility.
Khan was removed from power in April 2022 through a vote of no confidence initiated by his successor, Shehbaz Sharif.
The former prime minister has openly accused the all-powerful Pakistan army of conspiring to remove him from office, resulting in his imprisonment, and attempting to disqualify him to prevent his potential return to power.
Khan is currently facing more than 150 cases that he believes are politically motivated, designed to hinder his chances of becoming the next prime minister.
This marks the second instance of the charismatic opposition leader’s arrest since his removal. He was previously arrested in May but was released just a few days later, amid unrest in the country driven by his supporters demanding his release. EFE