In a significant development, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has accepted a bail application from former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as confirmed by his lawyer on Wednesday. This decision comes on the heels of another court declaring illegal Khan’s trial on charges related to leaking state secrets.
Imran Khan, the former cricket star turned politician, has been entangled in multiple legal battles with the aim of securing his release from jail. The 71-year-old was imprisoned on August 5, facing a three-year sentence for the alleged unlawful sale of state gifts during his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to 2022.
His lawyer, Naeem Panjutha, took to social media to announce the acceptance of the bail application by the Supreme Court. Panjutha mentioned that a decision on the bail request would be determined in the next hearing, following arguments from both sides. However, no specific date for the hearing has been set, and it is expected that the Supreme Court will seek input from the government regarding the application.
Imran Khan’s legal battles have been a focal point of Pakistan’s political landscape, shedding light on the influence of the military in civilian politics. Khan was ousted from office in 2022 after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament, alleging that the military was attempting to sideline him due to disagreements over top security appointments.
Despite his ineligibility to run in the upcoming February election due to his conviction, Khan’s political party is set to face off against the party of Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister, creating a charged political atmosphere in the country.
The Islamabad High Court’s recent declaration that Khan’s trial on charges related to the release of a classified cable did not meet legal requirements adds a positive turn to his legal woes. The court found the trial, held in jail for security reasons, to be illegal, necessitating the prosecution to restart the case.
Imran Khan’s convictions and legal challenges have been met with skepticism by the politician, who alleges that the charges have been fabricated by his adversaries, including the military, to hinder his political career. The military, in turn, denies any involvement in Khan’s legal troubles.
As Pakistan grapples with political turmoil and economic challenges, the future of the nation, home to 241 million people, remains uncertain. The legal battles and power struggles underscore the complex interplay between politics and the judiciary in the country’s dynamic landscape.
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Source: Hindustan Times