Imran Khan’s Conviction Suspended by Appeals Court

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The corruption conviction and three-year prison term of Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, have been suspended by an appeals court, marking a significant legal victory for Khan. The ruling will allow him to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections, although a retrial will still take place in due course. Khan has consistently denied the charges brought against him, vehemently asserting his innocence.

In addition to suspending his conviction, the Islamabad High Court has also granted Khan bail. However, it remains unclear whether he will be released, as he is currently facing various other charges brought against him since his removal from office through a no-confidence vote in April 2022.

Khan’s lawyer, Shoaib Shaheen, reported that the Islamabad High Court issued a brief verbal order, with a written ruling to be released at a later time. The court found Khan guilty earlier this month of concealing assets after he sold state gifts he had received during his tenure as prime minister.

Following the decision, Babar Awan, another senior attorney representing Khan, confirmed that Khan is once again permitted to lead his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. This development comes as a major relief for Khan and his supporters, reinstating his eligibility to partake in political activities.

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Pakistan’s Elections Face Delays Amidst Political Turmoil

Earlier this month, the Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified Khan from seeking office for the next five years. According to Pakistani laws, convicted individuals are prohibited from leading a political party, participating in elections, or holding public office.

Khan, since his removal, has alleged a conspiracy involving the United States, his successor Shehbaz Sharif, and the Pakistani military. However, all parties involved have categorically denied these accusations. Sharif recently stepped down as his term in parliament came to an end. Meanwhile, Pakistan finds itself grappling with severe economic and political challenges.

The upcoming elections have faced further complexity due to an announcement by the election oversight body. They have stated that the elections should be postponed for a minimum of three to four months. This delay is necessary to adequately redraw constituencies based on the recently conducted census.

As per the country’s constitution, elections are supposed to be held in either October or November. In the interim, Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar is managing day-to-day affairs as a caretaker. Kakar has assured the public that the elections will be conducted in a free, fair, and transparent manner.

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