The Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified Imran Khan to contest the election with his conviction for falsely declaring assets.
Toshakhana case: disqualified Imran Khan to contest the election
The ECP filed a case in May accusing the Pakistan Prime Minister of intentionally hiding information about the gifts he held from the Toshakhana, which serves as a storage place for presents given to government officials on their overseas trips. The Prime Minister has been accused of not disclosing the specifics of the gifts retained during his time in office.
The regulations of the Toshakhana stipulate that information regarding the gifts and offerings provided to individual officials must be disclosed to the Cabinet Division.
On Saturday, a trial court in Islamabad handed down a three-year prison sentence and imposed a fine of Pakistani Rs 100,000 on Khan. This was due to accusations of him withholding information about toshakhana gifts.
The ruling of the court prohibited from participating in politics for a span of five years. Following his recent conviction in a corruption lawsuit, Khan has been rendered ineligible for political involvement as decreed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a directive issued on Tuesday.
According to Pakistan’s Law, an individual who has been found guilty cannot seek election to a governmental position for a duration specified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Despite asserting his innocence, Khan was handed a three-year prison sentence on the weekend. This verdict stems from his failure to accurately disclose assets acquired from overseas nations during his tenure as prime minister spanning from 2018 to 2022.
Following his arrest at his residence in Lahore, he was transported to a penitentiary close to Islamabad.
Khan’s legal representatives have lodged an appeal aiming to invalidate the verdict of guilt. This appeal will be reviewed by the Islamabad High Court this Wednesday, as confirmed by his lawyer, Naeem Panjutha.
The appeal document asserts that the conviction lacks proper legal basis and is influenced by prejudice. Additionally, it contends that Khan, aged 70, was not afforded a satisfactory opportunity to present his case.
The appeal further criticizes the court for dismissing a list of defense witnesses shortly before announcing the verdict, labeling this action as a significant injustice and a direct affront to the principles of due process and a fair trial.
The trial was fast-tracked by the court due to Khan’s consistent absence from hearings despite multiple summonses and arrest warrants. Unless reversed, the conviction will render him ineligible to participate in the forthcoming elections.
The response to Khan’s imprisonment has notably contrasted with the intense anger that ensued after his initial arrest, even evident on social media, where the number of Facebook posts referencing Khan’s name is now only half as many. “The muted response to his arrest is because of the full-throttle crackdown on PTI workers after the first arrest,”
“The apprehension of PTI supporters following Imran Khan’s arrest in May, along with the swift enactment of severe laws by the coalition government, has instilled a sense of fear among the people of Pakistan.”
Since his removal in April of the previous year, Imran Khan has been confronted with more than 150 legal cases. In contradiction, he claims that these cases hold a political agenda. Following his arrest, Imran Khan’s legal representatives declared their intention to promptly submit an appeal.