Imran Khan’s Legal Setback:
Pakistan’s former prime minister, Imran Khan, has been handed a 14-year jail sentence for graft just a day after receiving a 10-year prison term, further complicating the political landscape ahead of the country’s national elections.
Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were found guilty of retaining and selling state gifts for personal profit.
Election Turmoil and Rigging Allegations:
The sentencing comes at a critical juncture as Pakistan gears up for national elections, marred by allegations of rigging.
Imran Khan, barred from running in the elections, faces legal setbacks just days before the crucial vote. His political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is also subjected to a massive crackdown.
Nawaz Sharif’s Fortunes Reverse:
The sentencing of Imran Khan coincides with the surprising turn of events for rival Nawaz Sharif, head of one of Pakistan’s historically dominant dynastic parties.
Sharif, previously facing a series of corruption convictions, has seen these charges dissolve, marking a significant shift in the political landscape.
Khan’s Legal Battles and Ouster:
Imran Khan, a former cricketer, has been entangled in a series of court cases since his ouster in 2022, claiming they are orchestrated to prevent his return to office.
Khan’s accusations include a US-backed conspiracy orchestrated by the powerful military, with whom he had ruled in partnership. The 71-year-old’s arrest in August followed widespread riots across the country.
Crackdown and Impact on PTI:
The military crackdown on Khan’s supporters has significantly diminished his street power. Thousands of supporters were detained, with some facing closed-door military trials.
Senior leaders of PTI were forced underground. The ongoing crackdown has forced PTI to shift its campaigning online, battling state-imposed internet blackouts and the loss of its cricket bat election symbol.
Return of Nawaz Sharif:
Nawaz Sharif, a three-time former prime minister, has returned from self-imposed exile, witnessing the dissolution of his corruption convictions.
Analysts interpret this development as a signal that the military views Sharif favorably, considering he has historically been at the helm of one of Pakistan’s dynastic parties.
Political Landscape and Election Dynamics:
As Pakistan prepares for the upcoming elections, about 127 million eligible voters are caught in a political maelstrom.
Imran Khan, despite facing legal challenges, remains central to the electoral debate, with his PTI navigating the turbulent political climate.
ISIS Attack and Election-Related Violence:
Adding to the political unrest, a bomb blast claimed by the Islamic State group near a PTI rally resulted in four deaths and six injuries in Quetta.
PTI reported the deaths of three activists in the blast, occurring shortly after Khan’s sentencing.
Saudi Arabia’s Role:
The article briefly mentions Saudi Arabia without specific context, possibly implying a connection or influence that could impact the unfolding political scenario in Pakistan.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn