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Imran Khan: A Pakistani court has suspended the former Prime Minister’s corruption section.

by Noor Zaman
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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s three-year term for corruption has been suspended, but it is unclear when he will be released.

The Islamabad High Court granted him bail till his conviction appeal is heard.

However, in a separate case, another court has ordered the 70-year-old to be held in custody until Wednesday.

According to Mr Khan’s lawyers, more than 100 charges have been filed against him since his ouster from power last year.

Leaking national secrets and organizing violent protests are two examples. Several arrest warrants have been issued in connection with these charges.

Mr Khan claims that all of the charges made against him are politically motivated.

The former prime minister’s lawyers are requesting a Supreme Court ruling barring him from being arrested in any other case, but no hearing date has been set.

They stated that the Supreme Court would establish a date after hearing the outcome of the High Court case on Tuesday.

“We are very hopeful that he will be released,” said Gauhar Khan, one of his lawyers.

“We have not been informed that he is being held in any other case.”

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On August 5, the international cricketer-turned-politician was sentenced to three years in prison for failing to declare money generated from selling gifts he received while in office from 2018 to 2022.

Rolex watches, a ring, and a pair of cuff links were among the gifts, which were said to be valued at more than 140 million Pakistani rupees ($635,000; £500,000).

As a result of his conviction, he was forbidden from running for office for five years.

The so-called “cipher case” in which Mr Khan is currently being held is related to the alleged leak of a diplomatic cable.

Mr Khan’s attorneys claim in the appeal that resulted in his sentence being suspended that he was convicted without the ability to defend himself.

The news comes just one day after another high court rejected sedition accusations against him, ruling that they were lodged incorrectly.

Authorities deny that Mr Khan’s arrest or ban from standing for public office was motivated by politics.

They have consistently accused the judges who granted relief to Imran Khan of being politically motivated.

Mr Khan is presently being imprisoned in Attock jail, a small institution in Punjab province with historical military ties, about 85 kilometers (52 miles) from Islamabad.

Several members of Mr Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have previously been held there, according to local media.

Prior to his sentencing, he had avoided arrest for months, with his followers engaging in fierce clashes with police to keep him out of custody.

Mr Khan was arrested on May 9 for failing to appear in court as requested. He was released three days later when his arrest was deemed illegal.

However, the arrest caused rallies across Pakistan, some of which were violent, with many of them targeting military sites, which demonstrators blamed for his passing. Several thousand of his supporters were arrested for allegedly participating in the protests.

Mr Khan and the PTI have experienced a crackdown since then, with members of his senior leadership imprisoned before declaring their departure from the party. Many strong fans of Mr Khan are now afraid to express their views and have secretly erased their prior comments.

Despite human rights groups’ outrage, some of those arrested in pro-Khan marches will face military courts for accused of violence.

Mr Khan has previously stated that the Pakistani army is “terrified” of elections that his party will win “hands down,” and that as a result, “they’re dismantling a democracy.”

The army plays an important role in Pakistani politics, seizing power in military coups and pulling levers behind the scenes on other occasions.

Many commentators believe Mr. Khan’s election victory in 2018 was aided by the military.

He has been one of the army’s most vociferous critics in opposition, and observers think its popularity has declined.

On August 9, Pakistan’s parliament was dissolved, allowing a caretaker administration to take charge in the run-up to general elections scheduled for this year but likely to be postponed.

It is unclear whether they will take place before early November, as the constitution requires.

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