#Pakistan, #ImranKhan, #Sentence; #cipherCase
IBNS-CMEDIA: A special court in Pakistan on Tuesday handed former PM and cricket star Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi 10 years in jail in the cipher case.
Khan was ousted from power in 2022.
The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic document that the Federal Investigation Agency’s charge sheet alleges was never returned by Imran. The PTI has long held that the document contained a threat from the United States to oust Imran as prime minister, reported Dawn News.
The verdict was announced just days before Pakistan votes in the national elections.
In the run-up to elections, both the leaders have been in jail.
While Imran’s candidature was rejected, Qureshi was cleared to run from a NA seat from Thar. But today’s conviction means that both of them have been disqualified from contesting elections for the next five years, Dawn News reported.
This is the 1992 cricket World Cup winning skipper-turned-politician’s second conviction as he was also convicted in the Toshakhana case on Aug 5, and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) earlier suspended his suspension.
A Pakistani division bench later rejected Imran Khan’s petition seeking the suspension of the conviction.
PTI criticised the verdict and posted on X: “Pakistan stands with Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who defended Pakistan and stood for Haqeeqi Azadi. No such sham trial can change what happened in March- April 2022, on the orders of Donald Lu.”
“A complete mockery and disregard of law in the cipher case shall not lead us to forget our primary responsibility in order to provide justice to IK and SMQ: vote and protect your vote on 8th!” it said.