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In Wake Of Khan’s 14-Year Sentence Being Overturned, Pakistani Judges Say Intel Operatives Threatened Them

In Wake Of Khan’s 14-Year Sentence Being Overturned, Pakistani Judges Say Intel Operatives Threatened Them

Early this week a Pakistani court suspended the 14-year jail sentence previously handed down to former prime minister Imran Khan while allowing for appeal of his conviction for graft.

The Islamabad High Court ruled in favor of Khan as his lawyer argued that the prior charge of retaining and selling state gifts in violation of his office when he led the country were politicized, trumped up charges concocted by his adversaries from the start.

Despite the judge ruling Khan and his wife could be freed on bail, they remain in prison (however, reportedly at very minimal security facilities) given they are serving sentences for other convictions.

Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which made a better than expected showing in the Feb. 8 parliamentary elections, have decried that this was all a conspiracy to prevent his return to office by the military-run deep state. There are still a whopping 170 legal cases against him.

The Monday ruling has proven a big boost and vindication for his PTI party, with a close aide of Khan’s, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, saying in a statement: “I have said this since the conviction that the cases against Khan and his wife do not have the legs to stand on and it was only a matter of time before they would get thrown out.”

On Wednesday a new bombshell has emerged which appears to confirm brazen ‘deep state’ interference in Khan’s legal cases. The Guardian reports:

Claims by senior Pakistani judges that the intelligence agencies put pressure on them in cases involving the former prime minister Imran Khan have reached the country’s supreme court, following the publication of an unprecedented letter that has created a storm in Pakistan.

The letter from the six high court judges alleged the abduction of family members, torture, installation of cameras in their bedrooms and threats from the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).

In one case the judges said they were forced to hear an appeal against Khan even after the majority of judges had decided it was not maintainable.

Torture was also reportedly used to induce officials to make “false allegations” against Khan:

“Considerable pressure was brought to bear on the judges who had opined that the petition was not maintainable, by operatives of the ISI, through friends and relatives of these judges. Fearing for their security, they sought additional protection for their homes. One of the judges had to be admitted in a hospital due to high blood pressure caused by stress,” the letter claimed.

It alleged the brother-in-law of one judge was abducted by “individuals who claimed to be operatives of the ISI” and “tortured into making false allegations”.

Meanwhile Khan’s team in reacting to the suspension of the 14-year jail sentence on appeal expressed hope for the same outcome in the array of other charges facing him. “We welcome this decision and hopefully this will be the outcome in all other cases against Khan and his wife as they are all frivolous in nature,” Bukhari continued.

There have also been new claims that the former first lady is being poisoned while in prison

Indeed, the graft sentencing and others had made Khan legally ineligible to run for public office for a full decade, and included a fine of the equivalent of $5 million for the couple (Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi). They’ve been in prison since August of last year, which helped set the stage of miring the February elections in violence. PTI candidates were also forced to run under independent labels. The tumultuous election week had witnessed bombings at polling stations and attacks on political offices. For example the two days going into the general election day vote saw over 35 people killed and scores wounded.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who emerged victorious while Khan had languished in jail, was seen more as the “military’s man” in Islamabad, while Khan’s legacy has sought to be erased by those same elite powers.


Wed, 04/03/2024 – 20:40

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