Islamabad's court has handed down a 10-year prison sentence to Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, and a senior member of his party for disclosing confidential state information.
The verdict was delivered in Rawalpindi, as confirmed by Zulfiqar Bukhari, a spokesperson for Khan's party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. This is reported by smh.com.au.
This sentence adds to Khan's ongoing three-year term for a corruption case, following his removal from office in April 2022 through a no-confidence motion in Parliament.
The timing of this latest legal development is significant, occurring just before the parliamentary elections slated for February 8, in which Khan is ineligible to participate due to his prior criminal record.
Khan's legal representatives are expected to challenge the court's decision. Despite his legal battles and ineligibility to contest in the upcoming elections, Khan continues to wield considerable influence in Pakistani politics, primarily due to his widespread grassroots support and stance against the establishment.
He has consistently claimed that the charges against him are politically motivated, designed to undermine his influence before the elections.
Since Khan's arrest in May 2023, Pakistan has witnessed substantial unrest, with authorities intensifying actions against his supporters and party members.
The situation has drawn attention from Pakistan’s independent human rights commission, which has raised concerns about the fairness of the upcoming elections.
The commission has specifically highlighted the impact of pre-poll rigging and the disqualification of Khan and other prominent figures from his party, casting doubts on the integrity of the electoral process.