Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s detention in connection with charges of leaking state secrets has been extended for an additional two weeks, his legal representative announced on Wednesday.
Political Crisis and Legal Troubles
- Imran Khan, the 70-year-old former cricket star, has been embroiled in a political crisis since losing a confidence vote in parliament in April 2022.
- His recent conviction in a separate corruption case led to his disqualification from contesting the upcoming national election.
- In late August, a high court temporarily suspended Khan’s prison sentence for corruption, but a prior remand order for the state secrets case kept him in custody.
- The latest extension of the remand order will keep Khan in jail until September 26, according to lawyer Naeem Panjutha.
State Secrets Case
- Khan is accused of publicly disclosing the contents of a confidential cable sent by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States and using it for political advantage.
- The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) document reveals the charges against Khan.
- Khan contends that the cable demonstrates that the United States had urged Pakistan’s military to orchestrate his government’s downfall due to his visit to Russia shortly before the Ukraine invasion in February 2022.
- Both Washington and the Pakistani military have denied Khan’s allegations.
- In the corruption case, Khan received a three-year jail sentence for the unlawful sale of state gifts during his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to 2022.
- This led to a five-year ban from contesting elections by the election commission.
- While the prison sentence was temporarily suspended last month, the conviction remains in effect.